Raw food diets are becoming more and more popular, so it makes sense to touch base on the specifics of this movement, as it is obviously a subsection of plant based nutrition. Eating raw plant foods has several benefits:
- The enzymes in raw food stay alive. When food is cooked above a temperature of 115 degrees fahrenheit, the enzymes that help with digestion are destroyed. Our bodies do have the ability to create those enzymes on our own, but they are not as effective as the enzymes within the body.
- Raw foods are also high in nutrients that are usually diminished when subjected to cooking. Potassium, fiber, and magnesium are all more plentiful, and raw foods have been linked to lower levels of cholesterol in the human body.
Starting a raw diet may prove to be difficult on the psyche, so it may help to ease into it slowly. Here are a few ways to help ease the transition from cooked to raw (source):
Start With the Snacks
It’s easier to start switching out your smaller meals throughout the day. Instead of reaching for a doughnut or bag of chips, try to incorporate raw snacks into your day to day. Pre-package raw nuts and seeds and carry fresh fruit with you to avoid straying from your plan.
Go for Juice Instead of Coffee
Quitting coffee is a task in and of itself, but one way to wean yourself off is to start substituting coffee and lattes with cold pressed juices and coconut waters. It may sound absurd at first, but the natural sugars from the juices and waters may give you more energy than you’d think.
Add Raw Elements to Your Dinners
Changing your diet will feel less intense if you add instead of subtract. Start adding raw vegetables to your cooked dinners, so that the meals do not feel like they’re missing anything. Slowly start to add more raw portions to your dinners over time.
Treat Yourself to Raw Desserts
This is especially helpful if you have a sweet tooth. If you’ve committed to going raw, then start indulging in raw desserts after your meal. There are any number of recipes featuring quick and easy to make treats that will make your transition into a fully raw, plant based diet even sweeter.