Many people see the raw food diet as being healthier and giving them more energy, despite the lack of any long-term analyses of the successes of a raw vegan diet as compared to other types of raw food diets. To try a raw vegan diet for yourself and see what it can do for you, these are the three food groups you can partake of: high-fat plants, sweet fruit and leafy green vegetables.
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As to the portions of each, opinions vary. Some say as little as two percent of your daily calories should be from leafy green vegetables; others think it should be as high as around thirty. With the high-fat foods, eat things like olives, nuts, avocados, seeds and cold-pressed oils. Again, some recommend anything from a tiny amount to as high as forty per cent.
To be honest, it’s unlikely you can get as high as thirty percent of your daily calories from green vegetables. That would require eating a lot of big salads! Fortunately, such a massive intake is not necessary to derive the benefits of a raw food diet. The green leafy vegetables have plenty of calcium, protein, vitamin K and zinc. All you need to do is eat around 500 g a day to get the recommended amount. If you’re sure to get things like carrots and peas in your meals, you’ll get plenty of calcium, zinc and protein.
Now, when it comes to striking the correct proportions between sweet fruit and fatty foods, that’s where your personal tastes and health come into play.
It’s common for people to have troubles with their teeth if they eat a lot of fruit, especially young children. On the other hand, if you have a high metabolic rate, you may need more high-fat foods in order to maintain your weight in the optimum range. Just one caveat: do not have more than ten percent of your diet made up of polyunsaturated fats. Instead, get monounsaturated fats in there. By eating olives, avocados, almonds, hazelnuts and macadamias you can get the fats you need. Depending on how much energy you need each day, you can make up to forty percent of your diet from these foods.
Also, you need to include omega-3 fats; they’re very good for you. So, eat things like crushed flax seed. Flax seed oil is also great for salad dressings. There are soils in the world that are low on selenium, and you can’t be sure where your foods were grown. So, an easy way to get around that issue is to include even just Brazil nut a day.
In terms of what sorts of fruits to eat, you don’t have to go with ones that are unusual or exotic. The banana has energy; it’s rather low in fiber, and plenty of potassium. Oranges are great to get calcium, folate, potassium and vitamin C into your body. One of the real pluses of a raw vegan diet is that it reduces calcium loss, and thus reduces your blood pressure; it will also reduce your risk of having a stroke.
Finally, there is vitamin B12. Some health experts recommend that you don’t take vitamin B12 supplements unless symptoms of a deficiency manifest themselves. And even then, some further say you should avoid taking any pills. Instead, there are some excellent natural sources such as wild plants, nori and spirulina. Now, if those are not available, eat fermented foods or a probiotic, and just be sure to include a B12 supplement.
Follow these steps, and you can eat a healthy diet that is in keeping with the vegan dietary guidelines.
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