Raw food diets have blossomed in recent years due to their nutritional benefits. A raw food diet isn’t a magical “cure-all, ” but it can help prevent certain health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Adding more fruits and veggies to your diet has been proven to boost your metabolism, increase energy, and support your immune system. Switching over to a raw diet entirely, though, can drastically improve your health.
But how can a raw food diet help during pregnancy? And how does it help children and babies?
The Types of Raw Food Diets
There are different types of raw diets: raw vegan, raw vegetarian, and raw omnivore. Each comes with its own health benefits and risks, but only the raw vegan diet is recommended for pregnant women due to the potential risk for salmonella.
Raw vegetarian and raw omnivore diets are still adequate diets on their own, but in this article, we will focus on the raw vegan diet since it generally has a lower risk for pregnant women, babies, and children.
How A Raw Vegan Diet Aids Growing Children
Probably the most significant benefit of feeding your children raw, organic fruits and veggies is that many of them are packed with fiber. Fiber not only helps your digestive tract but can also help lower cholesterol and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
A raw food diet also offers a great way to prevent malnutrition. Even if you feed your child three meals a day, they still can suffer from malnutrition. Adding raw fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds into their diet will stave off any nutritional deficits. Educate your children on the vitamins in each nut, seed, fruit, and veggie to ensure they understand why it is important to have a balanced diet.
A raw food diet is great for physical health, but it can also improve mental health. Poor eating habits can cause inflammation throughout the body, including the brain. This can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Having your little ones go on a raw food diet early on in life can help lower the risk of developing these mental disorders later down the road.
Many people use food to regulate their mood. Food with high sugar content, such as ice cream or cookies, can become addictive. Instead of processing their negative emotions or working through them, your child may seek to self-soothe by eating to make themselves feel better. This will make them partially dependent on these unhealthy foods, so turning to healthy alternatives will help your child in the long run as well.
Raw Foods and Pregnancy
Eating raw fruits and veggies can help aid in the development and growth of your baby. The most important vitamins you need for your baby to develop healthily are DHA, iodine, calcium, iron, folic acid, and vitamin D. Some worry that being on a raw vegan diet while pregnant is too risky, but there are plenty of natural, raw, pregnancy-safe foods that have these vitamins.
- Seaweed or sea vegetables (rich in iodine and vitamin D)
- Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens (rich in calcium and iron)
- Walnuts (rich in DHA)
- Asparagus (rich in folic acid)
Some raw fruits and veggies need to be consumed in moderation while pregnant. If you find it challenging to balance out your raw diet while pregnant, organic supplements can help as well.
A balanced, healthy diet can boost your energy, improve your sleep, and reduce the risk of falling ill. When done correctly, a raw vegan diet will provide you with all the proper nutrients you need while pregnant. Having high energy and sleeping well while pregnant can help guarantee your baby develops properly, so a raw food diet is incredibly beneficial.
Can Babies Eat a Raw Diet?
Feeding your child a raw diet from a young age can be incredibly beneficial for their development. Raw food diets give babies the proper tools to develop healthily and happily.
When you cook raw fruits and veggies, they lose a lot of the enzymes that aid in digestion. Feeding your children raw fruits and veggies will ensure they receive those enzymes and have better digestive health.
It is easier for our bodies to absorb nutrients when our food is unprocessed and uncooked. Feeding your baby a raw diet will make it easier for their body to continue to absorb these types of nutrients efficiently throughout their entire lifetime.
One of the only problems with feeding a baby a raw food diet is having to put more time into prepping. Having to prepare all of your baby food instead of buying premade products is time-consuming, but the nutritional benefits will always outweigh any inconveniences.
Preventing Disease and Boosting the Immune System
Choosing a raw diet may also prevent certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can develop when consuming an excess amount of sugar or when generally overeating. With a consistent raw food diet, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
Eating raw foods can also prevent heart disease, one of the biggest killers in the world. Heart disease is primarily caused by the fatty build-up in our arteries. All three types of raw food diets significantly reduce your fat intake but especially raw vegan diets.
Pregnant women and children who eat foods high in fat are 25% more likely to develop these types of diseases.