A raw food diet is based upon uncooked, unprocessed plant-derived foods. Staples of the diet include organic fruits and vegetables, sprouts, unprocessed grains, nuts, beans and seaweed.
People either willing to lose weight or just trying to stay fit, all are opting for a raw food diet as it is believed to be packed with nutrients, low in calories and high in fiber.
Although a raw food diet offers a number of benefits to one’s health, there are also some concerns regarding this type of diet.
Some vegetables may be more beneficial when cooked. Cooking tomatoes, for example, makes the antioxidant lycopene available to the consumer’s body, according to researchers from Cornell University. However, cooking also destroyed vitamin C.
If you’re on a vegan raw food diet, you may need to take supplements to get enough vitamin D, iron, zinc and vitamin B-12. A study published in October 2005 in “The Journal of Nutrition” found that 38 percent of the study participants on raw food diets were deficient in vitamin B-12. Eating raw eggs and unpasteurized dairy products can also increase the risk of foodborne illness.
There are people who experience mild headaches, cravings and nausea a few days after starting a diet of raw foods. These are some reactions from detoxification by raw foods and are commonly experienced by people who used to eat a lot of meat, caffeine or sugar.
Eating raw foods can possibly lead to parasites infesting the body. Not cooking meat means that parasites that may be present in it will continue to survive. Once a parasite infested food is consumed, these parasites, and its eggs, will transfer to the person’s body. These parasites will then compete with the system for nutrients, which may eventually lead to a nutrient deficiency for the person.