What is Raw?
Why eat raw foods? What are the health benefits of a raw food diet? Eating only non-processed, uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains is a way to avoid all food additives, trans fats, and other harmful substances. These toxins eventually accumulate in the body, and contribute to a range of common illnesses, from arthritis to obesity. Eating raw foods is an effective and powerful way to introduce a concentrated amount of enzymes and nutrients into the body, to ensure proper functioning of all body systems, improving digestive health, mental functioning, and energy levels.
Following raw food diet meal plans can be a foundational component of optimal well-being. It creates a state of constant natural detoxification combined with the absorption of readily available nutrients. This is an ideal formula for healing and health. It is however important to keep basic considerations in mind. A raw food diet is plant-based, meaning meat, fish, and dairy products are not included. Effort is needed to ensure enough fat, protein, and nutrients, such as calcium, iron, and vitamin B 12 are consumed.
What can be included in the raw food diet? Plant-based foods, either raw, or minimally processed through soaking, dehydration, juicing, or sprouting. Cooking up to a temperature of 116 degrees Fahrenheit is still considered acceptable. This ensures that food is still living, meaning beneficial enzymes are still intact. This diet should include a variety of:
- Sea greens
- Organic fruits
- Organic vegetables
- Nutritional oils
To maintain a balanced diet, it is important to eat all of the types of foods. Sea greens are a good source of minerals and vitamins, including vitamin B 12. Nuts, seeds, and legumes are a valuable source of protein and fatty acids. Nutritional oils supply needed fat. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are good sources of nutrients, carbohydrates, and fibers. All foods being raw, or almost raw, are rich in enzymes. Organic foods are preferred for maximum purity of diet, as non-organic foods are likely to have been produced with chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
These are sample raw food diet meal plans to try.
- Raw oatmeal with walnuts, apples, and cinnamon. Soak oats and nuts separately in water over night. Drain and puree together in the blender. Top with sliced fresh apples and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Barley and dried fruit. Soak barley and dried apricots and prunes in water overnight. Drain water and blend. Top with nutmeg.
- Avocado salad. Toss sliced avocado with diced sea greens, walnuts, and flax seed oil.
- Chick pea salad. Soak chick peas overnight. Mix with oven dried tomatoes, diced garlic, and olive oil.
- Brown rice and vegetables. Soak brown rice overnight in water; soak diced carrots and zucchini in olive oil. Drain and toss together.
- Stuffed tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in half, hollow centers. Fill with mixture of soaked, diced walnuts, diced greens, and mushrooms. Sprinkle with cumin and drizzle with flax seed oil.
These meals are simple ideas which combine a variety of foods for a balanced diet. Losing weight is inevitable with the raw food diet meal plans. Be sure to consume enough calories for proper health. Have three meals a day, and juices, fresh fruit, vegetables, and nuts in between meals. Try different recipes, and possibly even new foods. Eating raw is healthy, but it is also an incredibly fulfilling experience.
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
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