One diet approach that is gaining popularity is the raw food diet where you adhere to a diet regimen of uncooked food. Proponents claim that with a raw food diet, you will have more energy, flush out toxins and lose weight. But before you adopt the raw food diet, it is important that you get the facts right from nutritionist Anvesha Sharma and know the pros and cons.
- Raw foods contain a host of nutrients and natural enzymes that usually break down while cooking. The enzymes, in turn, help the body absorb other essential nutrients. Uncooked vegetables and fruits also retain water-soluble vitamins.
- A raw diet can be a great way to remove toxins from your body. If you have always had poor dietary habits, a raw diet can help you detox. Read this before you go on a detox diet.
- If you are living in a hot climate, raw foods can have a cooling effect on your body. Raw foods, fruits and vegetables are highly alkalizing and hydrating and can be a perfect choice for summer.
- When it comes to weight loss, the funda is simple. You will be cutting down on baked and processed foods so you will automatically end up losing a lot of weight.
- The cooking process breaks the nutrients into smaller components and thus makes them more digestible. You might suffer from digestive disorders if you always eat raw food.
- Once heated, some nutrients in food become bioavailable. For example, the antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes becomes more nutritionally available when cooked. Vegetables such as spinach, kale and garlic are more nutritious when cooked as they release compounds that may otherwise go undigested if eaten raw. Light cooking and sautéing can make the nutrients in foods to remain present.
- Eating unpasteurized dairy products and raw eggs can also increase the risk of foodborne illnesses.
Bottom line— Raw food diet cannot offer a magical formula for vibrant health. While the fresh produce is no doubt beneficial, eating only raw foods over time can put undue stress on your digestive system. They key is to maintain a balance between raw foods and lightly-cooked foods. The balance will provide you with nutrients needed to maintain optimum health.
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