Regardless of how you label (or don’t label) your diet, healthy diets will always include large servings of fruits and vegetables. Even if you’re just starting out with this lifestyle, you know that raw fruits and vegetables usually provide a different nutritional value than their cooked counterparts, and are certainly much more nutritionally dense than processed foods.
Health Benefits of Eating Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Vitamins and Minerals – The cooking process reduces the amount of certain heat or water sensitive vitamins that are naturally present in whole foods, and so this changes the health benefits of eating them. Eating them raw ensures that you get the full benefit of the vitamins, such as vitamin A, B, C, E, and potassium and calcium.
Antioxidants – Antioxidants are compounds that both prevent, and help erase, the cellular damage done by free radicals. Free radicals have been linked to cancer, heart disease, aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis. A few handfuls of blueberries or raspberries are a wonderful raw treat!
Fiber – Fiber is essential for keeping our bodies running smoothly, as well as helping to lower cholesterol and help ward off cardiovascular diseases. Raw fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of fiber.
Five Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies
1. We tend to eat more of what’s around. Keep a supply of raw fruits and veggies on hand for a fast and easy snack. Fruit is already the perfect snack food because it is naturally portable and ready to go. Keep a supply of cut-up raw veggies in your fridge such as carrots, celery and bell pepper. When you are feeling hungry, such as between meals, grab some of those veggies or a piece of fruit to have as a snack. You can keep some on hand at work as they make handy snacks for when you are having a busy day!
2. Fruit makes an excellent topper for just about anything. Fresh chopped apples and some sprouted grains will make an easy, hassle-free breakfast. Alternatively, flatten and dehydrate some bananas to create pancakes to put your fruit on. You can also split a banana in half down the middle and put some nuts and berries inside.
3. Invest in a juicer and begin drinking pure, fresh vegetable juice. Raw juice is the best way to get all of the benefits of raw fruits and veggies, and is both delicious and refreshing at the same time. You can prepare the juice ahead of time and experiment with a variety of flavor combinations.
4. For those of you who are not big fans of juice, mixing fruit and vegetables in a blender, to make a smoothie, is a tasty and satisfying way to get more raw nutrients into your diet. Smoothies make for a great snack and are super quick to prepare as well.
5. Make a salad. Seem too obvious? Salads give you endless possibilities. You can go for a fruit only salad, full of your favorite diced fruits, or you can have a leafy green salad with a variety of freshly vegetables and a few avocado chunks. You could even combine the two. Apple and strawberries both go very well in a leafy green salad.
Enjoy trying new fruits and vegetables and have fun playing with the recipes here on YoungandRaw.com!
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