Most people who decide to become vegans do it for health reasons, although others do it for environmental and humane reasons. Veganism is different from vegetarianism in the sense that some vegetarians will eat eggs and milk products, while vegans don’t eat anything that comes from an animal. Raw veganism takes things a step further; this diet limits the vegan to eating only raw fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds.
Benefits of Raw Veganism
Naturally, raw vegans don’t eat any kinds of processed foods, either. This alone keeps them from ingesting toxins and chemicals that other people, including vegetarians, might be ingesting. Raw vegans believe that uncooked or just slightly heated foods are healthier than fully cooked foods.
A person can choose to be a raw vegan in order to help themselves recover from an illness or to purify their bodies for improved health reasons. This will have positive effects if it’s done for a period of time, but studies suggest that it shouldn’t be a permanent way of life.
Risks of Raw Veganism
The fact is, regular vegetarians stand a risk of missing out on some key vitamins and minerals because they don’t eat meat or meat products. This is the case even for those who eat eggs and dairy products. There are actually many nutrients the body needs that can only be obtained from eating meat, even if it’s just once in a while. Otherwise, there is a need to supplement the diet by taking vitamins on a regular basis.
Cooking food also makes it easier for the body to digest the food without being overworked. An overworked digestive system can lead to feelings of tiredness and fatigue as well as failure of the body to absorb certain nutrients from the food itself. Cooked food can encourage the release of nutrients that wouldn’t be released otherwise.
Lycopene is one of such nutrients that is released when tomatoes are cooked instead of eaten raw. Lycopene works as a powerful antioxidant, and it has been said to be more powerful than vitamin C. Calcium, vitamin D, and B12 are other nutrients that might be absorbed less by the body of a raw vegan. This can mean weaker muscles and brittle bones over time.
Living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle has become trendy, especially in North America. Many vegetarians, vegans, and raw vegans have adopted these lifestyles for both health and social reasons. It might benefit them to conduct more research about the risks of raw veganism before permanently adopting this lifestyle.