The New Year ushers in resolutions, goals and a new hustle and bustle of energy. One of the most popular goals is improving health and wellness. Maybe it is to lose those last 20 pounds, increase energy or just simply to feel healthier.
Raw food is an excellent way to make healthier choices with your diet. Recently, there has been an increased awareness and focus on raw food and its ability to help individuals increase energy, have clearer skin, lose weight and fight illnesses.
By choosing to eat raw food, you are making a conscious choice to eat foods that are high in nutrients, enzymes and vitamins. The raw food diet focuses on fresh living foods that are organic, non-GMO, chemical free and have none of the less desirables often found in the fast food of today.
So what is raw food really?
Raw food is a plant-based diet where you do not heat food above 115 degrees, thus keeping all of the vital enzymes and nutrients intact. It consists of fresh fruits, nut, seeds, fermented foods, seaweed and raw chocolate – to name a few items. The possibilities are vast and endless and the tastes far surpass the imagination. The ‘raw foodist’ can choose from dishes such as raw versions of soup, smoothies, green juices, wraps, chocolate, desserts, breads and cheeses.
The benefits are numerous and profound – including increased energy and vitality, clear complexion, weight loss, glowing skin and nails, increased mental performance and clarity, detoxification, improved mood and reduction of toxins in the diet. Keep in mind that the benefits vary, and also are related to the amount of raw food consumed. Faster results are often seen in individuals who make commitment to eating at least half of their diet in raw form.
Three easy tips to increase raw food in your diet
Sneak greens into smoothies
One of the easiest ways to start is by drinking green smoothies, which are packed with nutrients and are generally created by combining 60 per cent fruit with 40 per cent green leafy vegetables, such as, kale, spinach or romaine lettuce. Start with two cups of water, some fruit, such as mango and banana and two large handfuls of spinach. Blend and enjoy.
Go raw and sweet
Raw desserts are one of the easiest ways to tantalize your taste buds. You can definitely have your cake and eat it too.Raw chocolate pudding is a delicious combination of avocado, raw chocolate and raw sweetener.
Supercharge your salads
Instead of eating a salad as a side dish, make it a main. Load your salad up with nutrient dense ingredients such as, sunflower sprouts, seaweed, and hemp seeds. Combine unique varieties of greens and herbs to add to the flavour and nutritional profile and make it a meal. All of these extras can be found at most of your local health food stores.