Diet plays an important role, especially during the menopausal period of women. Whatever you feed your body with will have an effect on how you would feel in general. There are many kinds of diet approaches available today. One of the most popular among men and women is the raw food diet. Can you imagine yourself eating all raw food items? Just what is a raw food diet? Learn more about this eating approach and how it can be beneficial, especially for menopausal women.
What is Raw Food Diet?
As its name suggests, the Raw Food Diet is actually an eating pattern that encourages you to eat the kinds of food that have not been cooked over extensive heat. In fact, the raw food diet only allows you to warm your food up to 115F˚. However, most of the time, the food you should take in this kind of eating approach should be uncooked or unprocessed.
You may ask, why is this being followed in this kind of diet? Experts in this field believe that when food items are heated to more than 116F˚ to 118F˚, they usually lose their natural nutrients. When food items are prepared or heated beyond the suggested temperature, it is said to lose all its healthy enzymes. The enzymes are responsible for good digestion and they also help in keeping the body healthy as a whole. If they are lost from cooking, the food you eat becomes less nutritious in that case.
If you can’t heat up food items, then how do you prepare them? Most of the time, raw food recipes are prepared with the use of food processors and blenders. Some individuals who follow the diet also use food dehydrators to prepare their raw food items.
Why is It Beneficial for Menopausal Women and Other Individuals in General?
One of the most relevant goals for the raw food diet is to retain all the important nutrients in each food item. This can only be achieved by keeping the heat to a minimum and eating the food items in their most natural or raw state. One of the best attributes of following a raw food diet is the better chances and convenient way to lose weight. Most of the food sources for raw food are fruit and vegetables which have fiber in them. There is high bulk content that could facilitate better digestion and improved metabolism. In that case, weight loss is easily achieved.
When you follow a raw food diet, you only eat foods that are naturally grown. Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO are not allowed in this kind of diet. Also, the foods that are considered good for this eating approach are not even processed or synthetically produced. In that case, you can be assured that you are taking in organic and natural food items. You could then say that you are eating healthier this time with raw food.
If you are looking for ways to improve your energy levels, then raw food diet could help a lot. This is especially good for women in menopause where they experience lethargy and fatigue. The vitamins and enzymes that are preserved in the raw food diet will boost your energy.
Two of the problems involved in menopause are skin and vaginal dryness. These problems can be addressed with the help of raw food diet. This kind of diet actually provides more fluids for the body to use. In that case, it helps the body in dealing with problems including vaginal and skin dryness, constipation, and even high blood pressure.
Are There Possible Disadvantages of Going Raw?
This is one of the most common questions about raw foodism. As much as this eating approach is inclined to have a lot of benefits, there are also several disadvantages that an individual may get from it. However, you can always improve the way you eat raw food and make sure that you still get the nutrients that you need.
For instance, the lycopene found in tomatoes is more potent when it is cooked up well. This does not mean that you cannot have lycopene when going raw. You should know that it is possible for you to tweak the schedule of your raw food eating. You have the power to decide when and when not to eat raw food items. You should not stop yourself completely from eating cooked meals.
It is actually possible to put your raw food eating experience on schedule. Say you would want to eat raw food 2 to 3 times a week. Or you can choose to eat raw food for the whole week and eat cooked meals the following week. In this way, you would not have to miss important nutrients that you can get from fully cooked food items.
Some individuals actually follow the raw food regimen slowly. They try to incorporate raw food into their daily menu slowly every day. Instead of eating raw food on a schedule, you can choose to revise your daily menu. You may want to have at least one menu that is prepared raw and combine it with another diet regimen. The revisions will make it easy for you to follow the rules of raw foodism.
If you are on a transitional diet, it is best to do the transition slowly. It is not advisable to instantly shift from one diet regimen to another. The instant changes in your diet may affect your normal bodily functions. You would want to avoid this, so it is good to follow experts’ opinions with regards to the raw food diet becoming your main eating practice.
