Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To Start a Raw Food Diet

Getting started on a raw food diet is not all that difficult but does require some attention to your body and to the foods you will be buying and preparing. For some people there really isn’t much preparation involved, while for others there is more. Preparation will basically be a matter of taste and choice.

There are some things you should know about before you switch to a raw food diet. First and foremost, you should talk to your doctor or nutritional advisor for guidance. Switching to a raw food diet will cause your body will go through changes initially and some of those changes could impact your overall health.

A raw diet consists of 75% or more raw foods. But to switch over from a cooked diet to an uncooked diet from one day to the next can actually shock your body, especially your digestive system. For years you have consumed cooked foods and your body has become accustomed to processing those types of foods. As a general rule of thumb for beginners, you should start out gradually, maybe eating only one raw meal a day, and then slowly work your way toward eating raw at each meal.

One very important thing to note is that a raw food diet has a detoxifying effect on the body. Eating raw foods will actually cleanse the body of toxins and your digestion will improve. However, there are some possible side effects as your body adapts to this new raw food diet. You could experience headaches and nausea, as well as a mild depression.  Have no fear as these are only symptoms of your body making adjustments. If these symptoms persist over a long period of time you should decrease the amount of raw food you are consuming and talk to your doctor or nutritionist.

An important part of raw food dieting is to plan your meals. This especially important in the beginning because your body will be craving certain foods as you change your dieting habits. Sugar and salts are a good example of such cravings because our body doesn’t make these on its own but needs them. Many raw fruits and vegetables have natural salts and sugars in them. The point is to monitor your bodily changes and adjust your dieting plan according to your body’s needs.

If you find it difficult to accommodate your body’s needs with the raw foods in your diet plan you might want to consider adding dietary supplements to your diet. Aloe vera gel is a good example of a dietary supplement. However, there are many more supplements available at your local health food store. It is important for you, as you create your raw diet plan, to research raw dieting options. The purpose behind a raw diet is to improve your health, not make it worse.     

Another important point about raw food diets is not to mix it with a cooked diet. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat cooked foods while on this diet. But it does mean that, during a meal, you don’t want to mix them. The reason for this is that cooked foods, when mixed with a raw diet, will neutralize many of enzymes and nutrients in the raw food, basically defeating the whole purpose of being on a raw diet. Also, mixing these two types of diets can actually make your digestive system work harder, again defeating the purpose of the raw food diet.

As you get further along in your raw food diet don’t be afraid to try eating your raw foods in different ways. Some people on raw food diets prefer eating their foods in their natural state and don’t cut or blend. On the other hand, there are some who slice, dice, chop, and even blend their raw foods. It’s all pretty much a matter of personal preference, as neither way diminishes they nutritional value of the food.  There are many raw food diet books with information and recipes to help you make the switch.  Visit RawFood4Life.info for more information.

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Raw Food Vs. Cooked Food - What Happens When We Heat Food

Did you know that human beings are the only creatures on Earth that heat up their food before eating it? Think about it: do you know of any animals that cook anything that they eat in any way, shape or form?  Humans, like other species on Earth, are biologically adapted to eating raw foods. The human body is built to be able to break down raw foods into the most basic nutrients, vitamins, minerals and proteins that are needed to survive, using them as effective body fuel for everyday living. Heat breaks down the chemical and nutritional makeup of food, eliminating important nutrients that our bodies crave and need. Add to that harmful toxins and pesticides, preservatives and artificial additives, and it becomes so much more evident why we humans aren't as healthy as we should be. In essence, we are killing our bodies by feeding them inappropriately.

By contrast, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has many countless benefits. It is widely known that a diet that focuses on raw foods is great for the skin, for example. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins that help your complexion stay soft, supple, and healthy, and, not surprisingly, they are a wonderful source of hydration and energy. In addition, grains, legumes and other raw produce are high in fiber and protein, helping with digestion and functioning of vital organs.

One of the most exciting and significant benefits found in eating uncooked foods is how it encourages the body to break down foods properly and efficiently, significantly decreasing and in some cases eliminating harmful toxins that are secreted out of our bodies. As a result, out bodies are able to maintain much healthier chemical levels. The human body then becomes a well-oiled machine, breaking down harmful chemicals, boosting the immune system and eliminating harmful excesses from the body.

