Raw Food

Sinaasappel schijfjes

Raw food, or raw food, is uncooked and unprocessed food. This diet mainly includes vegetables, fruit, (germinated) seeds, nuts and seaweed. Foods are not boiled, baked, steamed or roasted, i.e. not heated above 48 degrees Celsius.

People who mainly choose these foods are called raw foodists. They want to avoid any exposure to substances that can be formed when food is heated and could be harmful. This is why raw food is also called ‘living food’.

In general, raw foodists avoid the use of dairy. When these people combine this diet with a vegan diet, all animal products are avoided.


People often choose to follow a raw food lifestyle because they are convinced that people and nature live in harmony with each other. According to raw foodists, the body ‘needs to be well nourished and the mind needs to be enriched’. They seem to experience more love and empathy and seem to suffer less from emotional fluctuations than the average person.

Another reason people choose the raw food diet is related to the prevention of digestive leukocytosis. A process that involves an increase in the number of white blood cells in the blood when food is consumed. The body does not recognize parts of the cooked food and sends extra white blood cells to it as an immune response. Furthermore, there are other positive but also some negative effects of the raw food diet, which are described below.

When foods are heated, vitamins and enzymes are lost. Vitamins are substances that occur in small amounts in food and drinks. Vitamins are indispensable because the body cannot produce enough vitamins itself. These are necessary for good health, growth, development and recovery. Enzymes are proteins that support certain functions.

There are 3 different enzymes:

  • Metabolic enzymes: are necessary for repairing the body’s cells. Metabolic enzymes also stimulate other enzymes in their functions.
  • Human digestive enzymes: ensure that nutrients can be absorbed from food.
  • Food enzymes: These enzymes can be found in all foods, plant and animal. Products that contain more enzymes can accelerate a biochemical reaction, which can therefore also be used as:


Lots of fruit and vegetables and little to no (red) meat are central to the raw food diet.

There are some (possible) disadvantages of eating only raw food, namely:

  • Underweight: because mainly plant-based foods are eaten and the amount of calories is often low.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: vitamin B2, vitamin B12, iron and calcium. These nutrients are mainly found in animal products, which are hardly eaten on the raw food diet.
  • Tooth decay: the raw food diet involves consuming a lot of fruit. This is normally positive, but fruit also contains a lot of acid. Too much acid can damage the teeth.
  • A disrupted menstrual cycle in women. A deficiency of nutrients (vitamin B2, vitamin B12, iron and calcium) can lead to a disrupted menstrual cycle in women. Heavy periods can be caused by low progesterone levels (sedative female sex hormone).
  • Stunted growth in children: a raw food diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Children need this, as sufficient calcium is needed for the growth of bones and teeth.

The raw food diet obviously also has positive effects on health and the environment, namely:

  • Possible cure for diabetes 2: studies show that a percentage of people who choose this diet experience a cure for type 2 diabetes after one month of eating raw. Raw foods provide many vitamins, minerals and fiber. These foods have little effect on blood sugar levels (amount of sugar in the blood). Diabetes patients must keep their blood sugar levels under control; too low or high blood sugar levels can be dangerous to their health.
  • Less risk of cancer: excessive dairy consumption, processed/red meat, pre-processed products high in saturated fat could contribute to certain types of cancer. Raw foodists often make no or minimal use of these products to prevent diseases.
  • No animal suffering: by eating no or few animal products, raw foodists take animal welfare into account. They fight against the suffering caused to animals in the food industry.
  • No overconsumption: by eating only raw and vegetable products, you will not easily eat or prepare too much.
  • Less harmful to the environment: a diet without animal products appears to be less harmful to the environment.
  • Stress Reduction: Raw foodists also generally engage in yoga practices, meditation and spiritual development. This creates a calm and calm feeling without emotional fluctuations.


Food enzymes and vitamins are lost when food is heated above 48 degrees. These foods therefore contain fewer or no enzymes due to some form of heating.

When heated foods are consumed, the body uses its own enzymes to process the food, according to raw foodists. They do not want to use the body’s reserves of enzymes. Eating heated food can lead to exhaustion of the body and body processes.

It is not recommended to start eating raw food one day or another and stop consuming cooked or processed foods. Start by eating a raw breakfast. For example, eat a bowl of fruit or a large smoothie. Snacks can also be replaced by raw snacks (carrot, cucumber, celery).

Once you have gotten used to the above points, you can expand to a raw lunch. The next step is to eat a raw food dinner.

This way it becomes a lifestyle in your own way instead of a temporary diet.


  • Breakfast → green fruit smoothie with banana, mango, spinach and pineapple.
  • Snack → a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
  • Lunch → a salad with zucchini, homemade basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts and a large bowl of fruit.
  • Snack → homemade energy bar made from almonds, dates, raisins and
  • Dinner → a salad with broccoli, bell pepper, lettuce, tomato, homemade sauerkraut, broccoli sprouts and a dressing made from avocado.
  • Snack → a piece of homemade raw chocolate.


Raw food foodstuffsFood to avoid
Fresh fruitCooked fruit
Dried fruitCooked vegetables
Fresh vegetablesCooked meat
Dried/ dehydrated vegetablesCooked grains
SeaweedCooked legumes
Nuts (raw, not roasted, without salt)Roasted nuts
Seeds (raw, not roasted)Roasted seeds
Nut milk, nut butterProcessed grain products (pasta, bread, etc)
Raw eggsFried foods
Raw cereals (can be soaked or sprouted)Snacks (chips ect)
Raw legumes (can be soaked or sprouted)Pasteurized dairy products
Fermented foods (if there are no heat has been used)Cooked eggs
Raw dairy (cow, sheep, goat)Processed foods
Smoked or raw meat or fishSugary products



Bink. (z.d.). Het rawfood dieet – rauw eten.

Gezondeten.nl. https://gezondeten.nl/dieten/rawfood

Raw food | Gezond Leven. (z.d.).


Voedingscentrum. (z.d.). Raw food.