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. So many 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 are you 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.
A raw food diet isn't ideal for everyone, but with the basic information contained here, you now have enough knowledge to discuss it with a specialist in the field, and see if it's something you want to pursue.