If you have recently turned vegan, you may be on the lookout for the best diets for your health and wellbeing. One of the biggest trends at the moment is the vegan raw food diet – but is it actually good for your health?
In this article, we’re going to look at the raw food diet benefits, as well as the cons that you need to be aware of. If you’re unsure about whether the vegan diet is for you, check out our blog on the vegan health benefits and drawbacks.
While some people may choose this diet for moral reasons, others may go down this path purely out of choice; in an attempt to take back control of their health.
What is a vegan raw food diet?
Raw veganism is one of the subcategories involved in the vegan lifestyle and refers to consuming raw foods only.
A diet of this nature is typically based on eating fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and grains in their raw state. There is very little or no consumption of processed food, as this often requires cooking.
Some people misjudge the idea that the raw vegan diet plan contains all of the nutrients needed to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Yet, as the diet is so limited, this actually isn’t the case. If your health isn’t up to scratch, you may want to reconsider going on a vegan raw food diet.
Let’s take a look at both sides of the vegan raw food diet coin.
What are the health benefits of a vegan raw food diet?
The vegan raw food diet contains an abundance of nutrients and vitamins that are vital to keep health in good shape. What are the main health benefits to be aware of?
Take a look.
Improves heart health
It has been reported that the raw vegan diet has had connections with improved heart health due to the fact that it relies heavily on fruit and vegetables. These types of foods don’t contain much fat or bad sugars. Eating your five-a-day links to lower blood pressure, which means there is a far less chance that you’ll suffer from the likes of heart disease or stroke.
Nuts, seeds, and grains have also been considered good for the heart as they improve cholesterol levels which should then keep your heart in good working order.
Reduces your risk of diabetes
It has been considered that a vegan raw food diet may also help to manage diabetes. This again, is most likely down to the focus on fruits and vegetables as the main source of food. As the diet is rich in fiber, it means that you’re likely to have lower blood sugar levels, so your chances of developing diabetes are slimmer.
Again, nuts and seeds are also ideal for fighting off diabetes as they help to keep blood sugar levels to a minimum.
If you’ve been searching for a suitable diet that will help you shed the pounds, then the vegan raw food diet could be the one you’ve been waiting for. If you have been switching from fad diet to fad diet for years without any luck, then you may just be onto a winner.
Studies have shown that a persistent effort to stick to the raw vegan diet could actually stimulate fat loss and therefore, help you lose weight. This is because the diet is so high in certain nutrients, your hunger level will drop significantly, meaning you won’t feel the need to snack in between mealtimes.
Stopping frequent snacking is half the battle when it comes to weight loss and you should notice a difference in your tolerance to snacking fairly quickly.
Raw fruit and vegetables also have the lowest calories per bite than any other food you can possibly think of, so it’s not hard to see why it’s the ideal method for weight-loss.
As there is a great deal of fiber contained within plant-based diets, it’s likely you’ll start to see an improvement in how your food digests.
We don’t mean to be too vivid here; but the insoluble fibres within fruit, veg and nuts helps to move food around in the body so it can be digested through the gut and disposed of properly. The soluble fiber within the diet helps nourish the good bacteria in your intestines, which is important for generally good overall health and wellbeing.
What are the risks of a vegan raw food diet?
Now we have covered some of the main benefits to taking on a vegan raw food diet, what are the risks that come along with it? If you don’t plan your diet well enough – more of these will start to become an issue.
Weakened digestive system
Unlike herbivores, the human body is not designed to eat raw fruits and vegetables on a constant basis, which means that it takes a great deal of strength to do so. As a result, it can cause the digestive system to weaken and even cause you to feel much more bloated than usual. Although you’ll be able to pass food easier, it doesn’t actually do your digestive system much good.
Sure, fruit and vegetables are filled with goodness, but they don’t provide you with every nutrient your body needs. One of the main drawbacks of a vegan raw food diet is that you’ll be lacking in essential nutrients needed to keep you healthy; including the likes of iron, protein and vitamin B12.
While vegetables are an essential part of the standard diet, there are in fact some types of vegetables that could cause you health problems if eaten too regularly and raw. The likes of cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts and mustard greens contain a harmful substance called goitrogens, which can prevent the thyroid gland from working properly.
On the other hand, when vegetables are cooked, it disables goitrogens causing any damage.
There’s nothing worse than feeling tired all the time, but the raw vegan food diet can actually this overwhelming feeling if you don’t consume the right diet your body needs. As this diet is dramatically cutting down the types of foods you are allowed to eat, you’ll find that your energy levels will drop quicker.
Fruit and vegetables cannot provide long-lasting energy to perform bodily functions. As a result of this, you may find that you’re starting to lose more weight than you had intended.
Possible food poisoning
As food isn’t cooked at the appropriate temperatures or even at all, there is the risk of food poisoning. Even though fruit and vegetables don’t necessarily need to be cooked to be eaten, they often contain harmful chemicals and bacteria that need to be washed away before being consumed. If you fail to do so, you’re at risk of causing yourself a serious stomach upset.
Top tips on starting a vegan raw food diet
If you have come to the decision that a vegan raw food diet is the right choice for you, then we have put together some tips on how to do so safely to get the maximum out of the health benefits it provides.
Talk to a nutritionist
If you have any doubts or concerns about whether a vegan raw diet is for you, then it would be best to talk to someone who is qualified in nutrition. They will be able to help plan your meals effectively with raw vegan diet recipes and ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to live healthily.
Start off slow
It can be a huge adjustment to become a pro at the vegan raw diet, so don’t force it too quickly. Take your time and introduce yourself to the idea of eating raw foods slowly so it isn’t a shock to the system. It’s often the case that people try and jump straight into a diet without giving themselves time to adjust, which is one of the biggest mistakes you can ever make.
Find raw food recipes and try doing one meal a day to start off with, or one full day a week and see how you get on – you may get used to the idea fairly quickly, or perhaps even find out that it just isn’t for you.
Make a list of the raw foods you like
As raw foods are quite an acquired taste, you should make a raw vegan food list of all the raw foods you like that you have already tried and see whether it would be a feasible option for you. For example, there are probably many fruits you eat on a daily basis and perhaps even a few vegetables too.
You don’t have to be too extreme with your choices – start off basic before looking at the more interesting foods you could incorporate into your diet.
Get the correct kitchen appliances
In conclusion, a vegan raw food diet has many pros and cons that are both good and bad for your health. Do further research before you make the decision to completely switch you diet, so you’re sure it’s the right option for you.
Have you tried the vegan raw food diet?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!