Does it ever seem like there is a trendy new diet being advertised every week? After a while, all of them even start to sound alike. Paleo, Keto, Vegan and others. Who even knows what these are? And more importantly, who knows for sure if they work?

To make matters more complicated, each diet has a small cohort of people who absolutely swear by it. Maybe your mom went vegan and claims it’s doing wonders for her health. Maybe a co-worker is experimenting with the Paleo diet, while a celebrity keeps making headlines by talking about how healthy she feels after starting the Keto diet. How do you know what to believe?

Sometimes, the only way to know for sure is to try the diet out for yourself and see. As we know, what works for some people won’t always work for you, and vice versa. It’s important for you to try things out yourself and see what you like and what makes your body feel strong and healthy.

As a great place to start, we recommend giving the raw food diet a try.

Never heard of the raw food diet? That’s all right. Here are a few quick and dirty facts about what it is and what it’s supposed to do for your body. Read all about it, and decide if it sounds like it might be right for you.

What Is the Raw Diet Anyway?

Like any diet, the definition of the raw food diet will change a little bit depending on what source you consult. The general consensus, however, is that the raw food diet is a plant-based, vegan diet.

Not only that, but it eliminates all cooked food. Even things like steamed veggies or all-vegetable soups are excluded.

Because nothing can be cooked, this means sticking to things like raw fruits, veggies and any other plant-based foods that can be eaten raw. For the purposes of most raw food dieters, anything that hasn’t been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit is considered raw.

However, while some dieters choose to be very strict, eating nothing but raw foods, others choose to bend the rules a bit. Some people even consider themselves just “general raw fooders,” and stick to about a 75 percent raw diet. This compromise helps you from feeling too restricted and limited. It allows you to add extra ingredients like potatoes, rice and other whole grains for cooking.

What Does a Day of Raw Dieting Look Like?

As mentioned, the raw diet can look different for a lot of people. It all depends on your preferences. Most likely, the bigger portion of your calories is going to come from fruits, since many greens don’t have a lot of calories.

Expect to eat things like fruit smoothies, salads, leafy greens and plenty of whole, raw fruits and veggies.

One great way to look at your day’s calorie intake is as a ratio of 50-25-25. 50 percent comes from fruits, 25 percent protein from vegan sources such as beans and nuts, and 25 percent from grains and starches.

Can You Really Get All Your Nutrients from Raw Foods?

You might be surprised, but yes, you can.

Some of these are easy to find. Carbs, for example, are available in abundance in fruits and veggies, and nuts, coconuts and avocados provide healthy helpings of fat. These shouldn’t be a problem to find.

But what about protein? On average, a 150-lb woman needs about 54 grams of protein each day. Since we always hear that protein comes from things like meat, eggs and other non-vegan and not raw sources, how does the raw diet supply you with protein?

Turns out, it’s actually quite possible. By consuming sprouted and soaked nuts, seeds, grains and beans, you can reach your daily serving of protein much faster than you might think.

Hemp seeds, for example, contain ten grams of protein per ounce. Chia seeds have 4 grams per ounce and sprouted grain bread has 4 grams for every slice. By incorporating foods like these into your meals, you’ll reach your daily goal in no time.

What Are the Benefits of the Raw Diet?

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the raw diet is chock full of benefits. Any diet that encourages eating whole, natural foods and ingredients instead of processed foods is going to result in health improvements.

Some of the advantages you should start to notice are improved energy levels, a clearer mind and increased feelings of vitality.

Of course, these are natural consequences of any diet that encourages natural eating. The benefit of the raw diet over other diets that value this type of eating is its strictness.

Other diets often have loopholes that allow dieters to still eat processed foods with no nutritional value. The raw diet has no room for this, making it a fantastic conduit to better health.

What Are the Dangers of the Raw Diet?

The dangers of the raw diet are fairly easy to spot. If dieters aren’t careful, they can find themselves severely lacking in protein.

The good news is that this is an easy pitfall to avoid. Find healthy sources of protein, and you should have no problems whatsoever. If you find yourself eating largely one type of veggie or fruit, try to mix things up. Always seek a colorful plate and plenty of variety in your diet for maximum health benefits.

How Do You Switch to the Raw Diet?

The best way to transition to the raw diet is to do it gradually. Consider eating one entirely raw meal a day. This might be breakfast, consisting of a fruit smoothie. It could also be lunch or dinner, consisting of a large salad.

Whatever way you want to do it, try to ease yourself into it so that you don’t get frustrated and give up right away.

Learn What’s Best for You

When it comes to any new diet, the most important thing to remember is to do what’s best for your body. If you try the raw food diet and notice remarkable health improvements, then stick with it.

On the other hand, if you try it and find yourself miserable and constantly cheating, then don’t be embarrassed to move on. Instead, find something else that works for you. The most important thing is to find a lifestyle and diet that lets you live your best, healthiest life.

Have you ever tried eating a raw diet? What foods do you eat that you believe help you live your best, healthiest life?

Jennifer LandisJennifer Landis is a writer, blogger, mom, wife and health nut with a fierce love for peanut butter and naps. She practices yoga regularly even though her husband doesn’t think it counts as exercise. Fitness and nutrition are her cup of tea. You can find her online at www.mindfulnessmama.com

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