Not only do we need food to survive on a daily basis, but it can also be a great source of pleasure and joy in life. There are so many unique foods out there to eat, and so many different ways to prepare the world’s best foods.
Of course, one of the most popular ways to eat food is to cook it up alongside a medley of additional ingredients to bring out its latent flavors and make it taste more amazing than ever.
However, there are a massive number of foods that can also easily be consumed raw, and this has led many to wonder whether eating food raw might carry a number of benefits!
But are there actually any benefits to eating food raw? What kinds of benefits could it possibly offer, and are there even any potential drawbacks?
You’re likely here because you’re looking for some answers to these questions. Luckily you’ve come to the perfect place because today we are going to find them once and for all! Read on down below to get started!
Before we jump in, we’d love to welcome the readers of LearnRawFood.com, which we recently acquired! We know you’ll love our content!
Benefits Of Eating Food Raw
When many of us think of raw food, we most commonly find our minds are drawn to things like fruit and vegetables, which are very healthy, so why don’t we take a look to find out some of the benefits of raw food?
Less Preparation Time
Of course, because you don’t need to cook raw food before eating it, this means that there is very little preparation that needs to go into making a meal from raw ingredients. Meals such as salads and salad bowls are totally easy to make and are of course very beneficial for people on diets.
This can make eating raw food totally beneficial for people with busy schedules and busy jobs, as it helps to make mealtimes totally effortless. It’s also great for people that aren’t naturally gifted when it comes to preparing meals and cooking!
Eating Raw Food Is Environmentally Healthy
Cooking can often produce pollutants that get released into the atmosphere, and while one small meal such as fried mahi mahi may not have the biggest impact on the health of the environment if every human were to take on a raw diet, it would help to significantly reduce the number of pollutants entering the atmosphere.
As well as that, because raw diets are most often made up of fruits and vegetables, it is possible, with a little bit of work, to build a diet that is totally self-sustaining.
You can grow your own fruit and vegetables that you can then eat or even drink, perhaps in a smoothie, which will help you to save quite a bit of money that you might otherwise spend at the grocery store.
This will have a further environmental impact as factory farming and processing of foods will go down as a result of lower market demand!
Raw Foods Are Full Of Nutrients
When you cook certain foods, the natural nutrients found within the surface of said food can often be broken down, and this can mean that the nutritional benefits of some fruits and vegetables might be diminished by cooking!
When you cook certain foods, such as carrots, the heating process causes vitamins, proteins, and fats to be destroyed. While this won’t totally ruin the flavor of the food, or make it totally lacking nutrients, it does mean that it is less nutritious than it might have been had you eaten it raw.
Raw food also naturally has more water content, as cooking will cause water to evaporate. This means that a raw diet can help you to more easily stay hydrated, which in turn helps you to save on water.
Raw Meals Are Less Messy To Prepare
Those of us that eat cooked meals know of the immense hassle that can come from cleaning up after the meal. Baking dishes in the oven, or frying things up on the stove can leave messy and stubborn stains across our equipment.
You can spend hours and hours scrubbing away at caked-in stains that refuse to leave your equipment, but when you prepare a raw meal, you can be sure that you won’t have to go through such effort just to keep your equipment clean after use.
Raw ingredients won’t leave lasting stains on your equipment, and you also won’t even need to use much equipment to prepare your raw meals in the first place! It’s truly a win-win!
Low In Fat
Though fat is an essential part of the human diet, you do not need to have massive quantities of it. The raw food diet has very little fat content, which makes it a great option if you are planning to cut down your fat intake significantly.
The fats that can be found on this diet are unsaturated, and thus much purer and more beneficial!
Allows You To Eat More
When most of us think of specific diets, we tend to find ourselves thinking of the fact that we cannot eat as much, as there is usually a limit on calorie intake. Luckily, because the food on a raw diet is all-natural, you can eat as much of the food as you want without having to worry too much about calories.
This means that you can fill up much more significantly, keeping you from going hungry.
Potential Drawbacks Of Eating Food Raw
Low In Protein
Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks is that the raw food diet is low in protein. This is because you will not be able to eat things like chicken, as chicken cannot safely be eaten without first cooking it.
Low In Calcium
The raw food diet can also be very low in calcium, as there is a lower likelihood of eating things that contain cheese or other kinds of dairy. This is especially the case if eating a self-sustaining raw food diet, as you are less likely to be producing your own dairy ready for consumption.
Low In Iron
While it is definitely possible to get some iron from things such as beans and some nuts and seeds, generally the best source of iron in a diet is meat, and on a raw diet, much meat is inaccessible.
Most meats need to be cooked, at least to some degree in order to be safe to eat, so this makes most meats difficult to recommend to those on a raw diet.
This means that, subsequently, many people on raw food diets may find themselves deficient in iron, unless they include a massive amount of things such as beans into their diet.
More Susceptible To Food Poisoning
Of course, most of us know of the immense risks that can come from eating undercooked meat, but eating a raw diet is not as simple as simply cutting out meat and then eating everything else raw, as some other foods, including things like beans, can also be very dangerous when eaten raw.
Dangerous raw foods can make an individual very susceptible to food poisoning, and food poisoning can range from causing a mild stomach ache to even causing total debilitation if not kept in check.
Having to verify if each ingredient is safe to eat can be very tiring and time-consuming, but it is necessary towards ensuring that everything within each meal is safe to eat.
