The first of many raw food advantages is the amazing potential this lifestyle has for improving one's health. Often, this is the main reason many people choose to follow the raw food diet. While everyone is different, common health benefits and experiences often include:
And, of course...if overweight, they quickly and naturally re-adjust to their body's ideal weight! You can read even more about this on the Raw Food Benefits page.
Many people who switch to a raw food diet after years of eating a typical Western diet often discover another raw food advantage in that various physical conditions, whether minor or quite serious, resolve as they become better nourished and improve health overall. Innumerable testimonials can be found from raw foodists who have partially or completely healed themselves from Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Arthritis, Heart Disease, Diabetes and many other painful or debilitating conditions.
I have seen and experienced many of these seeming miracles first hand,so I know that the healing potential of the raw food diet is very real and can be quite profound. Actually, far from being miracles, these physical transformations simply show how lifestyle changes can truly make a difference in these so-called “lifestyle diseases.”
Many scientific studies have been undertaken which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the raw food diet is favorable to health. The Journal of Nutrition, for example, reported that both cholesterol and triglycerides were decreased on a raw food diet, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study published in Epidemiology also showed that high fruit and vegetable consumption reduced the risk of many forms of cancer.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, long time raw vegans demonstrated significantly higher intake of free-radical fighting antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as copper. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that intake of energy was significantly increased in those following a strict raw vegan diet. And for fighting obesity, the raw food diet has also been determined to lead to a high loss of body weight, as reported by the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism.
One of the reasons so many people experience the raw food advantage of major health improvement is because, in general, they are removing from their diet those foods that harm, and adding more of those foods that heal.
Organic foods are becoming more popular for good reason. More people than ever are realizing that the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemicals used in modern food production can pose a very real threat to health. And awareness is finally rising about the dreadfully harmful effects of foods such as high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, trans-fats, sodium nitrate, BHA & BHT (preservatives), monosodium glutamate and more. Simply removing processed foods from the diet, as raw foodists do, eliminates most, if not all, of these harmful additives!
Almost every doctor, dietitian, health professional or health organization advocates eating more fruits and vegetables to improve health. These foods are nutritionally rich, usually low in harmful fats and calories, high in fiber and bursting with antioxidants and phytonutrients. And yet, it's estimated that less than 25% of Americans even eat the most conservative recommendation of at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But healthy raw foodists not only meet this recommendation, but often eat twice this amount of fruits and vegetables – or even more – every single day!
Furthermore, refraining from cooking these foods retains even more of their nutrients and allows the body to better absorb, assimilate and utilize them for the raw food advantage of building a healthier body. Plus, raw foods are free of the common allergens wheat, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, etc, which cause untold numbers of health problems for millions of people (who may not realize this is the source of their ill health). Raw foods also reduce mucus in the body, which can be a breeding ground for disease. And they tend to increase the body's ability to detoxify chemicals, heavy metals, poisons and old waste matter out of the body.
Raw food advantages don't stop with just improvement of health. Countless other advantages could be mentioned for following a raw food diet. For one thing, choosing a vegan lifestyle demonstrates a more compassionate stance toward animals. Animals conventionally raised for food are often inhumanely treated and live in deplorable conditions that would wrench anyone's heart if seen in person. Tremendous amounts of precious water and other resources are used in their production – and tremendous amounts of waste are produced. A lot of this could be avoided, and many more hungry people fed, if more people begin adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Because raw foodists buy mostly fresh foods, and rarely anything in a can, bottle, jar, box or bag, they generate a lot less trash, further minimizing their impact on the environment. Because we compost our kitchen scraps, my husband and I only put out a half filled little grocery bag of trash once a week – where even our single neighbors fill huge trash cans to overflowing with their waste twice a week! If you don't think this is significant, do some research on the overflowing conditions of most landfills!
In general, raw foodists tend to live a non-toxic lifestyle all around, further reducing their toxic footprint. They use non-toxic soaps and cleaners and even non-toxic personal hygiene products. Often, their food bills are lower, too, even when buying organic, because they aren't purchasing expensive meats or cheeses or carts full of pop, candy, chips and cookies or padding the advertising budgets of cereal makers. Best of all, they no longer have to slave over a hot stove, nor do they have to wash loads of pots and pans!
All in all, the raw food advantages of living this kind of lifestyle are undeniably plentiful and powerful. Granted, it is a different way to live than most people are accustomed to. For many people, this would require a change in many personal habits and choices. But perhaps it's time for a change for the better. Time to feel and look better, to slow the aging process, to reverse painful disease processes. And time to take better care of ourselves, each other and the world we live in. Aren't we all worth it?