by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Author, Eating for Energy
When vegetarianism began to grow in popularity, many people initially came out against the idea. They said, there was no way that a human being could properly sustain themselves on a diet consisting solely of vegetables and animal by-products. Meat, they said, was essential. But over the years, it has been proven that a smart vegetarian can not only survive, but thrive on such a diet. Again, a few years later, the same concerns were raised when people began going vegan. No meat was one thing, but no animal products at all? No eggs, no cheese, no milk? Surely that was impossible to sustain. But no, again it was shown that careful food selections could make it work.
So now, when someone decides to make the change in their diet and lifestyle to become a raw vegan, the arguments seem tired and old. How can you leave out something-or-other, and still be healthy?
The truth is, the long-term effects of a raw vegan diet have yet to be fully studied, but there are many people who currently follow this lifestyle, and have done so successfully.
The biggest consideration to take when deciding to go raw vegan is that you cannot simply eat vegetables and fruits, but no one who truly undertakes this path would think such a thing. The outside view, of course, sees nothing but carrots and apples, and wonders at how someone could survive. The truth is far from that. With the wide variety of vegetables and fruits available are supplemented with a wide variety of nuts and their by-products, certain kinds of raw grains, sprouts and seeds, and all sorts of herbs. When a proper diet plan is created and adhered to, proper balances of these items can provide almost every type of nutrient that a body could want. The one area of concern for many raw vegans, as far as nutrients go, is vitamin B12. While some people will claim that sufficient amounts of B12 can be ingested from eating items like seaweed, studies have shown that a B12 supplement would be beneficial to raw vegans.
The benefits, of course, to eating a raw and vegan diet are numerous. The nutrients and enzymes that exist in raw foods are consumed without degradation that cooking can cause, giving your body the fullest benefits of the foods you eat. As a result, your body will spend less of its own energy processing what you have eaten, and will actually gain energy from the raw and unprocessed items you consume. That extra energy manifests itself in different ways for different people, but some reported effects include increased mental clarity, surges in physical energy and alertness, a brightness or clean feeling in the abdominal area, and an increased capacity for general overall health and wellness in fighting off the usual seasonal illnesses.So the next time that someone expresses a concern for your health as a raw vegan, you can assure them that their worries are unfounded. Raw vegans can be as healthy and vital as any other healthy person.
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