Whether you are Paleo, Vegan, on the Standard American Diet or somewhere in between, one thing we can all agree on is that having a little more raw foods in our diets is beneficial to our health.
Raw foods are filled with rich enzymes, antioxidants and fiber which help the body in cleansing and repair in order to reach optimal health, including increasing our energy, clearing our skin, improving digestion and bowel movements, reducing brain fog, and fighting inflammation which decreases the risk of chronic disease.
Here are a 5 ways to get more raw in your diet today:
If your body is not accustomed to taking in enough fiber or food in its natural state, this may be the best way to start. Suddenly taking in too much fiber may cause constipation in some people rather than alleviate it. And the gut lining may need some cleansing before nutrients can be properly absorbed. Juices allow for quick absorption into the body while allowing the digestive system to rest. They are best taken on an empty stomach, about 30 minutes or so before a meal. To get the most out of your juice, "chew" or swish it around a few times before swallowing to get the pre-digestive enzymes from your mouth active.
Smoothies are an easy way to get raw foods in while providing enough calories to make a meal out of it. They are still relatively easy on the digestive track since everything is pre-"chewed" and provide the fiber that juices lack. You will also be able to incorporate some favorites like banana or avocado that cannot be adequately juiced, while sneaking in some greens like spinach if you have yet to develop a taste for them.
Salads are great to clean your digestive track! There are countless ways to create a salad that can appeal to just about anyone. Just be mindful of the dressings being used as to not negate the vitamins and minerals contained in the fruits and vegetables being eaten. If you are eating it as a main dish, make a massive salad to ensure you're getting enough energy from your meal!
Simple to carry and chock full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, you cannot go wrong with fruit. The sugar provides long sustaining energy while being relatively low calorie in comparison to other snack options. If sugar content is a worry for you, opt for a low sugar fruit like green apples. Make sure to thoroughly wash edible skins before eating them rather than peeling them off to get the most out of your fruit-- most of the vitamins and fiber are located close to the skin.
Another simple snack filled with proteins, vitamins and minerals. Eat in moderation, however, as they are high in calories and it can be easy to get carried away munching on a bag of nuts.
Adding more raw into your day doesn't have to be a chore or tasteless by any means. Get creative!
The possibilities are endless. Taking small steps while keeping it simple and fun can help make those diet changes stick.