Raw food consists of (usually plant) food that is uncooked and unprocessed, such food often termed “live” or “living”. The raw food diet is based on the belief that a high-enzyme diet will ensure optimal health. Enzymes help us to digest food; raw food contains enzymes already to assist this process. When we cook food, the naturally occurring enzymes are destroyed by heat (over 118ºF or 48ºC), and our own bodies need to produce the enzymes to digest the food. It is thought that this places too much pressure on our bodies, having to both manufacture the enzymes needed, and digest the food at the same time. Cooking is also thought to diminish the nutritional value and “life force” of food.
As well as this basic reason, other reasons for why people follow a raw food diet vary. Ani Phyo says that the range of reasons include losing weight, anti-aging properties, health benefits, physical performance benefits, and for a growing number of people, as a way of fitting in with a green lifestyle. Many raw food diet followers are vegan owing to a personal belief that consumption of animals is unethical and unhealthy. A raw food diet can be incredibly delicious and diverse. Provided also that you do adequate research, a raw food diet can be well-balanced in nutrients, providing for optimal health and ideal weight.