The addition of more raw foods into your diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. You don’t have to adopt an entirely raw diet in order to receive many of the benefits that accompany raw living foods in their natural state.
Benefits of raw fruits and vegetables include:
Improved digestion- Raw foods are high in fiber and water content, causing them to move through the digestive system easily and improving bowel movements. Up to 97% of Americans are deficient in fiber, and the statistics are similar in all other developed Western countries, proving that we need to increase our fruit and vegetable intake.
Alkalizing to the body- raw fruits and vegetables are alkaline, which is beneficial for neutralising too much acid in the body which can be caused by stress, pollutants from the environment, and processed foods among many other things. Raw alkaline foods help to create a healthy balance and prevent many disease that flourish in an acid environment, and also help to support the immune system.
Increased energy- As mentioned before, due to raw foods being so easily and quickly digested, this leaves you feeling more energised. Digestion uses up a lot of our energy, which is why we feel so sluggish after a heavy meal as our body dedicates all of its energy towards breaking down the food.
Less inflammation- Raw fruits and vegetables are extremely high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory components. Inflammation is often the root cause of many diseases in the body, so increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory raw fruits and vegetables helps to reduce the likelihood of these diseases, as well as promoting overall health.
What you’re not eating:
Centering your diet around more raw foods automatically means you are consuming less dairy, meat and processed foods, meaning you will be avoiding refined sugars, high sodium, saturated fats, preservatives and additives. Win!
Although raw foods are extremely nutritious, this does not mean that the cooking of food destroys all nutrients. Different cooking methods have different effects on different foods. Steaming is considered the best choice for retaining as many nutrients as possible, as it utilises a small amount of water and only heats the food for a relatively short period of time. Many plant foods are actually more nutrient dense once they are cooked, such as tomato which has an antioxidant called lycopene which increases through cooking.
The addition of raw fruits and vegetables to wholesome meals full of nourishing cooked plant foods such as sweet potatoes, whole grains and legumes provides the perfect balance, to ensure you are both satiated as well as receiving optimal nutrients.