Incorporating Raw Food With Your Diet
By Emily Lindholm
You may know people who have taken on raw food diets or tried on a raw cleanse. I'm not going to convince you in this post that becoming a raw foodie or a raw vegan is what you should do. I've done it all, and quite frankly, going completely raw is not entirely sustainable long-term. It's great to enjoy cooked food, and our bodies need it, especially in the winter! However, I am going to explain why adding raw foods to your diet is beneficial, especially in the spring and summer.
Improving Your Health with Raw Food
Most raw foodies, and I'm talking about people who have gone completely raw, will rave about these benefits:
- Higher levels of energy
- Increased mental clarity
- Weight loss
- Clearer skin
You don't have to go completely raw to get these benefits. I can totally vouch for feeling amazing after just a week of eating 90% raw, but I've also experienced all of these benefits to some level by just incorporating more raw food into my diet without changing much else.
The reasons why raw food is good for you to have to do with the aliveness of the food. When we cook food, most of the live enzymes in the food die. If we overcook food, we also lose some of the nutritional benefits.
Other benefits of raw food:
- It's unprocessed
- Helps you digest and break down other food easier because of the enzymes
- Helps you feel more full due to the water content
- Can help you eat slower because most of it requires more chewing
How to Incorporate Raw Food Without Major Changes
If you choose to take on a raw cleanse or try a raw diet for a while, that's great, and there are plenty of ways to do it so that it's not such a feat. What I understand about the majority of people though, is that most of us want to feel good without changing our entire lifestyle. Here are some ways you can incorporate raw food without making tremendous changes.
- Put extra veggies on your burger, even if it's just lettuce and tomatoes
- Add some sprouts or a few pieces of raw spinach to the top of your stir fry when it's finished
- Eat raw nuts instead of roasted nuts, salt them yourself
- Eat fruit first thing in the morning before breakfast
Tips for Eating Raw Food
Many claim that certain raw foods make them gassy. Keep note of the ones that don't work for you. For example, I never eat raw broccoli or cauliflower. I do eat a ton of lettuce. Whatever it is that you're eating, no matter what, chew it thoroughly. Chew it slower and longer than you think you should. Your food should not be swallowed until it is the consistency of applesauce. You'll likely have a new experience with raw food if you eat it this way. So make your way down to the farmers market this week, and enjoy!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bloomingdale, Minn.