Health benefits of a raw vegan diet: Though the raw vegan diet isn’t new, it has been regaining popularity just lately.
It combines the rules of veganism with these of raw foodism.
While some people could select to comply with it for moral or environmental causes, most do it for its purported health advantages. These include weight loss, improved heart health and a lower risk of diabetes.
However, an absolutely raw vegan diet could also pose some health dangers — particularly when it’s not properly planned.
This article opinions the raw vegan diet — including its advantages and dangers.
What Is a Raw Vegan Diet? (Health benefits of a raw vegan diet)
Raw veganism is a subset of veganism.
Like veganism, it excludes all foods of animal origin.
Then it provides the idea or raw foodism, which dictates that foods ought to be eaten completely raw or heated at temperatures below 104–118°F (40–48°C).
The thought of eating solely raw foods has existed because the center of the nineteenth century when Presbyterian minister and dietary reformer Sylvester Graham promoted it as a way to keep away from sickness (1).
A raw vegan diet is usually rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes. It also tends to be naturally low in processed foods.
Those selecting to comply with a raw vegan diet are sometimes motivated by health causes.
They imagine that raw and minimally heated foods are more nutritious than cooked ones.
Alternative meal preparation strategies, such as juicing, mixing, soaking, sprouting and dehydrating, are used instead of cooking.
Some proponents also imagine that a raw vegan diet supplies all of the nutrients people want — which is why dietary supplements are sometimes discouraged.
A raw vegan diet consists of mostly unprocessed, plant-based foods which are both completely raw or heated at very low temperatures.
The raw vegan diet is plentiful in nutrient-rich plant foods. It’s also linked to a number of health benefits.
May Improve Heart Health
A raw vegan diet could improve heart health due to its deal with fruits and vegetables — each of that are persistently linked to lower blood pressures and a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
This way of eating also includes lots of nuts, seeds, sprouted whole grains and legumes. Studies present that these foods could improve blood cholesterol levels and additional lower your risk of heart disease (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
Observational studies report that vegans could have up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure and a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
What’s extra, a number of randomized managed studies — the gold customary in scientific analysis — observe that vegan diets are particularly efficient at reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
Few studies have seemed on the impact of raw vegan diets particularly. Yet, their high content material of nutrient-rich plant foods could provide similar outcomes — although extra studies are wanted.
May Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
A raw vegan diet could also reduce your risk of diabetes.
Again, this will likely partly be due to its deal with fruits and vegetables, that are linked to a lower risk of sort 2 diabetes. Additionally, this diet is rich in fiber — a nutrient linked to lower blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
One latest overview research linked vegetarian and vegan diets to a 12% lower risk of sort 2 diabetes, with vegan diets being the simplest (18Trusted Source).
What’s extra, vegan diets contain good amounts of nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes, which can additional assist lower blood sugar levels (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
That said, few studies have seemed on the direct results of raw vegan diets.
However, since they’re probably to include as much — if no more — nutrient- and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables compared to different types of vegan diets, comparable advantages could also be anticipated.
May Aid Weight Loss
A raw vegan diet appears very efficient at serving to people lose weight and hold it off.
In reality, studies persistently link raw food diets — including raw veganism — to lower amounts of body fat (21Trusted Source).
In one research, people following various raw diets for over 3.5 years lost round 22–26 pounds (10–12 kg). What’s extra, the participants with the best percentage of raw foods in their diet also had the bottom body mass indexes (BMIs) (22).
In one other research, people following a raw vegan diet had a whole body fat percentage between 7–9.4% lower than these eating a typical American diet (23Trusted Source).
Moreover, a number of high-quality studies report that low-fat vegan diets — including raw vegan diets — are particularly efficient for weight loss (12Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source).
May Improve Digestion
The high amount of fiber in whole plant foods could assist improve your digestion.
Raw vegan diets are high in each soluble and insoluble fibers.
Insoluble fibers add bulk to your stools and assist food transfer extra rapidly through your gut, reducing the chance of constipation.
Soluble fiber is also useful, because it helps feed the nice bacteria in your intestines (28Trusted Source).
In flip, these healthy bacteria produce nutrients, such as short-chain fat, which assist reduce inflammation in your gut. They could also improve signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source, 32).
A raw vegan diet could present health advantages, including weight loss, a lower risk of sort 2 diabetes and improved digestion and heart health.
A raw vegan diet could also include some dangers — particularly for those who don’t plan it properly.
May Be Nutritionally Unbalanced
Vegan diets could be appropriate for all life levels — as long as they’re properly planned.
One of the stipulations to a well-planned vegan diet is to guarantee it supplies all of the vitamins and minerals your body wants. You can accomplish that by consuming both fortified foods or supplements to compensate for the nutrients it’s naturally low in.
Vitamin B12 is one instance of a nutrient naturally missing in a raw vegan diet. Getting too little of this vitamin can lead to anemia, nervous system damage, infertility, heart disease and poor bone health (33, 34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source).
While anybody can have low vitamin B12 levels, vegans not taking dietary supplements are at a larger risk of deficiency (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source)
In reality, one research found that 100% of participants following a raw vegan diet consumed less than the advisable 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. Moreover, more than a third of the participants had been vitamin B12 poor on the time of the research (39Trusted Source).
