Enthusiasts of the Raw Food Movement believe that when you heat your food you are basically destroying most of its nutrients and natural enzymes (enzymes are important because they are what help you to digest your food and fight chronic disease.)
Some of the more hard core believers will go as far to say that over cooking your food can even make it toxic, and if you go raw you can clear up allergies, headaches arthritis and even diabetes. To be clear I haven’t seen any of these studies. However it’s definitely been proven that cooking does decrease many foods nutritional value, generally the higher the heat the worse, i.e. frying. This isn’t the case 100% of the time though, for some foods warming them can actually release certain vitamins. Too bad there’s not a cheat sheet…
What is the Raw Food Diet?
So basically if your following a raw food diet you wont be using your oven, instead you eat a selection of raw, preferably organic and unprocessed foods that are not to be heated above 116 degrees F.
Backers of the raw food diet claim that you will experience,
Reduced risk of heart disease
Clearer and more even toned skin complexion
An increase in the absorption of vitamins and minerals found in your food versus cooking.
Not always appropriate for children, people susceptible to osteoporosis or pregnant women. (Many enthusiasts deny this, but I am just going by the available studies done.)
You may experience detox symptoms similar to a cleanse such as bad breath, mild headaches and cravings, this will be amplified if your coming off of a diet high in sugar, fat and red meat.
Research has found that followers of the raw food diet have higher risks of deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron and calcium.
Eating only raw food might be good for a short duration of time, something like a cleansing period, but lets be honest its not very realistic for 99% of us.
I try to include a raw meal or side on most days but I find it a lot easier in the summer because then you can make cold salads and there’s way more local produce to choose from. It’s just something to be aware of especially if your worried that you are family might not be all the vitamins you need.