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Benefits of Eating All Raw Vegetables & Fruits

by
author image Brynne Chandler
Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.
Benefits of Eating All Raw Vegetables & Fruits
Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients and low in calories. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

A diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended by experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Raw foodies take it one step farther, insisting that a raw foods diet consisting of only whole grains, nuts, seeds and raw fruits and vegetables is the healthiest way to eat. As with so many things, there is a lot of information available on raw food diets, and not all of it is reliable.

Theories/Speculation

Benefits of Eating All Raw Vegetables & Fruits
Raw food diets consisting of vegetables and fruits are packed with vitamins and fiber. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Raw food diets consisting of vegetables and fruits are packed with vitamins and fiber. Eating a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables fills you up while keeping your calorie count down. Fruits and vegetables contain no animal fats, and the natural sugars provide plenty of energy. Vegetarians, vegans and raw foodists believe that avoiding animal products and starchy carbohydrates is a morally and ecologically superior way to live.

Misconceptions

Benefits of Eating All Raw Vegetables & Fruits
Many raw foodists believe that cooking fruits and vegetables robs them of essential nutrients. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Many raw foodists believe that cooking fruits and vegetables robs them of essential nutrients. The undesirable level of heat varies between 112 degrees Fahrenheit and 118 degrees Fahrenheit, but almost all raw foodists believe that juicing and slow cooking in a low-temperature dehydrator is better for you. In reality, many fruits and vegetables are difficult for humans to digest raw. According to the experts at the University of California, some nutrients -- like the lycopene in tomatoes and higher levels of beta carotene in carrots – are more efficiently released through cooking.

Expert Insight

A 2005 study published in “The Journal of Nutrition” confirms that a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables does lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, but it also found that people who stay on a diet consisting only of raw fruits and vegetables are at risk for low levels of vitamin B-12 and other nutrients.

Benefits

Benefits of Eating All Raw Vegetables & Fruits
Eating a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables provides you with a lot of essential nutrients with relatively few calories. Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Eating a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables provides you with a lot of essential nutrients with relatively few calories. Avoiding animal products can help lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes. Many processed foods contain artificial sweeteners and other chemical additives that may not be healthy in the long term.

Warning

Benefits of Eating All Raw Vegetables & Fruits
Not eating a balanced, nutrient rich diet can lead to malnutrition. Photo Credit David Sacks/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The drawback of a diet that eliminates all foods except for raw fruits and vegetables is that you may not be getting all of the nutrients you need for your body to function properly. Your body requires eight essential amino acids that it can’t produce itself, and these are found mostly in high-protein foods like poultry, meat, fish and dairy. Not eating a balanced, nutrient rich diet can lead to malnutrition.

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