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The raw food diet is definitely not the easiest of diets to commit to, especially not in the society we are living in. But there’s no denying that eating raw food offers amazing health benefits for both the body as well as for the mind.
In this article I am outlining the benefits of raw food in relation to different groups of people and goals. A lot of the below benefits have been reported by people who have transitioned into a raw food diet.
Raw Food Diet Benefits:
Raw Food Benefits for Weight Loss
A lot of people come to raw foods to lose weight. And although that’s typically not why I would go on a raw food diet, there are definite benefits.
1. What Goes in Must Come Out
When you’re eating whole raw foods, your body knows exactly what to do with them. This makes it easier for your body to digest the food, and allow it to pass through you.
It’s a simple equation: if what you eat doesn’t come out the other end, then it’s staying in your body, and making you gain weight.
With raw foods, which are all brimming with fiber and other natural cleaners, you can be sure that what goes in will come out. After all, you really don’t want to be carrying around food from 20 years ago!
2. Nourishment for Your Body
When you eat raw foods you are feeding your body with the utmost source of nutrition.
Have you ever seen someone or done this yourself: you have a huge pizza or a burger and fries, and then you’re still hungry only half an hour later?
It’s most likely because the food that you just ate is really not feeding your body what it actually needs.
When you truly feed your body, you aren’t always starving, looking for your next meal. Your body stops sending you signals to eat, because it has what it needs to rebuild itself, heal, and make you a more vibrant and beautiful person.
3. Raw Foods Give You Energy to Exercise
If you’re overweight, you might feel tired and sluggish, which stops you from exercising. Ideally we should exercise daily, for at least 30 minutes. But what happens when you’re just too unfit and tired to actually exercise for that long?
That’s where eating raw food comes in. When you eat raw, you find yourself with much more energy, and maybe even more motivation to get fit.
Suddenly those two flights of stairs that used to haunt you become doable again. And it’s a beautiful upward spiral: if you eat raw you lose weight, you then feel like exercising, and in turn you lose more weight, which can all lead to a healthier body.
Raw Food Benefits for Weight Gain
Raw food can also help with weight gain. Some people have a hard time gaining weight and look thin to an unhealthy level.
A raw foods diet can help you fill out more, without eating a tub of ice cream per day. It’s all about feeding your body the right way.
1. When Eating Lots of Calories Is a “Good Thing”
When you’re eating raw food, you tend to get hungry faster, depending on what you ate before transitioning to raw. Fresh fruits and vegetables are light and easy to digest, so you get hungry after they’ve passed through you.
This means you’re bound to eat more small meals throughout the day. When you’re eating more often, you give yourself the fuel you need. Your body never has a chance to go into starvation mode.
2. Giving Your Body What It Needs
Raw food has a lot of nutrients, enzymes, and minerals that you might not be getting from a regular fast-food type of diet.
If your body doesn’t get the building blocks it needs, then it’s not going to build muscle or other tissues that make you gain weight and look healthy.
And don’t worry about the protein: raw leafy vegetables contain lots of protein, and so do hemp seeds, and other nuts and seeds.
3. Finding the Right Weight for You
Eating raw and living food will help you to find your true body. If you’re overweight you will lose weight, if you’re underweight you will gain weight.
Each of us has an ideal body weight that matches our body’s metabolism and genetics. It’s just a matter of feeding yourself with the best food you can find, and then letting your body do the rest to find its ideal weight.
Raw Food Benefits for College Students
A raw food diet can also offer great benefits for college students, I’ve been there myself. Below are just some of the benefits, and I’m sure others will have experienced other benefits too.
1. Raw Food Provides Energy to Study
Or to pull all-nighters, as some might say. When you’re a college student, you are constantly on the go: you’re either doing assignments, working on group projects, or studying for midterms and finals.
The more energy you have to keep going, the better you will do.
Let’s face it, a lot of people in college drink far too much coffee and energy drinks to artificially boost their energy. Not being dependent on these harmful, addictive substances can save money, and prevent long term side effects.
2. You Get a Flexible Food Schedule
Being able to blend a meal within a few minutes really saved me a lot of time. I was able to make a green smoothie for breakfast, or whenever I didn’t have time to make something more involved.
I knew I was getting the nutrition I needed because I was adding lots of green leafy vegetables and supplements. These smoothies gave me the energy I needed, and took less than 10 minutes to make.
You can also schedule your food preparation for the whole week in advance. You can make a few simple recipes on Sunday that are ready to go for most of the week.
