There are several subgroups to a raw food diet. The most common are fruitarians whose cuisine consists of at least seventy-five percent fruit. However, fruit in this sense refers to the reproductive parts of a tree. A sproutarian’s diet consists of mostly sprouts, but this is usually not the only type of consumption as most sproutarians have a varied diet. Instinctive eating is based on eating for health and not pleasure while relying on one’s senses to stop eating.
The most uncommon type of a raw food diet is breathairian which is based on a tantra belief. This method should only be observed in the presence of a true and well-seasoned professional as these types do not consume food, but rely on the air to give them nutritional energy.
Eating raw foods the same way everyday can become quite tedious. To break the monotony, raw foodists employ several methods for consumption of raw food. Those techniques include juicing, sprouting, and soaking. Dehydration can also be used as a method to simulate baked items such as bread or even pancakes.
Raw food diets have been shown to have several benefits. One of the top benefits is weight loss. Raw fruits and vegetables have a very high water content which, when combined with a low energy density, helps one consume fewer calories by combating hunger.
Rheumatic disorders such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis have been shown to have reduced symptoms in sufferers after following a raw food diet. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis have seen subjective improvement while following a raw food regimen.
Immune function increases due to raw vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients when an individual is following a raw food diet.
Antioxidants that may help protect an individual from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration are in abundance while following a raw food diet. Other benefits include an increase in energy, metabolism, and clearer skin.
When considering a shift from convenient, everyday food to a raw food diet, it is imperative to slowly transition one’s self into complete raw foods. Not going into the change slowly can cause uncomfortable, non harmful side effects comparable to those experienced during drug withdrawals. Uncomfortable side effects can include dizziness, nausea, and lack of mental clarity. Going into the raw food diet as beginners can become very taxing, but if the dieter stays consistent then the side effects usually subside after two weeks of the raw food transition.
There are multiple ways to easily transition into a raw food diet. The slow and easy approach begins by changing twenty-five to fifty percent of one’s food to raw food and increasing from there. One can choose to add more raw fruits and vegetables instead of taking away from your current diet. Eliminate fried and processed foods from your diet. Strive to make one meal a day raw or one can choose to have certain days when he eats raw foods all day for a certain number of days a week. Use a substitution method. For example, instead of using spaghetti pasta use spaghetti squash. Making a weekly meal plan will also help to make the transition smoother. This is due to the fact that when your meals have already been planned sudden hunger attacks will not sway one to eat the convenient, everyday food that he is trying to avoid.
It is also important to know that when switching from one’s everyday food choices to a raw food diet in order to avoid vitamin deficiencies it is imperative to supplement the raw food diet with multivitamins. Eating a variety of raw foods may also help with the deficiencies. The most common vitamin deficiency in raw food dieters is B-12. It has also been suggested that people who live in colder climates may not do well on a raw food diet though no supporting evidence has been found that suggests harmful effects.
Also be aware that eating some raw foods can be harmful and unhealthy to the body and should be eaten with caution. Note potentially harmful foods such as raw kidney beans and sprouts can be toxic, buckwheat can be harmful to people who are fair skinned as it can cause photosensitivity when eaten in large amounts, and raw peas can cause neurological problems as well as limb weakness. As with any diet, it is important to do research and know the complete rules to the diet, so that bodily harm will not be produced.