This type of diet can have several rules, but you don’t have to worry too much. You can always start slowly and move on to a better level each time. If you want to be on a fully raw food diet, you can start bit by bit and work your way to following an eating lifestyle that is fully raw. Just a reminder though. Raw food eating is not totally raw. You can heat up some food, but just up to a certain temperature.
How do I Know I’m Eating Raw?
|Fresh and Dried FruitsApple, Banana, Strawberry, Lemon,
Mango, Orange, Raisins, Blueberry, Dates, Avocado, Raspberry
|Avoid fruits in jars or cans. They are often processed, which is a big no-no for raw foodism.|
|Fresh and Dried VegetablesCelery, Garlic, Ginger, Lettuce, Spinach, Tomatoes, Onions, Kale, Peppers (red, yellow and orange)||Watch out! Vegetable burgers that may contain soy and soy variants like veggie-meat. NO Potatoes, taro, cassava or cassava flour, parsnips|
|Fresh Fruit and vegetable Juices
Freshly squeezed or unpasteurized andfrozen juices
|Avoid synthetically prepared fruit juices. Do not drink the ones that are prepared with preservatives|
|Nuts, including Cashew, almonds,macadamia and pine nuts||NO roasted nuts.|
|Seeds such as sunflower seeds, flaxChia, and hemp seeds||Avoid roasted seeds or highly processed seeds|
|Raw Beans, Legumes, Sprouts and LentilsChickpeas, Mung beans||Kidney beans, Fava beans and Soy beans|
|Beverages: Coconut Water, Herbal Tea
(water temperature should be less than 118 F˚) and of course WATER
|AVOID Sports Drinks! Carbonated sodas, Juice concentrates|
|Sweeteners including Raw Honey, Yacon Agave and Coconut Nectar,
Date Sugar and Stevia
|Chemical Sweeteners or synthetic sugar substitutes|
In terms of avoiding some vegetables, it is important to take note that most root crops are avoided in raw food diets and this include potatoes. Contamination is common in root crops and can only be addressed when the food items are heated well, which is not followed in raw food diet.
Where Do I Get Raw Food Items?
If you are having a hard time to fix food for your raw food diet, you can always look for good sources. There are raw food items that you can easily buy in most supermarkets and major retail stores nowadays. Here are some of the things that you can get for yourself:
- Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar – this highly organic Apple Cider Vinegar is packed with enzymes from protein molecules. It is unfiltered, unpasteurized and unheated.
- Bragg Liquid Aminos – non-GMO, Gluten free and has not undergone heating or fermentation. It is made from non-GMO liquid protein concentrate.
- Spence and Co. Gravlax – this is an all-natural salmon dish that is best for raw food diets. Prepared by curing, using salt, lemon juice, pure sugar cane juice and dill.
Some helpful Raw Food Diet Recipes from these websites:
- Everything about RAW lifestyle at Raw Living
- Get recipes from Alissa Cohen
- Katy Joy Freeman can also offer special recipes
- The Raw Food Institute doesn’t only offer raw and detoxifying recipes but also provides tons of courses, certification programs and immersion retreats that would cleanse, as well as rejuvenate and energize your body; resulting to dramatic changes and shed of weight to help your body regain its younger, natural, health.
- Raw Soul Food, another helpful site encouraging readers to raw eating that includes raw food recipes inspired by the flavors of tropical African, Caribbean and Asian; infos about the teachers of Raw Soul Food; and principles, teachings and path to ultimate living with raw food, for the health of the body, mind and spirit.
- More raw food recipes here
Check out this book to healthy cooking!
- Experts in the use and practice of raw food diet suggest that it may not be best to be followed by pregnant women. Pregnant women have larger nutrient needs than ordinary people. In that case, a total raw food diet can be improved or incorporated with another type of eating practice that is more suitable for pregnant women. It is also not recommended for young children or for elderly people with vulnerable immune system.
- When preparing your raw food recipes, make sure to wash your food items thoroughly. This is done to avoid food borne illnesses and contamination.
- Always consider your health before getting into the raw food diet or any kind of eating regimen. If you have existing medical conditions, it is best to consult with your physician if you can get into the diet regimen as your main eating practice.