Fitness

Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Raw Vegan Diet

Following a raw vegan diet can have numerous health benefits, as well as an extremely positive environmental impact. The basic prerequisite to this healthy and ethically conscious lifestyle is eating a varied diet that includes all types of vitamins, minerals and proteins that our body requires. If you have decided to start a raw vegan diet, but know nothing about it, nor have any idea where to begin, this post will help you with some basic information and a few cooking and dietary tips.

What is a Raw Vegan Diet and Why is It Good

A raw vegan diet consists of eating unprocessed, raw plant foods that have not been heated at the temperature higher than 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (40 to 48 degrees Celsius). It excludes all foods of animal origin, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products, as well foods that contain traces of these products.

Cooking food can diminish its nutritional value

Foods cooked at high temperatures can lose many useful micronutrients and enzymes, essential for our well-being.

Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and organic acids that the human body itself cannot produce, but which our organism absolutely requires in very small quantities in order to function properly. The digestive enzymes contained in raw food are instead necessary for the proper absorption of these nutrients and a good digestion of foods.

All of these enzymes, as well as many vitamins and minerals, are believed to be destroyed by heat.

Cooking also contributes to the formation of toxic compounds caused by high temperatures, such as advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines.

Health benefits of raw vegan diet

People who follow a raw vegan diet claim that it has numerous health benefits and that it positively affects their energy levels. It improves skin condition, helps in weight loss programs and reduces the risk of many diseases.

Raw vegan foods contain less saturated and trans fatty acids and less sugar and salt, which helps keep cholesterol and blood pressure at normal levels and minimizes the risk of many cardiovascular diseases.

A raw vegan diet is also high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and low in acid-forming compounds. It promotes a healthy pH balance in the body, necessary to keep illnesses away.

Raw Vegan Dietary and Cooking Tips

Woman using mixer

A healthy and balanced raw vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, high-fat plants, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds and grains, seaweed, and herbs. When eating raw it is best to consume organic foods and avoid products that contain pesticides, preservatives and additives.

To maintain your body healthy it is important to include all of the above mentioned foods in your diet. Eliminating certain foods, such as meat and diary products, requires replacing them with higher amounts of other foods that contain the same nutrients.

A raw food diet consists of consuming at least 75 percent of raw food a day. If you include soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu in your meals, take them in small quantities and make them part of your 25 percentcooked food daily allowance.

Dietary tips:

  • To replace proteins found in meat and eggs you should include more of the following foods in your diet: sprouted beans and legumes, nuts, soy milk, tofu, seeds, ground peanut butter, untoasted wheat germ, broccoli, kale and other.
  • Calcium is found in dark green vegetables (collards, turnip greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach and kale), fresh orange juice, citrus fruits, tofu made with calcium sulfate, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  • Diary products substitutes include soy milk, soy yogurt, tofu and rice milk.

Cooking tips:

  • Consume plenty of fresh juices and smoothies. Check out the Healthy Smoothie Diet recipes and just replace diary yogurt with soy yogurt or coconut water.
  • Use coconut water to prepare your smoothies and flavor other dishes (see: Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water Everyday).
  • Marinate your favorite vegetables in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, organic vinegar, fresh herbs and spices.
  • Use your fantasy with vegetables, herbs and prepare all sorts of different salads.
  • Create delicious soy yogurt dressings to season your vegetables and use avocado to prepare exquisite dips.
  • Make veggie rolls with vegetable leaves and fill them with avocado and mashed vegetables dressings. Use small amounts of tofu if you like.
  • Blend tomatoes and other vegetables and beans in a food processor; add herbs and spices and you will get amazingly tasty gazpachos and raw creamy soups.
  • Use healthy cold-pressed, extra virgin vegetable oils.
  • Experiment as much as you like with fruit salads and raw fruit creams. Flavor them with raw chocolate, nuts, seeds and whole grains; sweeten them with raw honey, stevia, agave nectar, date sugar, coconut nectar and yacon.

Raw Vegan Diet Superfoods

maca root on a table

Superfoods are nutrient rich foods that can provide many elements missing in your diet. They contain very high quantities of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, amino acids, enzymes,polysaccharides, glycol-nutrients, as well as many other compounds.

Including more of these foods in your regular raw vegan diet can improve your health, reinforce your immune system, help eliminate toxins from your body and keep diseases away. They are also free of pesticides, chemicals and additives.

Listed below are just a few examples of nutrient rich foods that you should consume while following a raw vegan diet.

However, there are also many other exceptional superfoods that contain extremely high doses of nutrients and most of them are available in health food stores.

Maca

Maca is a Peruvian radish like fruit, rich in nutrients that have many health benefits. Raw Maca powder is a rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, full fatty acids, phytonutrients, vitamins and mineral traces. It promotes health, boosts energy levels and improves libido.

Hemp and flax seeds

Hemp and flex seeds are very good sources of Omega 6 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is the major omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. This makes hemp and flax seeds powerful nutrient foods, essential for our health.

Raw Protein Powder

A raw vegan diet sometimes needs an extra addition of proteins, which are building blocks of our body. If you think you are not getting enough proteins, try taking the raw protein powder that contains different kinds of sprouted beans. Mix it with your food or add it to your beverages.

Bee pollen

Bee pollen is one of the most nourishing foods ever discovered that contains all of the essential components necessary for living. It has more than 96 different nutrients and avails incredible health benefits. Some nutritionists even think that bee pollen alone could be sufficient to maintain human life. Add it to your diet!

About the author

Jessica

Jessica is a translator who has lived for many years in Asia and South America. She now lives and works in Europe, while preparing her new journeys. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, exploring different cultures and foods, and being in love.

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