To this end, why don’t we take a look to find out what foods can’t be eaten raw?
Can All Foods Be Eaten Raw?
Definitely not. While it is obvious that foods such as meats are not compatible with a raw food diet, this leads many to assume that everything outside of meat is not safe to eat on such a diet. However, there are numerous other foods that should not be eaten raw, or that may pose a potential risk.
Unfortunately, buckwheat is not safe to eat on a raw diet, and this means that it would be impossible to eat things such as noodles, which are commonly made using buckwheat and taste great in dishes like sujebi.
Raw buckwheat can cause higher sensitivity to sunlight, which increases the risk of sunburn during the summer months.
This might be disappointing to some, especially considering that most would assume such beans would be perfect for making a Mexican salad or other similar dish.
Unfortunately, kidney beans contain high levels of phytic acid, which is responsible for stopping the body from absorbing vital nutrients. This means that you could potentially miss out on nutrients offered by fruits like strawberries, and other ingredients that are safe for raw food diets.
Unfortunately sprouts are one popular vegetable that cannot be included as part of a raw food diet. The reason for this is that sprouts and other similar vegetables need to be grown in very humid conditions, and this means that they are more susceptible to growing bacteria and other harmful things like salmonella.
Of course, raw eggs can harbor massive amounts of salmonella and other harmful bacteria, which makes them impossible to suggest including in a raw diet.
However, if you were to make use of pasteurized eggs then the chances of getting food poisoning are significantly reduced. Dishes such as some smoothies make use of pasteurized eggs, uncooked, to add a bit more fluffiness and texture to the overall drink.
While many of us know sushi as a safe way to eat raw seafood, it is important to remember that most professionally made sushi is made from responsibly sourced fish that is known to be safe to eat.
Fish that is not safe to eat raw can be very high in certain bacteria that can be very harmful.
What Foods Can Be Eaten Raw?
Fruit And Vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables are perfectly safe to eat on a raw food diet, as most of them are intended to be eaten fresh. This makes them perfect for adding to things like acai bowls, smoothies and juices!
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are one of the very best foods to include in a raw diet, as they help to not only add a lot of flavor and texture to a wider dish, but they are also a great source of nutrients that some fruits and vegetables might lack in.
A great way to add flavor to different dishes, or simply to create something to dip things into is to use different oils, like olive oil or even coconut oil.
Oils can easily be added to dishes like salads, or served alongside things such as chopped vegetables to create a delightful midday snack.
Luckily, things such as olive oil and avocado oil will easily last for up to 2 years even once opened, provided you store them just right, under the correct conditions! This makes them a great thing to stock up on while on a raw food diet!
Benefits Of Cooking Food
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the clearest benefits of cooking your own food, why don’t we take a look to find out the benefits that cooking your food can offer?
Cooking Food Is Much Safer
As we mentioned a few times earlier, eating raw food can be risky especially considering how some foods can harbor bacteria and other harmful things when left uncooked.
Cooking numerous foods helps to kill bacteria and viruses that may be clinging to the sides of certain fruits and vegetables.
Cooking things like meat, especially chicken is also totally essential because raw meat is known to harbor bacteria and viruses, thanks to the fact that the surfaces of these meats are very moist.
Cooking chicken is not only essential for making it safe to eat but it also simply makes it taste incredible. Cooking chicken can allow you to create fantastic dishes like chicken palak, penne alla vodka with chicken, or longhorn spicy chicken bites.
Cooking Food Opens Up Possibilities
While many foods and ingredients can taste totally incredible as they are, cooking them alongside other ingredients can create entirely new dimensions of flavor and delight your taste buds in new ways.
Cooking certain foods can cause certain enzymes and nutrients to be released which not only helps to make certain foods healthier but also gives them whole new flavors that you may not experience if eaten raw.
Cooking Relieves Stress
Sometimes we just need to focus our minds on a specific task in order to help us to release stress and just kick back and relax.
One of the best ways to do this is actually to cook a large meal. Cooking, especially when following a recipe, can help to keep your mind engaged, and keeps your hands busy. This helps to focus your mind, which in turn helps you to let go of some of the stresses of everyday life and focus less on harmful or negative thoughts.
The reward of having your dish come together in a delicious meal is also worth all of the effort, and the pride you will feel will instantly lift your mood!
Cooked Food Is Easier To Digest
Because cooked food is naturally much softer than raw food, this not only makes it easier to chew on as you eat but also makes it easier on your stomach. Your body will not need to divert as much energy to your stomach just to process all of the food you are eating.
Cooked food, thus, can be great for anyone dealing with any stomach issues or pains! Foods such as soup are perfect for easy digestion.
To Wrap Up
There you have it! As you can now see, there are quite a few benefits to eating a diet of raw food, and many foods are improved when eaten raw. Some fruits and vegetables are best consumed raw, and serving them raw helps to ensure that their nutrients are not destroyed.
Some popular foods are also commonly served raw, such as sushi. However, it is important to note that you must be careful about what you eat raw.
While the existence of sushi may suggest that all fish can be eaten raw, you must be sure to only pick the perfect fish for making sushi, as some fish, left uncooked, can house harmful bacteria and viruses.
While the raw food diet can help you to lose weight, you need to put some effort into monitoring each of the raw foods you are consuming so that you do not run the risk of eating something harmful.