You've heard that raw foods are the best thing for your health, beauty, weight loss and weight management, but aside from fruit and vegetables, what are you actually supposed to eat on a raw diet? And do you need to eat 100% raw in order to see benefits?
The Benefits of a Raw Diet
The point of eating a partial to fully raw diet is to give your digestive system a rest and to replenish the nutrients your body needs to be healthy and vibrant. When your body senses that it is getting the optimal nutrition from raw foods, it switches out of famine mode. When you eat food devoid of nutrition, your body holds onto fat. Once you start eating the right nutrients (found in raw foods) it releases the fat it's been holding onto and you lose weight!
When you eat raw, your body doesn't have to spend all its energy digesting food. Instead, it uses that spared energy to cleanse your organs, tissues, and fluids. As a result- among a multitude of other health and beauty benefits- your skin glows, you have more energy and mental clarity, and you get an awesome boost to your immune system.
What Foods Qualify as Raw?
Anything cooked at a temperature over 118 degrees is NOT raw. Raw foods include uncooked fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds, sprouts, Superfoods (like acai berries, maca, and hemp), and cold-pressed virgin oils like olive, coconut, and avocado. So beans and legumes are not raw because they have to be cooked to be edible.
What Does a Day of Raw Food Look Like?
Here are a few examples:
- cold-pressed juice
- fresh fruit salad
- smoothie made with raw plant-based milk
- coconut chia pudding
- salad w/ extra virgin olive oil based dressing
- creamy dill dip w/ crudites
- raw soup
- fresh fruit
- cashews, almonds, pecans- any raw nuts you like
- dehydrated vegetables- for a salty fix, lightly toss them in extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle with Himalayan salt & black pepper
- spiralized zucchini pasta w/ chopped veggies & fresh herbs
- Greek salad- cucumber, tomato, red onion, artichoke, red bell peppers, olives, olive oil, apple cider vinegar & fresh herbs/spices (skip the feta)
- vegetable wraps made with collard leaves
- dairy-free "nice" cream made by blending frozen bananas
- fresh fruit salad drizzled with raw honey & your favorite toppings (raw examples: unsweetened coconut flakes, cacao nibs, fresh mint, or hemp seeds)