Raw food, what do you think of when you hear that term? Eating raw meat? Taking the skin off certain vegetables before eating them? Being a vegetarian? Most people who feel they understand the raw food lifestyle have no clue what it’s all about.

So, what is the raw food lifestyle, or, plain and simple, the raw food diet. Well, according to the followers of these types of eating pattern, eating raw is the healthiest way to get nutrients to your body. They say that a lot of the foods’ nutrients needed by the body are lost during cooking and heating of food above 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

But, there is so much more to “eating raw” than just cooking, or not cooking, your food. There are basics you must know, as is with any kind of lifestyle change. One of the main things you’ll have to get comfortable with when engaging this type of diet is depend less on meat and fish and more on plants, fruits and vegetables.

Raw foodists, as the people who follow this eating pattern call themselves, believe that natural foods and fresh foods, are the best sources of nutrients.

The theory is, the natural nutrients in raw food are complete, unchanged, the way mother nature created them to be. Since the food is not cooked, nothing is lost during the preparations.

Raw foodists also believe that cooking the food reduces enzymes in the food. Enzymes are important in that they help the body digest the food. With the raw food, more enzymes are released which frees up the enzymes already in your body to do the jobs they were designed to do, instead of working towards replenishing the enzymes that are nonexistent in the “cooked food”. Therefore, the best and most nutritious foods are raw.

Now, if you believe raw food is only vegetables, then you’re only getting part of this particular lifestyle. The raw lifestyle diets can be thought of in different forms. For instance, in some variations of this diet say that fruits, seeds, vegetables and nuts is all that is needed for proper nutrition. Others insist that to ensure the proper protein needed in ones diet is met, fish, meat and unpasteurized dairy products are critical and needed!