It is no coincidence that conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension have all been linked to dietary habits, which is exactly why it should also come as no surprise that studies show a significant decrease in these illnesses among people who practice raw food and vegan lifestyles. But did you know that scientific studies now show that people who are on raw food and extreme vegan diets are at a lower risk for developing many types of cancers, including breast and colon cancers? Or that they are also at a lower risk of developing heart disease? In addition, those who practice raw food diets are less prone to mental conditions like depression and anxiety, all the while maintaining sharp reflexes and great memory.

These are just some of the ways that the human body is predisposed to the Raw Food lifestyle, and why in the long run it may be beneficial to you to buy raw foods and change your eating habits to a more natural, organic, and ultimately healthier way of living. Visit RawFood4Life.info to find out how you can join the ranks of those who are switching over to the raw food diet and ditching unhealthy eating practices. You will be helping both your body and your mind become the best that they can be.

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Why Should I Eat Raw Food?

Now don’t go getting all squeamish on me. We’re not talking about eating raw meat here. The raw food diet is a largely vegan diet. There is also some room for maneuver in the raw food diet too as the people who support it say that to get the maximum health benefits from the raw food diet you only have to make sure that approximately 75-80% of what you eat needs to be raw.

People who support the raw food diet as a healthy lifestyle argue that foods in their natural state contain the optimum balance of enzymes, vitamins and minerals that we need. They argue that the enzymes contained in raw food - which are killed off by cooking -  help people to digest their food more fully and so derive more nutritional value from it. That places less stress on the body to produce its own digestive enzymes.

Raw food supporters also believe that the cooking we normally do to our food destroys their natural vitamins and minerals and that food takes longer to digest in this cooked, unnatural state. The cooked food therefore hangs around longer in the gut while the body attempts to digest it. The proteins, carbohydrates and fats which have not been fully digested also become waste products. These waste products slow down the food’s transit through the gut, causing constipation, bloating, stomach cancer etc, while the fats tend to clog up the arteries. A raw food diet, which is higher in fiber too, pushes the food more quickly through the gut and there are fewer waste by-products which are left around to cause problems to the body.

Basically, a raw food diet makes your whole digestion process a lot more efficient. It delivers more of the essential vitamins and nutrients which our bodies need and leaves behind fewer waste products which can become harmful to our bodies.

The health benefits of the raw food diet include an increase in energy as your body is maximizing the amount of nutrients it actually gets where it needs it; plus the body has to work less hard in order to process the raw food.

You should find that your skin looks more clear on the raw food diet. That is because your body is taking in fewer toxins which would cause skin eruptions. The raw food diet is a good detox!
Your digestive system will work more efficiently on the raw food diet. Food will pass through the gut more quickly and waste will be expelled regularly. That is great for avoiding health problems like IBS and stomach cancer.

You may also find that you lose weight and manage your weight more effectively on the raw food diet. It is lower in fat that most people’s eating habits. There is less fat hung around in the body to clog up arteries and pile on the pounds. That in turn reduces your risk of contracting heart disease.

All in all, then, you can see that if you eat at least 75% raw food diet foods it will be much better for your health. Visit RawFood4Life.info to find out how you can lessen your risk of serious diseases and generally look and feel better while by following the raw food diet.

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Just What Is A Raw Food Diet?

Those who do not really know what a raw food diet is might think it’s a diet that only rabbits like. These same people might think that a raw food diet is equal to a vegetarian diet in that a person on a raw diet eats nothing but fruits and vegetables, hence the thinking a raw food diet is for rabbits. It is true that rabbits eat fruits and vegetables, but a raw food diet has much more to it than eating just eating carrots, lettuce, or apples.

What is meant by a raw food diet? This popular eating habit is a diet consisting of not only the eating of fresh fruits and vegetables. But it also includes eating nuts, seeds and sprouts. It includes drinking purified water, and dairy products that are not pasteurized. In addition, a raw food diet can include the consumption of any unprocessed food that is free of chemicals. In a nut shell, this is what a raw food diet is, no pun intended.

Raw food dieting is in no way a new, quirky idea. Mankind as a whole has been a raw food eater since the dawn of time. In fact, raw food is all our early ancestors ate, primarily because at that time in our existence we were rather nomadic, moving from place to place from day to day. We hadn’t invented fire yet. It was easier just to pick and eat berries, nuts, fruits, and vegetables as we moved about the earth’s surface.  

