We’ve seen the onslaught of green smoothies and raw cakes of late, with their promises of liver cleansing, detoxifying and re-energising powers. From the resurgence of cacao in dessert recipes, to the great Sarah Wilson-led sugar-free movement, prefacing a food with the word “raw” is certainly on trend.
RAW FOODISTS BELIEVE THAT unprocessed, unrefined, and cold-pressed foods (that means they’re never heated above 44˚C) allow all the natural living enzymes in the food to remain intact, making them easier to digest and their nutrient content uninterfered with.
RAW FOOD GROUPS CONSIST OF organic fruit and veg, dried fruits, nuts and good fat (such as omega-3s and coconut oil), gluten-free grains (such as quinoa and buckwheat) and seeds.
THE BENEFITS OF RAW FOODS ARE endless, according to raw food purists, who will argue that our bodies work harder to digest cooked food, because of our limited number of enzymes. Raw foods contain their own enzymes, which act as a booster of sorts and help our bodies ward off diseases. Raw foods are also believed to be very alkaline, which our blood cells need in order to function properly.
THE RISKS OF RAW FOODS are also noteworthy. Cooking food is a great way to sterilise it, meaning raw foodists open themselves up to the possibility of consuming a range of bacteria – both good and bad. Because a raw food diet generally rules out a lot of meats, it could leave you lacking in essential proteins, which are often replaced with carbohydrates.