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Reasons People Go Raw

It's World Vegetarian Month and many people are going meat-free for their health, but others are taking their diets to a whole new level — going raw. A raw food diet consists of consuming unprocessed, preferably organic, whole, plant-based foods, at least 75 percent of which should be uncooked.

A raw-food eater might enjoy uncooked veggies, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, seeds, seaweed, soaked dried beans, young coconut milk, and sprouted seeds and breads. The other 25 percent of a raw foodie's diet includes foods that are lightly cooked in a dehydrator, but foods can't be heated above 116° F, because it's believed to destroy valuable enzymes that help our bodies digest and absorb our food. If the good stuff is destroyed, what's the point of eating healthy foods?

Here are some reasons I've heard people give for deciding to go raw:

  • It's a simple, natural diet, devoid of artificial and processed foods.
  • For increased energy.
  • To improve appearance of the skin.
  • To improve digestion, and prevent constipation.
  • For weight loss.
  • To reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • To eat in a humane way.

Going completely raw may not fit your lifestyle, but it can't hurt to add some raw meals and snacks into your diet. For some raw-food recipes, read more.

Edamole (substitute minced hot pepper for hot sauce)
Mango Red Pepper Salsa
Mixed Nut Butter (use raw nuts)
Chickpea, Carrot, and Currant Salad
Corn and Black Bean Salad

If you have a raw food recipe to share, post it in the Healthy Recipe group.

Source: Getty
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