For example, I used to make a herb salad with sunflower seeds on Sundays after my grocery shopping. I could bring some of it with me for lunch for a few days, hassle-free.
3. Mental Clarity
When you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to concentrate, it’s much easier to learn, and apply what you learn. Going raw gradually will see your grades improve along with your transition.
Waking up to go to early classes won’t be a problem anymore. A green smoothie in the morning is enough to keep you satisfied until lunch. For lunch, eat a nutritious raw meal and you’ll be ready for the afternoon classes.
4. Improved Immune System and Overall Health
Every winter college students tend to get sick and fall behind. Since most University students get by on very little sleep, lots of caffeine, and pizza, it’s no wonder that colds spread easily.
No one wants to be sick during midterms, finals, or big projects. Although maintaining a predominantly raw food diet isn’t a guarantee against colds, it does help to keep your immune system humming.
It’s much easier to do well in your classes when you’re healthy. You aren’t going to miss class because of a passing flu, and you can devote your energy to your studies instead of fighting off viruses.
Raw Food Benefits for Mothers
Mothers can also benefit from eating raw foods, whether they go all raw or not. Many of these benefits are those reported by friends and other raw vegans.
1. Increased Breast Milk
If you’re a new mother having a hard time providing breast milk for your child, you will be pleased to know that raw food can help. You don’t need to go all raw in order to get the benefits of raw food, and provide enough milk to your children.
Simply drinking 8-16 ounces of green leafy juices every day will help you produce more milk. Here’s a simple recipe that you can use and adapt:
- 5 Leaves of kale, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, bok choy, or other green leafy vegetable
- 2 Stalks celery
- 1 Apple
- Half a lemon
You could also add some carrots, cabbage, or more apples to change the taste!
2. Weight Loss After Giving Birth
Every woman wants to be able to get back to their slim selves after giving birth. Sometimes it’s a lot easier said than done.
If you’ve been eating a high percentage of raw foods before and during your pregnancy, you won’t have much to worry about.
On the other hand if you put on some weight that’s just not coming off, be gentle with yourself and take the transition to raw foods slowly. You don’t want to experience detox while you are breast-feeding.
Just know that incorporating more raw foods, green smoothies, and salads in your diet will get you where you want to be. Oh, and that little thing called exercise too!
3. Reduced Post-Partum Depression
Be sure to eat enough chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, and other nuts & seeds before, during, and after your pregnancy. These foods give you tons of healthful Omega-3 fatty acids, that prevent post-partum depression.
Plus if you continue to feed your brain with these healthy oily nuts and seeds, you will be able to better deal with stress.
Being a mom can be a stressful job, so give your brain the ability to “shut down” the stress response when it needs to with these Omega-3 foods!
Raw Food Benefits for the Elderly
A lot of the below benefits are especially important for the elderly, but they also act as a preventative measure for us younger folks.
Eating raw food definitely helps to alleviate many of the issues that we commonly associate with growing old.
1. Enzymes to Digest
Most people eating a Standard American Diet, which is low in enzymes, develop digestion issues. These digestion issues are really caused by using the body’s enzymes to digest food, instead of taking the enzymes that come with the food.
By choosing to eat more raw and living foods, which are full of enzymes, you give your body everything it needs to digest food. You are then providing your body with enzymes every time you eat, instead of depleting your supply of enzymes.
So what happens if an elderly person has been eating a highly processed diet with few whole foods or raw foods? Eating raw foods then gives their digestion system a break, and allows them to fully adsorb all the nutrients in the food itself!
2. Helps With Elimination
I’ve spoken to many an elderly person who has said that moving their bowels every day is an issue. Some turn to prune juice, laxatives, suppositories, and other means while some just suffer through it.
Daily elimination doesn’t need to be such a struggle, no matter your age. Diet and exercise are so important when it comes to a healthy colon that can eliminate effortlessly. That’s why eating lots of roughage like green leafy vegetables is great for the elderly who have elimination issues.
3. Rich in Water Content
For some reason the elderly don’t like to go to the bathroom very often to pee. So they tend to avoid drinking a lot of water.
We all know how important it is to drink enough water, but if you can’t convince an elderly person to drink more water, the least you can do is help them eat foods that are rich in water content.
When someone’s skin gets wrinkly and saggy, it’s not just because this person is getting older. It’s a sign that his or her body might be lacking water. Green leafy juices and cucumber juices will also help keep skin looking young.
So don’t let “going to the bathroom too often” be an excuse for your elderly relatives. Get that water rich raw food into them and they will thank you with more energy, improved moods, and increased vitality.