The benefits of starting a raw food diet (I prefer lifestyle) are many. These include lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels, controlling food cravings, preventing overeating, purging the body of toxins, balancing hormones, maintaining blood glucose levels and reversing degenerative diseases. Not to mention that you just feel great. It is truly amazing how you will feel younger, smarter, more energetic, and have a positive attitude! There can be some side effects when you are first starting a raw food diet. I did not feel any, other than the headaches, because I transitioned over a 4 week period. Otherwise, some detoxification effects may be experienced as your body attempts to shed some toxicity.
This may include occasional headaches, nausea sensations and mild depression. If these symptoms persist, you should seek the help of somebody who is experienced with detoxification symptoms. In retrospect I realized that my headaches were brought on as withdrawal from coffee (caffeine) which I understand is very common. Following a raw food lifestyle means you have to carefully plan your meals. Make sure you don't fall short of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
In some instances it might be appropriate to take dietary supplements, especially when just starting out. After a while you will gain the experience to find a wide variety of foods and combinations that meet all your nutritional requirements.
Invest in some appliances so that you can prepare the food, if you don’t already have them available. A durable juicer, blender and a large food processor make raw food preparation a breeze. The best way to begin a raw foods lifestyle is to slowly transition into it. I initially recommend starting by drinking more water, and having water instead of fruit juice, milk, or soda. Try starting off by eating approximately 70 percent raw food. Have salad and fruit throughout the day and a cooked vegetable meal with a salad in the evening. Remember, the palate of foods you have to work with are nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, and sprouts. This is actually an ample amount of food when you consider all the combinations you can create. To get an idea of the variety out there, go to a raw food restaurant and pick up a raw food preparation book. Keep a food journal during the process to help you learn what works best. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling the positive effects of a healthy raw food lifestyle!