Humans have learned long ago that cooking before eating would protect them from getting parasites. Since the ancient times, the practice of cooking includes all types of foods, and it’s considered as a culinary art. The average meal usually doesn’t include raw elements except for the green salad and fresh fruit dessert.
However, there are a lot of advantages to eating raw foods. Raw foods are those simple foods harvested directly from a tree, a bush or a vine. The idea behind the raw food diet is that heating food destroys nutrients and natural enzymes.
Incorporating raw food in your diet may lead you to find a lot of benefits for your body, your time, and even for the environment.
Here are some benefits to adapting a raw food diet:
1. A raw food diet helps you digest more enzymes
Cooking can kill the enzymes from food, which boosts digestion and helps fight chronic diseases. Enzymes are important in keeping the body healthy, and eating raw foods help replenish your body’s enzyme stores. This means you can stay healthier for longer and age more slowly.
2. A raw food diet lets you absorb more vitamins
It’s a well-known fact that when vegetables are cooked, a large amount vitamins are lost. For instance, a raw carrot contains around 9.3 grams of Vitamin C per 100 grams, but a boiled carrot only contains around 2.3 grams of vitamin C per 100 grams. So, by just eating your carrots raw, you can quadruple your vitamin C intake. For no added time and cost for cooking, you are getting four times more nutrients.
3. It can aid in weight loss
A raw vegan diet is effective for helping people lose weight and maintain it. There are a lot of studies that consistently link raw food diets, including raw vegan diets, to lower amount of body fat. If you need to shed off extra pounds, it will help if you add more amounts of raw food in your daily diet and remove junk foods and sweet drinks.
4. It has better quality
Raw foods keep the food in its best quality, so you tend to eat less to satisfy your nutritional needs. Cooking can damage proteins and fats, destroys enzymes and deplete vitamins. As your percentage of raw food increases, you feel satisfied and have more energy even with smaller meals, because raw food has the best balance of fiber, nutrients and water to meet your body’s needs.
5. It takes little time to prepare and greatly reduces risks of burning
Because you don’t need to cook, add spices and do some extra preparation, you spend less time in the kitchen. You mostly need to wash the food and mix them up for your meals. This saves you time, helps the stoves and the ovens rest, and help make children be more independent in food preparation. Because you don’t have to cook, there’s little chance of burns. No burns to your skin, your tongue, fingers or the roof of your mouth.
6. It makes cleaning up after a meal easy
Because you don’t need to cook raw meals, cleaning up will be a snap. There will be no baked-on food pieces, crusty messes, oily pans and a dingy stove to clean after a cooking session. Plus, the inedible parts of your food can go directly to the compost pile.
7. It allows you to take in more protein
Cooking food also reduces the protein content of a food. According to the Max Plank Institute in Germany, about 50% of proteins are destroyed during the process of cooking. Protein is a very important macronutrient that allows proper cellular and muscular health, smooth functioning of enzymes and hormones, and a stronger immune defense.
8. It helps in cleansing the body
Eating more raw food can help your body cleanse and alkalize itself. Have you ever heard of detox diets? Usually, these diets consist of raw foods, which help clean the blood and eliminate toxins from your body through the kidneys, lungs, intestines, lymphatic system and skin. If your body is acidic, you are at risk for degenerative diseases, so eating raw foods can bring the pH level of your body back to normal.
9. It helps improve digestion
The high amount of fiber in fresh vegetables and fruits can help improve your digestion. If you’re going for a raw vegan diet, you introduce your stomach to high levels of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers help feed the good bacterial to your intestines, while insoluble fibers can add bulk to your stools and help food move quickly through the gut, which prevents constipation.
10. It helps prevent cancer
Cooking food creates free radicals, which are the leading cause of cancer. When you lower the number of free radicals you consume, you also lower your risk of cancer.
11. It reduces the risk of diabetes
Because raw food diet means removing unhealthy, sugary foods from your diet and focusing on healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, it helps lower the risk of diabetes. A raw food diet is rich in fiber, which is known to help lower blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity. Vegan and vegetarian diets are linked to lower risks of type 2 diabetes.
12. It can help improve heart health
Raw diet can help improve heart health because it focuses on fruits and vegetables. These foods help lower blood pressure, thus reducing risk of heart diseases and stroke. Nuts, seeds, legumes and sprouted whole grains are also part of a raw food diet, and these foods help improve blood cholesterol levels. According to studies, raw vegan diets particularly excel at reducing bad cholesterol from the body.
13. It helps protect you from acute diseases
Raw foods help keep your body’s defenses working properly to prevent diseases. It helps strengthen your immune system, thus lowering your risks for acute diseases like colds, flu, measles and the like.
14. It helps you save money
You may think, organic foods actually cost more. But going on a raw food diet can help you save money on other cooking expenses like pots and pans, appliances and electricity bill. If you are close to a farmer’s market or if you own a vegetable or fruit garden, then you can save a lot on food as well. Because a raw food diet can improve your overall health, it helps you save cash on doctor appointments, medicines, vitamins and health insurance.
15. It causes less pollution
Obviously, cooking causes pollution due to the large amounts of fuel or petroleum gas needed for cooking. The smokes emitted by cooking also adds to the pollutants released into the atmosphere. If you do less cooking, less pollutants will be released into the air.
16. It is good for the environment
Going for a raw food diet helps you reduce garbage from enormous amounts of processed foods. Processed foods are heavily packed in paper or plastic, which mostly ends up in landfills, so you can greatly reduce your carbon footprint if you go 50% raw.
Ideally speaking, if humanity adapted raw food diet, a lot of manufacturing factories would close up and be replaced with farms and organic plantations. This will help save lots of energy and natural resources to produce power for these industries. A lot of trees and oil reserves can be saved. There will also be more oxygen produced by all the new farms, gardens and orchards, which will help slow global warming.