Until recently, raw food diets were virtually unheard of. They were first advocated prior to 1900, but only over the past few years have they received much attention. A growing number of people are now singing the praises of raw food, touting a variety of benefits.

Proponents of the raw food diet claim that it is the most sensible diet for humans. They believe that raw food contains enzymes and microorganisms that are not found in cooked foods, and that these things are highly beneficial to us. They also cite the higher nutrient content present in many raw foods.

There are several different types of raw food diets. Raw foodism refers to a diet in which no foods are off limits. Raw vegans eat only fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts and legumes. Those on a primal diet, on the other hand, consume only fatty meats, dairy and vegetable juice. All of these diets have one thing in common, however. They require that at least 75 percent of foods in the diet are eaten raw, or are warmed to a temperature of no more than 105 degrees prior to eating.

Benefits of the Raw Food Diet

One of the least surprising effects of the raw food diet is weight loss. As most raw food dieters eat only plant foods, fewer calories are usually consumed. The diet is also usually low in fat, unless a large amount of seeds and nuts are eaten regularly. Many raw foods also cause us to burn more energy when digesting them, allowing us to burn off the calories eaten more quickly.

Those on the raw food diet often report an increase in energy. The exact reasons for this are not known, but it has been theorized that raw foods are more easily metabolized into energy than cooked foods. Refined sugars are also absent from raw foods, so we do not experience short-lived sugar highs that leave our energy sapped in the end.

Better digestion is also reported by many of those on the raw food diet. This is often attributed to the enzymes present in raw foods. They are believed to aid in digestion and cause the stomach to produce less acid. This reduces the ill effects that often go along with digestion.

Other reported benefits of the raw food diet include improved condition of the skin and reduced risk of many diseases, including heart disease. These benefits are attributed to the low amount of harmful fats and the high nutrient content of the foods eaten.

The raw food diet sounds intimidating to some, but it is not as limiting as one might think. Proponents believe that it has numerous benefits, many of which are backed up by scientific evidence. And with its increasing popularity, eating raw is becoming accessible to anyone who cares to try it.