BENEFITS OF A RAW VEGAN DIET: with an eye to how to make it actually work for you

POST #822
my post here is derived from a post I received from
That post was interesting and useful, but, as I am given to giving specifications, rather than allowing my clients to run wild with a few ideas, I have some things to add here.

I received a post from Swayzie Foster, of, and, while I agree that the ideas she presents are good, I must warn against the drawbacks (everything is good, but not all is best)

(along with the caveats)


Many people who adopt a raw diet notice that their digestion becomes better.  Indigestion often disappears within days.  Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome often notice improvement quickly after going raw.

On the other hand, if one does not follow the rules of food combining/natural hygiene, there will still be gastro-intestinal upsets .

Food combining, also known as natural hygiene, addresses the idea of eating foods which digest at the same rate together, and avoiding eating foods which do not digest with certain or other foods well.  What this means, basically, is that you can eat some foods together, and you can eat other foods together, but some foods you can only eat alone (this is why, sometimes, when you go to a raw vegan restaurant, you can come away with gas or other fun g-i upsets.

Many raw vegan recipe books touch on this subject and give charts. If you haven’t seen this idea in any of your recipe books, then go to:


By me, this is a top benefit.

Still, if you start eating raw vegan food, and try to reproduce all of the recipes which you can find out there which reproduce popular cooked foods, you may experience a problem.  Similarly, if you figure that you can eat all of the raw vegan desserts that you see in recipe books or find in raw vegan restaurants, you may not experience the kind of weight loss you wish to experience.

Yes, raw vegan desserts are guilt-free — they are made up of raw fruits/vegetables and nuts, but they do contain calories.

You just can’t eat desserts all day, unless you are counting an apple, a peach, a pear, a plum, etc. as you dessert.  Raw cheeze cake is delicious, but you just can’t have it every day.

A raw vegan diet actually makes it much easier to follow a high protein diet/low carb diet:  You can eat more vegetables on a raw diet than you can on a cooked diet (2 cups of spinach have only 4g of carbs).

For a good beginning weight loss program, check out Ani’s Fat Blast, which is actually a high protein, low carb diet.


Since a good raw vegan diet requires less energy to digest, your body has more energy available to it.

Even if you are only 75% raw, you are likely to notice increase energy.


Many people who undertake a raw vegan diet feel that they sleep better and awaken more refreshed than before.


This is a common claim from the raw vegan crowd.  Check it out for yourself. The concept is that, since you do not need to use a lot of energy to digest food, you have more energy to think.

My personal take on this is that, if you are eating sufficient protein, this will be true. If you do not eat sufficient protein, you will likely come across to others as an airhead – protein is a necessary nutrient for brain cells.


It is true: if you are eating only raw fruit and vegetables and raw nuts and seeds, you are adding into your system only the things that you need to have healthy skin.  Your diet must be balanced, however.


If you are eating a balanced raw vegan diet (I’m saying 40%carbohydrates/30% protein/30%good fats), then you should experience beautiful hair (by that, I do not mean that your curly hair will go straight, or that your straight hair will go curly, but that your hair will be shiny, healthy, and as thick as it can be (if your hair is baby-fine and straight, it isn’t going to go fluffy – sorry).


If you eat a strict raw vegan diet, the sugars and chemicals in non-raw convenience foods, sodas and other beverages, and prepared foods will not be present in your diet to negatively affect your teeth and gums .


Many people experience alleviation from such symptoms as anemia, restless leg syndrome, seasonal colds, heavy menstrual flow, and muscle cramps.

  • anemia
  • restless leg syndrome
  • muscle and joint pains in my legs and feet
  • seasonal colds about 3-4 times a year (pretty much whenever the weather changed)
  • the flu every couple of years
  • headaches
  • heavy menstrual flows and horrible cramps in my abdomen and lower back that left me in tears

Sorry guys, but that really is a big one for the ladies. 😉  If you are, in fact, doing at least high raw, you should expect that cramps and heavy periods would be alleviated.  As far as colds,  you might expect to have fewer, but, if you are in a highly-populated environment, such as a subway, or a classroom, you are still vulnerable.  If you have sinus issues, they may well clear up, but, then, again, they may not, particularly if you have late-onset hay fever, or if you have had nasal surgery. (I am speaking from personal experience)

Following a 40%carb/30% protein/30%fat raw vegan diet, you should expect to lose some weight, feel more healthy, experience fewer illnesses, and, thus, need to visit your doctor less, thus saving money.

You might ask why you are seeing this, when most raw foodists give you glowing reports of amazing health benefits.  Truthfully, I would like to know that you experience all of the positive benefits, but, in some cases, you might only experience some of them — still enough to make you want to continue.  I have experienced great health benefits, but not necessarily all of the ones touted by many raw foodists. Still, the benefits I have received have always made it worthwhile for me to continue on this path.


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