The summer heat is coming to Shanghai and that makes it a perfect time for enjoying the cool fresh foods of the season. Some days you might find yourself only eating fruits and vegetables and drinking smoothies. If so then you could be ready for the raw food diet. This week I will be exploring the world of Raw Food which taste better then it sounds !
The raw food diet really is a very old concept. Anyone steeped in the lore of nutrition will be able to recall the names of Euell Gibbons and Adelle Davis, two American nutrition pioneers who were the first ( in the 1960’s) to extol the benefits eating nuts and berries.
Basically the “modern” raw food diet consists of uncooked, unprocessed plant foods. Alcohol,caffeine and refined sugars are not part of the diet. The idea is that plant foods in their natural state are the most nutritious for the body. Most raw food eaters are also vegans, although some will take unpasteurized milk and cheese.
So why would anyone do this?(especially the no caffeine aspect…) Well the jury is still out but preliminary studies seem to indicate that this type of diet reduces a person’s risk of developing many cancers and decreases blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels ( these are blood fats that can increase your risk of heart disease if they are too high). However as you would suspect there are nutritional drawbacks to this style of eating. On this type of diet a person would have to rely on several supplements to meet nutrient needs that are limited by eating only a vegan diet. These include B12,calcium and Fe, as well as omega 3’s,all of which are found abundantly in animal products.
Still I feel that a raw food diet has plenty of advantages and I am looking forward to learning more about it this week from renown raw food chef, Jennifer McClelland. Jennifer, with Kimberly Ashton, health coach, will host a week of workshops on the benefits of the raw food diet. So there will be more to say on this subject !
If you want to learn more about Raw Food and Jennifer McClelland, take a look at the following websites.
Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun !