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Raw food diets are very popular in the alternative health and wellness world and many people swear by this way of life to lose weight and heal all kinds of health problems.

Raw foodists are vegans who only eat food that has not been heated above 47 degrees Celsius. They eat sprouted beans, grains and legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, coconuts and seaweeds. These foods are consumed in their natural state, without cooking or steaming, although they can be juiced, blended sprouted and dehydrated.

By keeping food raw the enzymes are kept intact and are not damaged by high heat. These enzymes encourage the digestion of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Minerals in raw foods are not lost to water through cooking methods like steaming, frying and boiling. A raw food diet is much higher in fibre than a conventional diet and this may improve digestion and elimination processes.

Superfoods are a great addition to a raw food diet because they are packed with protein, minerals, fatty acids and vitamins. These foods make it easier to obtain good nutrition and they are a great addition to many raw food dishes.

Organic fruit and vegetables are encouraged on a raw food diet because they have higher levels of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and have not been grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. If you cannot afford to buy organic for all your produce then buy according to the Environmental Working Groups Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. This is a list of the most pesticide-heavy fruit and vegetable crops, and the cleanest.

Proponents of the raw food lifestyle believe it encourages better skin, increased energy, improved metabolism and weight loss, better blood lipids, improved immunity and reduced chance of chronic illness.

This kind of lifestyle is very restricted and requires lots of planning, preparation and motivation to avoid cooked foods and to obtain adequate nutrition from raw foods. It can be a more expensive diet that results in loss of muscle mass in some people.
The Rawlicious Recipe Book is a great companion to starting a raw food diet and lifestyle. It is packed with recipes and ideas so that you are eating the most delicious and nutritious meals.