Did you know that the raw food diet trend or Raw Foodism as it is known, has roots in the 1800s when a Swiss Physician cured himself of Jaundice by eating raw apples! Today, this diet fad looks very different and encompasses a wide variety of foods. Often conflated with veganism, a Raw Food diet entails eating completely uncooked and unprocessed foods preparations. For the unversed, a food item is considered raw if it has not been subjected to heat over 40-48 C. Also, it should not be treated with pesticides, refined, pasteurized, or processed in any other way. The diet instead allows for methods such as soaking, sprouting, juicing, blending or dehydrating.
Advocates of the raw food diet steadfastly believe that foods are more nutritious when left raw because cooking them destroys precious nutrients and enzymes. Some go as far as to believe that cooked foods are actually toxic. However, this isn't true as a wide range of foods are better when cooked.
Essentially, a raw vegan diet consists of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and sprouted grains and legumes. All of these help to lower the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This type of a diet is also known to aid weight loss and proper digestion.
Here're 5 Foods That Are Best When Eaten Raw:
Although a staple in any Indian kitchen, Onions are mostly used as a base for cooking vegetables along with tomatoes and other spices. Onions, however, when eaten raw are extremely beneficial for health as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that are good for the liver. Allicin, which is responsible for the smell of onion help to reduce heart disease, decrease blood pressure, prevent platelet aggregation, and have anti-inflammatory properties. Onions also help to boost bone density and they contain antibacterial properties.
This veggie is not only packed with vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and protein but also contains sulforaphane - a compound found to fight cancer cells, lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and provide antioxidants that help with anti-aging and immunity. One can add this in their salads or a warm soup.
Beets are packed with healthy nutrients, like five essential vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, and protein. And they contain high levels of fiber and folate (a form of vitamin B9). Try shaving the root veggie onto salads for a pop of colour, or create add it to boiled chickpea to make it a nice beetroot hummus.
Although tomatoes are frequently used in sauces and other types of cooked foods, the nutrients and compounds in the raw fruit can positively affect your health in many ways. It contains lycopene and other antioxidants; it helps in lowering cholesterol and promoting weight loss. It helps in reducing inflammation and the antioxidants present in tomatoes can also help to improve the functioning of the immune system. Further, it improves the health of the skin and reducing risk of developing sunburn.
There is no denying that nuts are best enjoyed when roasted and mixed with salt and other spices. However, this often reduces the nutritional value and leads to the loss of the iron and magnesium in them. Also, the oil used in the roasting process adds extra calories and fat. Instead, opting for a handful of raw nuts makes for a great pre-workout snack and provides instant low-caloric energy.
About The Author: Rohit Shelatkar is an expert in fitness & nutrition with over 15 years of experience.
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