What is raw food? Advantages and disadvantages of raw food diets

The Raw Food diet is a way of eating that is enjoying success and notoriety thanks to its spread among Hollywood celebrities, especially for its anti-aging action.

In ancient times, the human species ate only raw foods and began to use fire in order to make edible foods that couldn’t be eaten raw in nature.

According to the raw food philosophy, heat is therefore a relatively recent introduction in food processing and in the evolutionary history of the human race. Its use in kitchen is not frowned upon, because cooking destroys many nutrients such as vitamins and enzymes.

In this diet you can not treat food at temperatures above 45°C.

There are many streams of raw food (raw food omnivore, fruitarians and so on) but the most common is the vegan one, which includes the contribution of almost every product of the plant world: fruit, vegetables, oil seeds, sprouts and seaweed. Therefore is considered only natural and “living” food: foods subjected to industrial processes, refining, additives and preservatives are banned.

With ingredients always in season, a reasoned and balanced diet and the support of some tools, you can meet the nutritional needs and you can also perfectly satisfy the sense of taste. Blenders, centrifuges, extractors, dryers (an oven that does not exceed 45 degrees Celsius), sprouter and “tempering vegetables” are the best friends of raw fooder.


The raw diet does not cook with fire, but uses techniques often old, sometimes rather complex and lengthy, also present in other diets such as macrobiotic. Fermentation is an example: food or beverages are left grow old a few days or weeks, so that they can be colonized by bacteria and yeast and good pre-digested, making the nutrients more easily assimilated by the human body.

Examples of fermented foods? Yogurt, wine, sauerkraut, kombucha tea, soy sauce or miso, kefir, pickled vegetables, mustards. Rice and some other grains, however, must be sprouted, or be soaked to be softened and therefore more digestible, in order to activate their enzymes and deactivate enzyme inhibitors.

Raw food diet helps our body to detoxify and regain its self-healing abilities.

There are scientific studies proving that raw food is good for health?
The best-known recent study was collected in the book “The China Study“, written by the American scientist T. Colin Campbell. This study, lasted 27 years, highlights the damage of a diet too rich in animal protein. Italian luminaries as Umberto Veronesi and Franco Berrino also promote the health aspect of this lifestyle.

But how can you get closer to raw food? Initially adding to our diet plenty of fruit, above all in the morning as breakfast, throughout the day as snacks and never after a cooked meal, to avoid heaviness and swelling. The consumption of raw vegetables, especially at the beginning of the meal, helps to increase the amount of fiber and make you feel more satiated, also introducing fewer calories.

The benefits of a raw food diet arrive almost immediately, but the approach to the raw food should be slow and gradual, just to avoid unpleasant detoxification effects (nausea, bloating, heaviness, acne, candida, flatulence). One of the properties of the raw food is actually to help the body eliminate sedimented toxins and cleanse especially the digestive system. The body is in fact gradually educated to digest the amount of raw food that had never been used to.

The disadvantage of a raw food diet is to not consider the benefits that derive from the cooking of foods, such as the elimination of many pathogenic microorganisms (for example: Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Clostridium botulinum, etc..).
Even the claim that cooking destroys the enzymes contained in food may be denied: they however undergo a process of denaturation, after you eat them, because of the acidity of the stomach.

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