I love following a raw food (also know as “living food”) diet. I’m not at 100% raw yet, that’s my final goal. There are tons of benefits, but I wanted to share what I think are the top seven.
Benefit #1: More Energy.
One of the biggest raw food benefits is having more energy and feeling younger. On a typical cooked food diet, your body expends up to two-thirds of it’s energy on digestion alone. Raw food contains enzymes, nutrients, and minerals that our bodies need in an easily digestible form. Since less energy is needed for digestion, you have more energy available for other activities.
Benefit #2: Easier and Faster Digestion.
Raw foods contain living enzymes and promote healthy intestinal flora that help your body digest food quickly and easily. Most of this is destroyed when food is cooked above 118 degrees. When you eat a big cooked meal, a large amount of energy is required to digest the meal. This is a big part of why you feel tired and sleepy after a big Thanksgiving dinner (or any large cooked-food meal). With raw food, digestion and elimination are quick and easy. Additionally, some nutrients (vit. C, for example) are sensitive to heat and are largely destroyed through cooking.
Benefit #3: Lots of Fiber and Naturally Detoxes Your Body.
Raw food assists in naturally detoxing your body. When you eat plenty of raw foods, you’re getting lots of fiber, allowing your body to release mucus, toxins, and accumulated waste. When you eat raw fruits/veggies/nuts, your body can focus on detoxing-instead of having to focus on digesting unhealthy, artificially processed, dead, and packaged foods. Good health requires good elimination-and fiber assists in that process.
Benefit #4: Weight Loss/Easier to Maintain a Healthy Body Weight.
When you eat a raw food diet, you’ll probably lose weight. Why? Because raw food doesn’t contain junk food, harmful additives, hydrogenated oils, or lots of empty calories. Raw food provides maximum nutrition for minimum calories. Most raw fruits and veggies are naturally low in fat, but even the higher fat foods like raw avocados, raw oils, and raw nuts contain heart healthy fat and tons of nutrients.
Benefit #5: Feeling More Rested and Possibly Needing Less Sleep.
Among other raw food benefits, you might experience the need for less sleep. When we eat large amounts of cooked food, the energy required for digestion taxes our bodies. As a result, we need to sleep more to recover. Many people (myself included) report feeling more rested, and needing less sleep on a raw food diet.
Benefit #6: Anti-Aging Benefits.
Raw food contains antioxidants, which play a big role in reducing the signs of aging. Many of these anti-oxidants are destroyed by heat. Research shows that free radical damage causes oxidation – and this is the central process of aging. Free radicals are created as a side-effect of natural metabolism. They are also caused by drugs, environmental poisons and pollutants. The antioxidants and micronutrients in raw foods (fresh fruits & vegetables) reduce free radical damage, and help prevent the signs of aging.
Benefit #7: Healthier Immune System.
Simply because your body is getting exactly what it needs – enzymes and nutrients in an easily digestible form. This means that your body is able to absorb many more nutrients from raw food than from cooked food, and since less energy is expended on digestion, your body can focus it’s energy on rebuilding/repairing itself during illness.