Though the raw vegan diet is not knew it is regaining popularity recently.While some people may choose to follow it for ethical or environmental reasons, most do it for its health benefits. The health benefits include weight loss, improved heart health and a lower risk of diabetes.
However, a fully raw vegan diet may also have some health risks.
What is a Raw Vegan Diet?
Raw vegan diet excludes all foods of animal origin.
Raw vegan diet consists of foods that should be eaten completely raw or heated at temperatures below 104–118°F (40–48°C).
The concept of eating only raw foods has existed since the middle of the nineteenth century.
A raw vegan diet is usually rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes. It also is likely to be naturally low in processed foods. People following raw vegan diet believe that raw and minimally heated foods are more nutritious than cooked ones.
Another meal preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, soaking, sprouting and dehydrating, are used instead of cooking.
Some people also believe that a raw vegan diet provides all the nutrients humans need.
Good for Heart Health
A raw vegan diet may improve heart condition as it includes maximum consumption of fruits and vegetables, both of which are consistently linked to lower blood pressures and a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
The reports of the observational studies suggest that vegans may have up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure and a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
Some scientific studies have also shown that vegan diets are particularly effective at reducing LDL cholesterol (cholesterol which is bad for health).
May Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
A raw vegan diet may help to reduce your risk of diabetes. As this diet is rich in fiber, a nutrient linked to lower blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity, it helps to curb the diabetes.
One recent review study stated that people with vegan diets have 12% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
May help in Weight Loss
A raw vegan diet seems to be very effective in keeping weight in check.
People on vegan diet tend to havelower amounts of body fat.
In a research study, people following various raw diets for more than 3.5 years lost around 22–26 pounds (10–12 kg). Also, people consuming raw vegan foods had the lowest body mass indexes (BMIs).
May aid digestion
The high amount of fiber in the raw vegan diet may help improve your digestion. Raw vegan diets are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers.
Insoluble fibers add bulk to your stools and avoidlikelihood of constipation. Soluble fiber feeds the good bacteria in your intestines.
These good bacteria produce nutrients, which help reduce inflammation in your gut. They may also help to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
May Be Nutritionally Unbalanced
Vegan diets can be good for people of ages as long as they’re well planned.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient which is naturally lacking in a raw vegan diet. Deficiency of this vitamin can lead to anemia, nervous system damage, infertility, heart disease and poor bone health.
As per research study, participants following a raw vegan diet consumed less than the recommended 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. Moreover, more than a third of the participants had vitamin B12 deficiency at the time of the study.
Raw vegan diets arealso be low in calcium and vitamin D, and supporters often discourage the use of iodized salt, which may further put you at risk of deficiency.
May Weaken Muscles and Bones
Calcium and vitamin D are the two nutrients needed for strong bones.
In one study, people on a raw vegan diet had lower bone mineral content and density than those on a standard American diet. Some people on raw vegan diet may not able to get enough vitamin D from sun exposure.
May Promote Tooth Decay
Raw vegan diets may increase your chances of tooth decay. This may be especially true for diets consisting of a lot of citrus fruits and berries.
These fruits are more acidic in nature and more likely to cause erosion of your tooth enamel.
Research studies indicate that 97.7% of people on a raw vegan diet experienced tooth erosion to some degree, compared to only 86.8% of non-vegan diet.
May Reduce Fertility
In certain cases, a raw vegan diet may reduce fertility.
In one study, 70% of women on a raw vegan diet experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycle. In addition to it, about one third developed amenorrhea.(Condition in which a women stops menstruating altogether).