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Raw Food Restaurants: What to Expect and Why
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As the increase rise in the Raw Food Movement, Raw Food restaurants are becoming more popular all over the world. When dining for the first time at a raw food restaurant you will have to adjust your expectations ahead of time, as the food in both preparation and cuisine will most likely be other than what you are used to. Do NOT go to one of these restaurants if a t-bone stake is what you crave! The raw food movement is based on a diet of unprocessed and uncooked plant foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, sprouts, beans and seaweed. In most dishes the food will be served at room temperature as the belief is that food heated above 116 degrees Fahrenheit void of important digestive assisting enzymes. Heating food is thought to rob it of its’ natural supply of nutrients.
Why eat raw food? There are thought to be several advantages to eating a diet comprised of a diet no less than 75% raw food. Now again we are only talking about raw vegan; nuts, fruits and veggies as meats, fish and dairy are not included. (However, some raw foodies do eat small portions of raw fish, meat and dairy). Some raw vegans can be subdivided into fruitarians, juicearians, or sproutarians. Fruitarians eat primarily or exclusively fruits and nuts. Juicearians process their raw plant foods into juice. Sproutarians adhere to a diet consisting mainly of sprouted seeds.For starters, raw foods are typically organic and of better quality. Organic foods have been grown without the use of toxic fertilizers and pesticides and many are sprouted from non-genetically modified seeds (non GMOs).

Raw foods are also dense with essential nutrients and important digestive enzymes. Foods that are cooked, processed or dehydrated have much less nutritional value and are considered to be “empty”. Raw foods have the perfect balance of nutrients, water and fiber, hence keep you fuller and satisfied for much longer. You also don’t have to eat as much to gain the same benefits, in fact many find themselves eating less yet sustaining the same and even increase levels of energy.

Raw foods will also help to keep you and your family at a healthy weight. So many foods are processed with large amounts of salt and sugar and in the process are stripped of essential vitamins and minerals. For example, the “fruit snacks” that find their way into so many lunchboxes actually do more harm than good.

Many also believe that eating a raw food diet is imperative in the fight again cancer. Cancer is caused by “free radicals” which are damaging to cells. Cooked foods contain higher levels of free radicals, however raw foods contain higher levels of antioxidants. In general, plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants, such as glutathione, vitamin C, and vitamin E as well as enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and various peroxidases. Antioxidants prevent the free radicals from completing cell damaging chain reactions and there for significantly reduce the chances of cancer cells from forming in the body.

Once you can accept the fact that the food the food you are about to ingest is in its most natural state, raw and uncooked, your pallet is in for a truly healthy treat and you may even be pleasantly surprised. Chances are your entrée will contain a lot more interest and flavor that a typical crudité platter. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to a creative chef and a nice supply of fruits, veggies and a blender. Pine nut blends that rival ricotta cheese, thinly sliced veggies that make you would swear they were noodles and raw carob brownies that are as good as Betty Crocker’s. When going to a raw food restaurant bring an open mind and appetite as carrots will never taste so good. Be sure to check your guilt at the door because what you are about to eat is good for you!

Some of the Best Raw Food Restaurants

Living Cuisine Raw Food Bar - Salt Lake City, UT
Muse - Berkeley, CA
Go Raw Cafe - Las Vegas, NV
Raw Soul - New York, NY
Cru Raw Food Restaurant - Los Angeles, CA
Planet Raw by Juliano and Ariel - Santa Monica, CA
Raw Food Underground - West Palm Beach, FL
Raw Passion Bistro - Dayton, OH
Arnold's Way Vegetarian Raw Cafe - Lansdale, PA
Bliss Raw Cafe and Elixir Bar - Dallas, TX
Raw Deal - Menomonie, WI
Real Raw Live - Los Angeles, CA
Quintessence - New York, NY
Caravan of Dreams Restaurant - New York, NY
Pure Food & Wine - New York, NY

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