The Basics of Raw Food: The Good, The Bad and The (un)Hungry

You’ve definitely heard about the Raw Food movement. You know that a lot of celebs have jumped on this mega healthy bandwagon and are looking and feeling better than ever. Your curiosity is peaked, but you’re just not quite convinced that this is something worth digging into. We present you with the basics on Raw Food: The Good, the Bad and the (un)Hungry.

What is Raw Food, Exactly?

raw food

Simply put, raw foodists eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, sprouts, root vegetables and squashes, fresh herbs and spices.

Since the food consumed needs to be uncooked and unprocessed, depending on one’s lifestyle and affinities, the raw food diet may also include raw fish (up for some Sashimi?), raw meat (Carpaccio, anyone?) and non-homogenized and non-pasteurized dairy products, which include raw milk, raw cheese and raw milk yogurt.

Now, the food needs to be raw, but the most important aspect of this diet is the heat. Or, lack of it, to be more precise.

The heating of raw food may not exceed 40 C (104 F).

When cooked above this temperature, the food, loses the vast proportion of its nutritional value, making it less healthy, even potentially harmful to the body.

The processed, over cooked foods lose the brunt of their life force, including the beneficial enzymes, nutritional value and energy, becoming essentially ‘dead’.

The result?

Well, it doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together here, but, let’s just say that raw foodists equate the intake of ‘dead’ foods with a direct infusion of dead energy into our bodies, as well as contributing to disease.

How to Do the Raw Thing Right?

This is very individual and you should certainly consult a physician, even if you are merely thinking about switching to any form of a raw food diet, whether it is a vegetarian route you’re considering, or the most widespread option, a raw vegan diet.

The vast majority who are already there have opted for a high raw percentage or a certain percentage of raw foods in their diet. An example of this would be a ’75 per cent raw diet’ with a combination of some carefully selected non-raw elements.

Why (Do People) Decide to Go Raw?

girl eating cucumber

The list of reasons is endless but they all have a common denominator: the desire and need to be healthy.

A vast number of Raw Foodists have become so as a result of seeking relief during or following a serious illness. The alternative medical route will often lead them in this direction once the realization that the best way to deal with disease is to remove the root cause, rather than suppress the symptoms.

Some of the top benefits of going raw include:

– A near-automatic weight loss and maintenance without feelings of hunger and deprivation

– Better digestion

– A reduction in total cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol, known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol

– A possible reduction in the severity of chronic inflammation in conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis

– Aid in stabilizing one’s blood pressure

– A considerably higher intake of vitamins A, C, and E, folate, and the minerals potassium and copper

– Relief for symptoms brought on by forms of anxiety and depression

– A youthful, radiant appearance, marked by glistening skin

– Increased energy, brought on by the life force directly introduced into your system

Who’s on the Celebs-gone-Raw Scene?

Nothing creates a buzz or spikes popularity like a steady celeb following.
The weight loss, enhanced beauty and boosted energy have lured in many a celeb, making some of them the perfect poster peeps for this movement’s visible benefits.

The age-defying appearances of Demi Moore, Sting, Cher and Susan Sarandon have been largely attributed to their attraction to rawness.

Actor Jeremy Piven and famed designer Donna Karan have shed considerable pounds using this food trend that is certainly picking up more and more steam along the way, leaving the fad status in the dust.

About the author


Darcy is a journalist, now based in Europe. She enjoys and deeply respects the creative process and lives by a phrase coined by Sigmund Freud: "When inspiration does not come to me, I go half way to meet it."

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