Today the raw food diet has a well established following and has even attracted many celebrities to its followers like Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore to mention just two. There have also been many books written and published on the subject to guide anyone interested in raw food dieting. There are even specialized classes in colleges and universities for the nutritionist to study in the raw food diet.

To be a true raw food dieter the diet consists of between seventy-five to ninety percent raw foods. That is, foods that are not cooked by any means. The balance of the diet might consist of foods that are sun-dried or dehydrated, but with this done at temperatures below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The key element of a raw food diet is not to eat any foods that are cooked, baked or microwaved.

It is believed by advocates and followers of raw food dieting that preparing foods by any form of cooking damages the food and cooks out many valuable nutrients. And there is considerable scientific evidence to support this belief. There are many foods that when cooked, have some nutritional elements that become neutralized and therefore of no real value for the body and when consumed the body must then waste energy to eliminate them.

There is also medical evidence that suggests the body benefits from a raw food diet. Studies indicate that those people who are on a raw food diet have greater energy and are at a lower risk for blood pressure and heart issues. In addition, there are fewer complaints about digestive issues, not to mention reports of significant weight loss from raw food dieters.

The raw food diet, although good for most, may not be good for everyone. In considering a raw food diet menu, it is always best to consult your physician before getting too far along in the diet. Visit RawFood4Life.info for more information.     
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The Raw Food Diet - Not Just for Rabbits!

It’s been said that a raw food diet program is the most influential diet trend to hit the scene in years. For many people, they hear that term: raw, and they figure they know exactly what’s involved in it. However, you’d be surprised as what it really encompasses.

Of course, a raw diet is nothing new. Looking back over the history of humanity, primitive man ate a raw diet prior to the discovery of fire. In modern times, at the beginning of the 20th century, a number of people began to advocate a return to such a diet as being the healthiest way for people to live.

Your mouth is – quite naturally – the means by which food enters your body. A key benefit of raw foods is that you have to chew them well before swallowing. No doubt your parents may have told you to chew your food a certain number of times before swallowing! The reason for this is that the digestive process starts in the mouth. Chewing releases saliva, an enzyme that helps you digest your food better. In the case of starches, it begins the process of breaking it down into its component sugar molecules.

Some people wonder if a raw food diet means you eat raw meat. No, that is not the case. For the most part, a raw diet is a vegetarian diet. In general, your diet will be composed of things like fresh fruit and vegetables (and their juices), nuts, seeds and sprouted seeds, purified water and unpasteurized dairy products. There are other foods included in the diet, but it’s important that they be unprocessed and free of any chemicals or preservatives. Typically, a raw food diet means that about three-quarters of the food you eat is raw. The remaining components of your diet are usually dehydrated fruits and vegetables. You can either buy them that way, or get yourself a dehydrator specially made for food. The one caveat with such a device: be sure that it operates below 116 degrees Fahrenheit; a good dehydrator functions best at this temperature.

Now, once you start eating the raw food diet, you’ll start to see some of the benefits and then you won’t miss those steaks and chops you once ate. A raw food diet will lower your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes, give you more energy, improve the glow to your skin by erasing some of the signs of aging, diminish your digestive troubles, help you to control your weight loss, and even get rid of some of those illnesses and chronic health conditions you may be suffering from. Most processed foods have so many chemicals that we still don’t know the long-term health impact of. By purging your body of these things, you can see a real improvement in your overall health.

Of course, deciding on a raw diet isn’t as simple as starting to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, and that’s it. No, you should always meet with a doctor or dietician to design a diet just right for you. For one thing, you may have a food allergy that can cause you trouble, for example, if you are lactose or gluten intolerant.  If so, you must avoid dairy and/or some grains. Gluten is present in most grains; so the doctor will tell you to substitute whole grain rice. Then there are certain vitamins and minerals that you need on a daily basis. If you don’t eat certain foods (maybe you don’t like certain vegetables), then you’ll need to take supplements.

Raw food diet meal plans aren't ideal for everyone, but you can find more information at RawFood4Life.info, and talk to your doctor about the benefits of a raw food diet.

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