Wednesday, August 12, 2009

10 Benefits of a Raw Food Diet

This Raw Food Diet article with ten benefits is a first hand account by the author Swayze Foster and will give you an extra incentive to start adding raw food. I would take issue with her opinion regarding #3 "Energy" however that is a subject covered by several earlier posts ( See Yuri Elkaim Eating For Energy ) including the one previous to this John Tobe's Energy Muesli Recipe....

Swayze Foster provides some very good reasons to "Go Raw"...

10 Benefits of a Raw Food Diet
by Swayze Foster

Are you really eager to go raw, but just can't seem to muster up the courage to get started?

These are some of the top 10 benefits of the raw food diet that most every raw foodist has experienced. If this doesn't convince you to go raw, I just don't know what will!

#1: Improved digestion

If I had to give you my top raw food benefit, improved digestion would be it. It is the one result that almost every single person who attempts a healthy raw diet experiences.

Not only that, but it usually occurs very quickly. Almost every digestive issue can be solved in just a few short days, if not less. Whether you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or just the occasional upset tummy, you will see major improvements after going raw.

However, if you continue to abuse the #1 food combining rule, than your results will not be as great. No amount of raw food can undo the effects of the sugar-fat combo.

#2: Permanent Weight Loss

Hmmmm...maybe permanent weight loss should be the top benefit?

I don't think it's going too far to say that close to 99.9999999% of people struggle with their weight at some point in their lives. Many of us go on diet after diet after diet hoping that we will see *some* kind of change in our weight.

Unfortunately, the only change that most of us witness is a higher number on the scale. And if we do happen to lose weight, it's usually at the expense of our health (i.e. calorie restriction, dangerous diet pills, frozen food programs, etc.) and typically comes back to haunt us sooner or later.

On the other hand, eating a healthy raw food diet allows you to lose weight *permanently* while improving your health substantially. Plus, you get to eat *pounds* of food on a daily basis, without any guilt!

#3: More Energy

Unlike what you read/hear from many well-known raw foodists, raw foods do *not* give you energy. Nothing you eat does, whether it's a burger or a banana. Eating food of any kind *requires* energy, just as everything else that you do during the day requires energy.

What makes following a healthy raw vegan diet truly special is that it requires less energy to process inside your body. 2 pounds of grapes literally takes *minutes* to be fully digested by the body. This is opposed to cooked foods, or even a complicated fatty raw dish, which take hours to be digested.

The one *true* energy provider is sleep, which brings me to benefit #4...

#4: Better Sleep

Since I've been raw, I rarely ever feel tired when I get into bed. Even after being raw for so long, I still get ready for bed sometimes and think, "Gee, I'm not going to be able to fall asleep right now. Maybe I should just stay up for a little longer."

However, I convince myself to get into bed and the moment my head hits the pillow, I feel so relaxed. Within minutes, I'm out.

The best part? When I wake up, I feel completely awake and ready to begin my day. No more groggy mornings for me!

This is a far cry from my bedtime routine from two years ago. My routine was this: feel absolutely exhausted by 4pm. Try not to fall asleep at the wheel on the way to a client's house. Feel a little better after a 30-minute nap. Feel exhausted again by 7pm. Get into bed still exhausted by 10pm. Remain awake for an hour. Wake up at 7am groggy and grouchy. Repeat.

Yikes, that makes me tired just writing it!

#5: Mental Clarity

I'm sure that many non-raw foodists will disagree with this one. Raw foodists are supposed to be tree-hugging, hippie nut jobs, right?

On a raw food diet, because you are no longer weighing your body down with hard-to-digest cooked foods, you have more energy to use your brain!

Of course, this has a lot to do with sleep as discussed previously. Because we spend less energy digesting our foods, we sleep more soundly. This means that we have more energy during the day, meaning our thoughts are generally much clearer and our focus greatly improved. We are more mentally, and even emotionally stable.

It's really a cycle, isn't it? The more raw foods you eat, the better you sleep. The better you sleep, the more energy you have. The more energy you have, the more mentally stable you are. The more mentally stable, the easier it is to stay raw. The longer you stay raw...

#6: Soft, Smooth, & Clear Skin

To be honest, I've always had pretty good skin. I've had maybe three blemishes in my entire life. In fact, the worst my skin has ever been was for the first few months *after* I gave up salt! But that's for another article...

I'm not trying to brag. I just want to be honest. I'm not here to make up crazy transition stories about how going raw made me grow 5 inches taller and gave me the power of flight. Although I have gone down almost 2 full shoes...

Anyway, I'm sure that many of you struggle with skin problems, whether it's a blotchy skin tone, dry skin, oily skin, visible pores, blemishes, etc.

You *do not* need an expensive, chemical-laden skin treatment routine that only serves to further irritate your already abused skin. All you need is a good heapin' helping of water-rich raw fruits and veggies.

And some sunshine couldn't hurt either. :)

#7: Thick, Healthy, & Shiny Hair

I've always had really thick hair, but it was very dry and hard to manage before I went raw. The worst part was that I would shed like crazy! My Mom was always pulling handfuls of my long locks out of the rollers of the vacuum. Yuck!

Now that I eat plenty of nourishing, water-rich foods, my hair is silky and soft. And I'm no longer a shedding machine!

#8: Healthy Teeth & Gums

But aren't your teeth supposed to rot out of your head when you go raw?

NO! The fact that so many long-term raw foodists have suffered tooth decay is simply a testament to the fact that the mainstream raw food diet *does not work*.

On a healthy raw food diet full of sweet fruit, moderate vegetables and little fat, you will not experience teeth problems. In fact, the condition of your teeth and gums is likely to improve!

The real key is to have a solid dental care system in place and not to make dehydrated foods the base of your diet.

#9: No More Aches, Pains, or Minor Illnesses

How many of you have struggled with "everyday" illnesses and pains such as headaches, migraines, colds, flus, tummy aches, joint pains, muscle cramps, allergies, etc.? We all have at some point!

I used to struggle with

* anemia
* restless leg syndrome
* muscle and joint pains in my legs and feet
* seasonal colds about 3-4 times a year (pretty much whenever the weather changed)
* the flu every couple of years
* headaches
* heavy menstrual flows and horrible cramps in my abdomen and lower back that left me in tears

And of course there were the seemingly random and unexplained aches and pains that would crop up every once in a while.

Every one of these has been *completely eradicated* since I went raw. No more headaches. No more colds. Perhaps best of all, no more heavy periods and gut-wrenching cramps! Sorry, guys, but that really is a big one for us ladies.

#10: Save Some Green

When you decide to take your health into your own hands and go raw, you can expect to save *heaps* of money in the process.

No more money wasted on unnecessary drugs, supplements or "superfoods." No more expensive doctor's fees. No more high insurance rates.

You can finally focus on *you* and spend that extra time and money on the things that actually make you more...well, you!

Still Waiting to Go Raw?

What are you waiting for? Each day that you remain a slave to your aching back, your extra fat, or even your trip to the local pharmacy, is a day that you could be living raw and loving it!

For more information on the best raw vegan diet, be sure to visit and subscribe to Swayze's newsletter Peachy Keen Ezine. By subscribing, you will also receive the free report The 4 Principles of a Healthy Raw Diet as well as the 5-week mini-course The Fool Proof Transition to Raw.

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