Raw Diet

ImageIn the name of good health, they are going raw.

"They" are the followers of the raw diet, an eating plan based on unprocessed, organic whole plant-based foods that are eaten uncooked. Supporters of this way of life assert that raw and living foods contain essential food enzymes that are destroyed when cooked -- live food, live body; dead food, dead body. Raw food diets are used as a way of fasting and cleansing the body of toxins.

Individuals who buy into the idea of raw foodism promote a diet of uncooked, unprocessed and sometimes organic foods. Depending on which form of the diet you are indulging in, the peak temperature ranges between 92 and 116 degrees, but never any higher than that. The philosophy of individuals who swear by a raw diet is the more, the better. At least 75 percent of this organic, whole plant-based diet should be uncooked, according to most plans.

The greater percentage of raw foods consumed in the diet, the greater the health benefits. Some experts recommend getting started with 70 or 80 percent raw foods in the diet. Enjoy fruit and salad in the daytime. Yet at night, consume a cooked vegetable meal accompanied by a salad. This allows the body to adapt through a transition period.

These enzymes promote optimal digestion without needing the assistance of digestive enzymes produced by the body. Raw diet advocates also maintain that cooking foods destroys vitamins and minerals in foods. Since the diet is rich in nutrients, fiber and potassium and limited in sodium and saturated fat, it reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.