Discover the benefits  of going raw Discover the benefits  of going raw

Discover the benefits of going raw

Trends 3 October, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.

While it is restrictive, this vegetable-based diet gets the most out of the vitamins and nutrients in fruits, seeds and vegetables.

Medical Advisors Alicia Cleves Huergo – Nutritionist and Dietitian, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare, 
Sandro Gómez – Nutritionist

A raw food diet means that 100% of its ingredients are vegetable-based such as fruits, vegetables and seeds, and that when cooked, temperatures do not rise above 118°F, approximately the maximum temperature they can reach when they are exposed to the sun. Essentially, this means that they are consumed raw and are not processed, which preserves the enzymes, nutrients, vitamins and fiber they provide – essential to the chemical processes of the human body.

This is a diet that aligns the care of your health, planet, ecosystems, and animals, but also calls the nutritional value it provides the body into question.

As Javier Medvedovsky states in the blog “Zen” from the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, raw foodism is a lifestyle that consists of eating fresh foods just as they are created in nature, “So while this diet is popular now, it actually dates back to ancient times.” Medvedovsky is a raw food chef and is the author of the book Espiritual chef.

The culinary techniques of this type of cuisine include germinating, fermenting, blending, crushing, cutting with different techniques and dehydrating to achieve different textures and flavors. “People who follow this diet stay away from fast food and processed foods, which helps keep their blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control. This diet is very restrictive, however, especially when it comes to proteins.

The recommendation is for dishes to consist of 70% of raw seeds, fruits and vegetables and 30% of legumes,” explains nutritionist Sandro Gómez. In the best-case scenario, the idea is to also eat in a responsible, conscious way, respecting the nutritional needs of each individual.

As the nutritionist Alicia Cleves Huergo adds, any diet or nutritional plan should be assessed by an expert in nutrition, as not all bodies are the same when it comes to eating certain types of foods, and health risks can become involved if food groups are not consumed in a balanced way.

In general, vegetable-based products allow the body to receive all the vitamins, minerals and fiber they contain. Also, by mixing these food groups together, this helps prevent constipation as it improves the digestive tract. “Due to its fiber content and volume, these food groups make us chew more, which makes us more satisfied than if we were to consume them in juices, purees or soups,” Cleves adds.

Be Careful

Some schools of raw foodism include eating raw meat, known as a raw animal food diet. Extra precautions must be taken in this case, especially to avoid foodborne illnesses, as poor hygiene can cause contamination. Specifically, pork can cause trichinosis while chicken and eggs can cause salmonella poisoning if they are raw or not thoroughly cooked.

“These conditions are very dangerous for pregnancies or for immunosuppressed patients, as these people live in a very vulnerable state,” Cleves adds.

Therefore, before following a diet just because it is popular, healthy or for personal preferences, it is important to learn the benefits and drawbacks of it in order to make the best decision for yourself. (You may be interested: Nutrition for life).

Did you know?

  • Raw foodism is a form of veganism.
  • This diet excludes the consumption of fried foods, refined products, processed foods and artificial preservatives, and it greatly reduces the consumption of gluten.
  • Because this diet is based on raw fruits and vegetables, it also contributes a significant amount of liquids.
  • In some cases, overcooking certain vegetables, especially in water, can cause vegetables to lose important nutrients.