It’s a well-known fact that food loses nutrition when cooked, but what most people don’t know is why this happens. The most obvious and more commonly known reason is that Vitamins get destroyed when the food is cooked, especially Vitamin C and family. However, what is lesser known is that the reason raw food is important in one’s diet is because heating or cooking food destroys natural enzymes which are primarily the ones responsible for boosting digestion and fighting chronic diseases. So basically, the more cooked food you eat, the slower your digestion becomes and the more you put on weight.
In fact, some people go as far as to claim that cooking makes food toxic and a raw food diet can clear up headaches and allergies, boost immunity and memory, and improve arthritis and diabetes.
So what does one eat in a raw food diet? It might seem like a silly question with an obvious answer, but if you give it a moment and really think this through you might panic at the limited options available. Today we will solve this problem for you.
In broad categories you can eat the following:
- 1. Fresh fruits and vegetables
- 2. Sprouts, seeds, and all forms of nuts
- 3. All kinds of dried fruits
- 4. Natural sweeteners
- 5. Dairy products like milk, curd, and cheese (though if you are vegan, you might want to skip this)
So we know what you can eat and now comes the question on what all can you do with the above food, aside from eating them as is. So with these ingredients you can make:
- 1. Salads
- 2. Fruit Chaats
- 3. Smoothies
- 4. Raitas
By adding a different dressing to the salads and chaats you can create a variety of flavors and change up your meals. A raw food diet, if planned well, can be very nutritious and perfectly balanced. Try it for a week and feel the change in your body. And as an added advantage, your skin will be glowing and hair shining!
We also have some sample recipes that will help you get started:
Summer Berry Salad
- ½ cup chopped strawberries
- ½ cup chopped gooseberries
- Few fresh green lettuce leaves
- 1 chopped cucumber
- A handful of walnuts
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pod garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and dry all your ingredients well, since the secret to a good salad is dry ingredients. If your leaves are wet, they will leave your salad limp. If you have a salad spinner it’s a great idea to give your leaves a good spin
- In a small empty jam jar, mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic pod, salt and pepper and shake well.
- In a large bowl mix all the ingredients apart from the ones in the above step.
- Now mix in the dressing made in the jar and serve chilled.
Pineapple, Banana & Basil Smoothie
- ½ pineapple cleaned and chopped
- 1 banana peeled and chopped
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ cup milk
- ½ inch ginger peeled
- 2-3 basil leaves
- Blend everything in a mixer or smoothie maker
- Top with ice if you prefer
Power Packed Raita
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ chopped cucumber
- ½ cup grapes
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp flax seeds
- 1 cup fresh yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all the ingredients together apart from sunflower seeds and chill for an hour
- Top with sunflower seeds and serve chilled
Read next: Organic Food, why it's great for you.
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