Raw Vegan Diet: A new trend or a primitive diet?

Raw Vegan Diet: A new trend or a primitive diet?

In many magazines and websites in recent years there has been a new (?) trend in nutrition, raw food. It should be pointed out in the introduction that when we speak of raw diet we mean mainly vegetarian raw diet, that excludes cooked foods and meat.

Anyway, in addition to the unsightly thing, eating raw meat would be very dangerous since we would be at risk of transmitting serious illnesses. After all, more and more people are choosing to restrict or even exclude meat altogether (even its derivatives) from their diet, both for health and ethical reasons.


Who is behind this dietary trend?

The founder of the raw diet "movement" is considered to be the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner. It is he himself who invented muesli, that is, the mixture of oat flakes, nuts and pieces of fruit eaten with milk for breakfast. In the early 20th century, he offered his patients at the Zurich hospital a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables that was part of the treatment they were undergoing.

He was one of the first modern doctors in Western Europe to emphasize the healing properties of diet. Of course, all this has been said many centuries earlier by Hippocrates, the father of medicine who said that food can become a medicine. The prehistoric man was largely a collector and ate raw fruits, roots and greens he collected from the earth.

The Swiss physician used the second rule of thermodynamics according to which energy is reduced when it is transferred or converted into another form. In practice this means that there is a loss of energy in every thermal system. Maximilian Bisser-Benner applied this law to cooked foods which, he argued, had less energy and nutrients when cooked.

Of course, this view may sound a bit simplistic nowadays, since some complex biological processes cannot be described by the laws of thermodynamics. However, that intense cooking destroys the nutrients of a food is self-evident.

Countries where a number of scientific studies have proven that overeating, that is, when cooked to temperatures well above the boiling point, release some carcinogens. For example, starch-containing foods, such as bread and potatoes, if cooked or fried at temperatures above 120 degrees Celsius, produce acrylamide, which is considered carcinogenic over a limit.


What is the principle of raw diet?

But let's go back to raw diet. Its followers believe that any food cooked above 40C loses all its natural enzymes. Pasteurization has the same effects, as it destroys valuable nutrients in milk and other products, as does the intense processing of foods.

Enzymes are complex organic compounds that act as catalysts in the chemical reactions that occur during metabolism. Almost all chemical reactions in the cells require the regulatory action of the enzymes. To make it clear, enzymes are essential for the digestion and absorption of nutrients by the body.

The other view holds that stomach acids destroy most of the raw food enzymes before they reach the small intestine. The human body alone has the enzymes required for the metabolic process. However, whether you believe in the "living" power of plant enzymes or not, we do not think there is anyone who disagrees that cooking and intense processing destroy the vitamins, trace elements and other valuable substances in raw fruits and vegetables. .

To help us understand the consequences of processing, we will take the example of olive oil, this flagship product of Greek land. If produced by the hot pressing process, which is the most common, then its high antioxidants (polyphenols, etc.) are destroyed due to high temperatures.



Can everyone follow the raw diet?

For those who may be hearing something raw that they cannot afford, they can resort to this diet for a short period of time. This way they will detoxify their body regularly and will definitely lose the extra pounds.

Some may think that raw food means dietary monotony. But it is not, first and foremost - because nature has a huge variety of products. Indeed, there are various ways to make our food more delicious in this case, such as using a dehumidifier, marinating, fermenting, drying, and more.

For those still worried about being able to eat legumes (containing significant amounts of protein) due to their cruelty, there are sprouts created by fruit wrapping. In many cases, sprouts have more nutrients than the original fruit.

If we choose a raw-food diet, nuts that provide protein, vitamins, minerals and trace elements should play an irreplaceable role. It is even good to soak the nuts first, because this way their valuable ingredients are enhanced.


By Dr Angel,

Aggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology


insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 

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