However, the use of dietary supplements is commonly discouraged on a raw vegan diet, due to the assumption you could get all of the nutrients you want from raw foods alone. This can increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies.
Raw vegan diets also seem to be low in calcium and vitamin D, and proponents usually discourage the use of iodized salt, which can additional put you at risk of deficiency (23Trusted Source).
May Weaken Muscles and Bones
Several facets of a raw vegan diet could result in weaker muscle mass and bones.
For starters, this way of eating tends to be low in calcium and vitamin D — two nutrients wanted for strong bones.
In one research, people on a raw vegan diet had lower bone mineral content material and density than these following a customary American diet (23Trusted Source).
Some raw vegan foodists could have the ability to get sufficient vitamin D from sun publicity.
However, older adults, people residing in northern latitudes or these with darker skin could also be unable to persistently produce enough vitamin D from sun publicity alone.
What’s extra, a raw vegan diet tends to present little or no protein — usually less than 10% of your whole number of calories per day (23Trusted Source).
Though such low protein levels could theoretically be enough to meet primary organic wants, some proof links larger intakes to stronger bones (40Trusted Source).
Protein is also necessary for preserving muscle mass, particularly throughout periods of low-calorie intake that lead to weight loss — such as could be anticipated on this diet (41Trusted Source).
May Promote Tooth Decay
Raw vegan diets could also increase your chance of tooth decay.
This could also be very true of diets that include a lot of citrus fruits and berries (42Trusted Source).
These fruits are thought to be extra acidic and extra probably to cause erosion of your tooth enamel.
In one research, 97.7% of people on a raw vegan diet skilled tooth erosion to some extent, compared to solely 86.8% in the control group (42Trusted Source).
However, extra studies are wanted earlier than strong conclusions could be drawn.
May Reduce Fertility
In some instances, a raw vegan diet could reduce fertility.
In one research, 70% of girls following a raw vegan diet skilled irregularities in their menstrual cycle. What’s extra, about a third developed amenorrhea — a condition in which girls cease menstruating totally (43).
Additionally, it was noticed that the upper the proportion of raw foods, the stronger the effects. The researchers calculated that the ladies eating solely raw foods had been seven times extra probably to expertise amenorrhea than different girls (43).
Scientists notice that one of the primary methods a raw vegan diet could impact a girl’s fertility is by being very low in calories. This could cause girls to drop too much weight, reducing their capability to menstruate.
A raw vegan diet devoid of dietary supplements could be low in vitamin B12, iodine, calcium and vitamin D and could present too little protein and too few calories, main to an array of health points. It could also cause tooth decay and fertility points.
How to Follow a Raw Vegan Diet
To comply with a raw vegan diet, you need to first be certain that a minimum of 75% of all of the food you eat is raw or cooked at temperatures below 104–118°F (40–48°C).
Animal products ought to be prevented totally, while fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds ought to be plentiful. Grains and legumes could be included but should be soaked or sprouted prior to consumption.
Foods to Eat
- Fresh, dried, juiced or dehydrated fruits
- Raw, juiced or dehydrated vegetables
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Uncooked grains and legumes (sprouted or soaked)
- Raw nut milks
- Raw nut butters
- Cold-pressed oils
- Fermented foods like miso, kimchi and sauerkraut
- Some sweeteners, such as pure maple syrup and unprocessed raw cacao powder
- Condiments, including vinegars and unpasteurized raw soy sauce
Foods to Avoid
- Cooked fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes
- Baked goods
- Roasted nuts and seeds
- Refined oils
- Refined sugars and flours
- Pasteurized juices
- Coffee and tea
- Processed foods and snacks, such as chips and pastries
A raw vegan diet includes raw foods or foods cooked below a sure temperature. Cooked foods, baked items and refined or extremely processed products ought to be prevented.
The following sample menu can provide you a thought of what a few days on a raw vegan diet would possibly appear like.
- Breakfast: Tropical green spirulina smoothie
- Lunch: Raw pea, mint and avocado soup
- Dinner: Raw vegan pizza
- Breakfast: Chia seed pudding topped with berries
- Lunch: Raw nori wraps with a spicy dipping sauce
- Dinner: Raw pad thai
- Breakfast: Raw banana pancakes with almond butter
- Lunch: Raw spiralized zucchini topped with a basil pesto sauce
- Dinner: Raw lasagna with marinated veggies, sun-dried tomatoes and a cashew-cilantro sauce
- Pecan energy balls
- Raw vegan granola bar crackers
- Dehydrated fruit
- Chia pudding
- Fruit smoothies
- No-bake chocolate chip cookies
- Veggie salad with guacamole dressing
Many foods usually consumed on a cooked vegan diet could be made raw. The sample menu above supplies some ideas of raw vegan meals and snacks.
The Bottom Line
A raw vegan diet includes healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains and legumes — which can lower diabetes and heart disease risk and help weight loss and digestion when properly planned.
Yet, if poorly planned, this diet could increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies, infertility and muscle, bone and teeth weak point.
If you resolve to give the raw vegan diet a attempt, ensure it supplies you with sufficient calories. It’s also best to add dietary supplements at any time when obligatory to meet all of your day-by-day nutrient wants. (Health benefits of a raw vegan diet)