Crudismo, cos’è l’alimentazione raw: benefici e controindicazioni

Benefits and Risks of a Raw Food Diet

Raw foodism is a dietary regimen that, as the name suggests, is based on consuming raw foods.

Extremely popular even among Hollywood stars, the raw food phenomenon is one of the beauty secrets of stunning women like Demi Moore, Uma Thurman, and Natalie Portman.

A certainly healthy choice, on the one hand, because cooking often reduces the bioavailability of micronutrients contained in food, but also quite demanding from a social life perspective and not without risks if done superficially.

How Raw Foodism Works

Raw foodism is based on the consumption of pure and uncooked foods. The only exception is for beverages, which you can heat but never bring to a boil, so green tea, for example, is allowed.

While consuming raw fruits and vegetables is certainly simple, and many do so effortlessly, excluding all cooked foods is not a trivial choice.

Think, for example, of a simple plate of pasta: we always consume cereals and flours derived from them cooked in our diet, so a raw foodist would have to exclude them.

As for proteins, even if the raw diet is mostly plant-based, they can be consumed even if of animal origin, always respecting the absence of cooking, which necessarily requires a series of precautions in terms of food safety.

Benefits of a Raw Food Diet

A diet based on the consumption of fresh, seasonal, colorful, and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, high in fiber and water: the benefits are certainly evident.

Not cooking these foods allows preserving their elements unchanged and in high quantities. Vitamin C, A, and B1, for example, tend to be damaged by heat.

And one shouldn't think it's a monotonous way of eating, on the contrary. You can get creative with recipes, inventing rich and imaginative salads, adding seeds, and why not superfood powders like Moringa oleifera. You can also use raw dressings like olive oil or cold-pressed coconut oil.

Or use a juicer or centrifuge to drink fresh juices and create colorful and delicious smoothies.

According to scientific studies, with a raw food diet, vitality and energy levels would rise significantly, digestion would improve because everything is extremely light, and the detox effect would be assured. This would also help counteract some disorders, from migraines to reflux, and lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Risks and Contraindications of Raw Foodism

Obviously, it's a regime that is quite “extreme” in a sense, so there are also downsides.

Firstly, as mentioned at the beginning, it's important to pay attention to food safety.

Vegetables and fruits should be washed even more carefully than usual because without undergoing a cooking process, they must be perfectly clean to be consumed safely. Special care should be taken by pregnant women, who should always consult their doctor before starting a raw diet due to the risks involved.

Additionally, raw meat and fish, if not handled and washed carefully, can present considerable dangers.

According to the principles of raw foodism, you shouldn't cook them, but you can marinate them with an acidic element like lemon juice, which slightly “cooks” them cold and eliminates some bacteria. Or, especially in the case of fish, you can freeze them below a certain temperature to make them safer. This is what is done, for example, to ensure the safety of raw fish carpaccios and sushi/sashimi.

Another downside could come from the large amount of raw vegetable fibers ingested, which can be difficult to manage at the intestinal level, especially for those with issues like colitis or irritable bowel syndrome.

Furthermore, it's important to be aware of what and how much you eat because a raw diet, especially if almost exclusively plant-based, tends to be quite low-calorie.

Finally, last but not least, you have to consider social situations: if a delicious vegetable crudité is the perfect solution for resolving an aperitif with friends, you will certainly have to completely give up family pizza or a mid-August barbecue.

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