Raw Food Diet: Can It Be Healthy?

A summer salad or a fresh smoothie are regularly on the menu for many. But what if the diet consists largely of unprocessed and unheated foods? What raw food means – for health and enjoyment.

Raw food nutrition relies on the freshest, unprocessed food possible. In order not to deprive the food of any healthy ingredients, it is not heated. So the stove stays cold, instead a knife and cutting board, a sturdy food processor (for blending, grating, grinding, and pureeing), and maybe a dehydrator are the most important kitchen utensils.

Whoever thinks that raw foodists only eat vegetables and fruit as well as nuts, kernels and seeds is wrong. While there are vegan and vegetarian fractions, eating raw can also mean eating raw fish, meat, and eggs, and sometimes raw milk and raw milk cheese.

Raw food doesn’t have to be vegan

How raw food is ultimately implemented can therefore look very different – but mostly raw food eaten plant-based. Relying on raw food does not have to mean only munching on carrots, no, the “raw kitchen” can be quite creative: Spaghetti made from zucchini is conceivable, for example; No-bake brownies made from dates and nuts and much more imaginative.

But can a pure raw food diet also be healthy? Eating raw food can, for example, help to normalize unhealthy blood fat levels again, said nutritionist Petra Bracht of the German Press Agency (dpa). In her practice, the doctor has also observed rapid improvements in many typical lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, allergies, pain and cardiovascular diseases after a change in diet.

As soon as you change your diet, the intestinal flora also change. This in turn has a direct effect on the immune system, says Bracht, who has been eating at least 50 percent raw food for 30 years.

Pure raw food is not recommended

However, the nutritionist does not advocate pure raw food. Because: If you only eat fruit, vegetables and herbs, this can lead to a protein deficiency. If the diet is too one-sided, it can also lead to weight loss. And: It can happen that menstruation does not occur. “50 to 70 percent raw food is optimal,” Bracht told dpa.

If you want to incorporate more raw food meals into your everyday life, it is best to start with small steps: A salad as a side dish, a breakfast of freshly ground grain and fruit, a homemade energy ball made from dates as a snack.

Raw food diet tips

If you want to include (more) raw food in your diet, we have the following recommendations:

Thorough chewing is important, especially with raw food, as it does good preliminary work for digestion.
Anyone who hardly eats meat or fish should also keep an eye on their nutrient supply and make sure, for example, that they are consuming enough vitamin B12.
Raw food is diverse: in addition to well-known fruit and vegetables, wild herbs, root vegetables, seeds, sprouts, and nuts provide variety.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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