More and more Americans take on veganism each year, whether it’s for the health benefits, love and respect for animals, or to make an effort towards saving the planet. If you’re planning to go down the vegan route—raw veganism specifically—then read on to fully understand the concept before you change your lifestyle.
What Is Raw Veganism?
As the name suggests, raw veganism is a diet that combines the concepts of raw foodism and veganism. When on this diet, you can consume foods like raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, seeds, herbs, grains and legumes. To sum it up, raw vegans exclude any foods that are of animal origin and also foods that have been cooked at a temperature above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. It deems regular cooking to be unnatural and unhealthy. [Also Read: 5 Diet Mistakes Newly-Turned Vegans Make]
Why Go Raw & Vegan?
Many people have already begun to embrace this diet as means of eating natural, to prevent or cure diseases, and also to keep up their youth and vitality. Celebrities like Venus Williams, Madonna and Ellen DeGeneres have all been associated with raw veganism. Let’s take a closer look at its benefits.
- Uncooked vegetables are loaded with healthy nutrients. They also retain water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, which is otherwise lost when cooking.
- Limiting your diet to such natural foods and ditching fried, sugar-laden meals is an obvious road to weight loss.
- Ayurveda backs the fact that eating a nutrient-dense diet improves your overall well-being and health.
- The cooking is done at a temperature of 118 degrees F, or lower. This is called moisture-based cooking and it prevents food from browning or forming toxic compounds that are otherwise formed in high-heat cooking.
What Are The Drawbacks Of This Diet?
- If you’re on a raw vegan diet, you might not get your complete fix of vitamin D, zinc, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
- According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition almost 38 percent of the participants on this diet were deficient in vitamin B12 too. You may have to resort to supplements in such a case.
- Some foods are better cooked. Cooking tomatoes, for instance, increases the bioavailability of the antioxidant lycopene and spinach is always more nutritionally beneficial when cooked.
- Conversely, eating some foods raw can upset your digestive system.
- If the portions are not planned correctly, going on this diet could cause weakness in some people.
There’s no doubt that this diet has an array of benefits but it might not work for everyone—people with a weak digestive system, or those who have certain health conditions must consult their doctor before making the shift. And if you do go ahead with raw veganism, be sure to get a good balance of raw meals and cooked meals for optimum health.