Is it healthy? What are the benefits? Learn more here

A raw vegan diet combines veganism and raw food. The diet includes plant-based, raw and unprocessed foods. Raw vegan diets exclude animal products, such as meat and dairy, as well as foods that require cooking.

People may choose to follow a raw vegan diet to try and improve their health. They can also identify with the ethical and ecological principles of food.

In this article, we look at the health benefits and risks of the raw vegan diet. We also look at what a person should eat and avoid while on the diet.

The raw vegan diet is a subset of the vegan diet. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, such as:

A raw vegan diet means that a person does not heat, cook, or process the food they eat.

Many people who follow the raw vegan diet consider raw foods if they have not been exposed to temperatures above 118°F (48°C).

Instead of cooking, a person can prepare food in other ways, such as:

  • juice
  • mixed
  • soaking
  • sprouting or sprouting
  • desiccant

The definition of a raw vegan diet may differ. For example, some raw vegan diets allow people to reheat their food to improve its texture or flavor. People can also include dehydrated foods, such as:

  • crackers
  • cereals
  • raw bread
  • raw desserts

The percentage of raw foods in the diet can also vary. According to a 2011 guide to raw vegan diets, including 50–74% raw foods seem to be the most popular option.

A raw vegan diet includes lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts, which makes it nutritious. The diet is also low in processed foods, which may contain excess sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Cooking certain foods can reduce their nutritional value, so eating them raw can help retain their nutrients.

The raw vegan diet may have several health benefits, including:

Improve heart health

A raw vegan diet may benefit heart health due to its higher servings of fruits and vegetables.

Research indicates that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption from less than 3 servings per day to more than 5 is linked to 17% reduced risk of heart disease.

Raw vegan diets also include many other foods that have been linked to improved heart health. These include:

  • Legumes: Increasing the consumption of pulses can reduce risk of heart disease.
  • Whole grains: Consuming whole grains may lessen the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease.
  • Nuts: Consumption of nuts can reduce risk factors that contribute to heart disease.

Research suggests that vegans can have up to one 75% less risk of developing high blood pressure.

Aid in weight loss

Raw vegan diets can assistance in weight loss. A study indicates that in 3.7 years, people following a raw vegan diet lost 9.9–12 kilograms (21.8 to 26.5 pounds). However, about 14-25% of study participants were underweight.

Overweight and obesity can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Consuming a raw vegan diet can help a person lose weight and reduce their risk of developing these health conditions.

Reduce the risk of diabetes

Few studies explore how raw vegan diets affect a person’s risk of diabetes. However, research 2009 suggests that vegan diets reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost half compared to non-vegetarian diets.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend dietary changes that can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. These may include increasing fruits and non-starchy vegetables and decreasing processed foods and trans fats found in baked and fried foods.

Since people who eat the raw vegan diet also observe these dietary changes, it may help reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

A raw vegan diet can be nutritious. However, it can also be low in calories and high in natural sugars, affecting a person’s health.

Health issues that the raw vegan diet can cause include:

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

The raw vegan diet excludes a wide range of foods, so there is a risk that a person will not get all the vitamins and minerals they need.

A study 2019 reports that the raw vegan diet may not provide enough:

  • protein
  • vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • the iron
  • calcium
  • selenium
  • zinc

The study also notes that cooking helps break down the fibers and cell walls of foods, which can improve their nutritional value in some cases.

A 2005 study found 38% of participants following a raw food diet were deficient in vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to:

  • yellowing of the skin or jaundice
  • sore tongue or glossitis
  • mouth ulcers
  • have ants
  • eyesight problems
  • irritability
  • the Depression
  • mood and behavior changes
  • dementia

weak bones

A study of the raw vegetarian diet found an association between diet and lower bone density. A person with low bone density has a upper risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.

Decay

Fruits contain large amounts of natural sugars. If a person eats a lot of fruit as part of their diet, they are at risk of developing dental caries.

A study found tooth decay in 97% of study participants on a raw diet.

Irregular periods

Research on the effect of a raw food diet on menstruation has found that approximately 30% of people under 45 on a long-term raw diet have had irregular periods or stopped menstruating altogether.

The researchers note that irregular and absent periods were more common in people whose diets contained higher amounts of raw foods.

Because of the raw food diet’s link to high body weight losses and menstrual cycle regularity issues, the researchers said they couldn’t recommend the raw food diet long-term.

Food poisoning

Most people who eat uncooked fruits or vegetables have no symptoms of food poisoning. However, if someone prepares a salad without washing their hands, they can ingest it Harmful bacteria and develop stomach aches.

When consuming raw vegetables or fruits, it is important that a person prevents bacterial cross-contamination by washing hands and storing food in a hygienic environment.

Raw sprouts such as alfalfa and beans can also cause food poisoning. The moist conditions necessary for the growth of sprouts and beans are also ideal for the multiplication of bacteria. The CDC recommends cooking them thoroughly to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Popular foods in a raw vegan diet include:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • dried fruits and vegetables
  • fresh fruit and vegetable juices
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • legumes
  • cereals
  • edible seaweed, called sea vegetables
  • sprouted beans
  • nut milk
  • Peanut Butter
  • almond butter
  • coconut milk
  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • purified water

The raw vegan diet allows whole grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat, and wild rice, if sprouted or sprouted.

People following a raw vegan diet limit or avoid:

  • cooked and processed foods
  • refined oils
  • salt
  • refined sugar
  • refined flour
  • pasta products
  • coffee
  • tea
  • alcohol

To follow the raw vegan diet, a person tends to avoid all processed foods, such as:

  • baked goods
  • refined sugar
  • plain flour
  • oils
  • fries
  • biscuits
  • pastries

A person also excludes all animal products.

Raw foods often make up around 50-75% of a person’s diet. If food needs to be heated, people generally don’t heat it above 118°F (48°C).

People following the raw vegan diet primarily eat:

  • nuts
  • seeds
  • cereals
  • fruits
  • vegetables

Here are some examples of what someone following a raw vegan diet might eat:

Breakfast

  • acai bowls
  • raw banana pancakes
  • green spirulina smoothies

Lunch

  • cold avocado and cucumber soup
  • cabbage and mushroom salad
  • avocado salad

Having dinner

  • raw vegan zucchini pasta and meatless mushroom balls
  • raw pad thai with almond butter sauce and zucchini noodles
  • raw vegan enchiladas with salsa and nut-based meat

Snacks

  • a fruit smoothie
  • dried fruit and nut mixes
  • raw vegan granola bars

Grocery stores will have most of the fresh fruits and vegetables people need to make raw vegan meals. Health food stores will also sell raw ingredients, such as:

  • raw chocolate
  • seasoning
  • oil
  • vegetable butter
  • snacks

People can buy equipment such as food dehydrators, juicers, and blenders online.

The raw vegan diet is a nutritious diet that includes many healthy plant-based foods.

Eating these foods may reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. However, if a person does not plan their diet carefully, they may not get all the calories or nutrients they need.

Several health issues are associated with the raw vegan diet, including irregular menstrual cycles and increased bone fractures.

A person following the Raw Vegan Diet must ensure that they are consuming enough calories and nutrients to maintain good health. Scientists do not consider the raw vegan diet to be a safe long-term diet.