Fact File of the Raw Diet
Ever doubted why elderly people of your house force you to consume some proportion of raw food in your daily diet? The reason being the raw food movement has its origin in the 1800s with the start of 'natural hygiene movement'.
This movement defined raw food as consumables that are not cooked or heated at the temperature greater than 115 degrees to 118-degree Fahrenheit. The belief was this helps to preserve nutrients, vitamins, enzymes and energy content of the food that gets destroyed during cooking.
Component of the raw diet
Raw food diet usually consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, sprouts and legumes.
A typical raw foodist is vegan that means they consume only plant-based diet. But, some prefer to consume raw fish, meat and dairy products.
List of raw food consumables include:
1) Soaked and sprouted beans, grains, and legumes
3) Sun cured fruits
4) Raw nut butter
5) Fresh fruit
6) Raw vegetables
7) Freshly made fruit and vegetable juices
8) Milk from a young coconut
9) Nut milk
10) Raw nuts and seeds
11) Green food powder, for example, dried wheatgrass or algae
Importance of Raw Food
Experts believe that a raw food diet is a 100% natural diet as the consumed food is in its natural state. They associate the following benefits with raw food:
· Controlled body weight
· Loss of body fat
· Improved sleep
· A higher level of energy
· Improved bowel movements
· Clear skin
· Healthier mind
· Lower risk of developing heart and cardiovascular disease
Raw food diet consumers can be broadly classified into four categories:-
· Raw food consumer that are vegetarians eat plant-based foods
· Some add eggs and dairy products
· Raw vegans eat no animal products at all
· Raw omnivores eat both plant-based, animal-based foods and/or meats but not cooked.
Comparative analysis of digesting raw vs. cooked food
Reports state that raw food consumption arouses minimum response from the immune system. The consumption of cooked food increases the level of white blood cells in the body that indicates mild stress response arousal.
In terms of metabolism, raw food takes longer to eat and digest.One has to chew raw food a lot, and the body has to work a lot to breakdown this food. Hence, energy gain from raw food consumption is comparatively low.
Cooked food gets easily digested emitting higher energy. Being safer, it reduces spoilage and softens tough food. It breaks starch molecules into more digestible fragments. Also, it denatures protein molecules increasing the taste and flavour of food.
Raw diets and health concern
A plant-based raw diet has many advantages such as adding roughage, easy availability and no loss of nutrients in cooking.
The drawback raw diet portrays include:-
· Consumer does not get enough important nutrients and the amount of energy released is low.
· The raw diet increases homocysteine that is linked to cardiovascular diseases.
· Raw-food-consumer women tend to become partial or total Amenorrhea. This refers to the absence of menstruation — one or more missed menstrual periods.
· Male raw-food-consumers witness a change in reproductive hormones, a considerable decrease in testosterone production.
A mixed bag of the raw diet
Scientist confirms that strict raw diet although cannot provide adequate energy supply, there are a few health benefits too.
· It helps in losing extra body fat because the volume of food consumed is quite high about the low-calorie density.
· Raw dishes have higher sugar and carbohydrates digestible compared to sweeteners like honey or nectar.
· Water-soluble vitamins B and C supply is maintained in the body.