Going raw means some major changes to your diet but can also produce some significant health benefits. So, what does going raw involve?
What Does "Raw" Mean?
A raw diet consists of eating foods that are in their purest form that haven't been cooked above 118 degrees fahrenheit. These foods should be organic, unprocessed and non-GMO whenever possible. The main foods you consume on a raw diet are nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. That doesn't mean you can't include any animal products. Raw dairy milk is also more widely available nowadays and you can eat fish raw or meat (as long as it's of the right grade) or dehydrate them.
As with any diet, there are pros and cons to choosing a raw diet. Raw foods at at their purest form, which means they're rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. Eating them means you can get the maximum amount into your body. These nutrients support every function of the body, from the immune system to tissue health and that's a definite pro. Raw, organic and unprocessed foods are also free of preservatives and added sugar and sodium, which can lead to weight loss.
When done right, a raw diet could provide all these benefits, but done wrong, you can miss out on essential nutrients like iron, protein and vitamin B12. This doesn't have to mean eating meat, though, if you're trying to avoid it. Making sure your diet is balanced by doing your research and shopping carefully can help you avoid missing out on what your body needs to keep your energy up and your body strong. The other potential con is the fact cooking also kills bacteria and can boost the potency of some nutrients, like lycopene, which is found in tomatoes.
About Raw Supplements
Supplements that are labeled "raw" are prepared in the same way as raw foods. These supplements are produced from whole foods themselves and thus shouldn't be heated up to more than 118 degrees fahrenheit during processing to maintain the essential compounds of the foods used to make them. Whenever possible, look for supplements that are made with organic ingredients and classified as free of genetically modified organisms and fillers.
These supplements are said to be easier to digest and you can even take them without food as long as you have plenty of water. As always, check with your doctor before adding supplements to your routine, especially if you're pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medication.
Tips for Going Raw
If you're interested in making the switch to a raw diet, we have some tips to help you get there faster. To recap:
- Buy organic, non-GMO produce.
- Avoid processed and prepackaged foods -- more and more raw options are becoming available, so read the labels carefully.
- Set aside a day for meal prep to help you stay on track.
- Check out your local farmers' market for high quality produce.
- Make sure your kitchen has the right equipment, such as a food processor, blender, juicer and dehydrator. You should also consider getting a mandolin so you can thinly slice vegetables, like zucchini for a pasta replacement.
- You can also pickle foods or grow your own sprouts from nuts, seeds and legumes.
We carry a variety of raw supplements at eVitamins so start your journey today right here.