Raw Food Lifestyle And Side Effects
First of all I'm a big fan of raw foods and myself follow a high raw vegan lifestyle with the inclusion of some cooked vegan meals also. I just thought that I would emphasize my love for raw foods before starting as the usual "gurus" tend to counter respond by saying you have some agenda against there beliefs.
Onto the nitty gritty, during my time in the alternative health industry, raw food movement, i see it all to often those suffering from many side effects such as losing there hair, losing there period and so on. I rarely am one to use a swear word but when these raw "gurus" tell people that it is just a symptom of DETOX and to keep following the lifestyle and eventually they will adapt it pisses me off. There is nothing normal nor healthy about symptoms so radical as your hair falling out or losing your cycle. Now i know there are several introduction symptoms when you radically alter your diet and lifestyle but side effects such as losing clumps of your hair and losing your menstrual cycle isn't normal.
What is worse is that people try to convince those suffering from these symptoms that it is normal and back it up with nothing more than poor pseudo-science and silly reasons why this its ok for serious ailments like this to happen. This isn't a rare occurrence either these 2 symptoms seem to be some of the most common when it comes to following a raw food diet. Now most of these can be countered by consuming a variety of different foods so your getting a broad scope of nutrients and consuming adequate calories is also another must do on a raw food diet.
One of the common nutrient deficiencies on a raw/vegan diet is IODINE, and the most common symptom i have seen over my years in the raw health movement is the thinning hair, which is a symptom of iodine deficiency. Seaweeds are the best source of the essential mineral iodine, many in the natural hygiene movement will probably try to put you off seaweeds for the reason that they may contain heavy metals. The algins that seaweeds contain bind to any metals and render them useless to be eliminated by the body. It is all fine if you have access to organically grown fruit and vegetables which you know come from good soil and thus contain some amount of iodine. But the majority of us don't and we all know how poor the soil is most of our produce is grown in, which leaves us with foods with little to no iodine content, certainly not enough to achieve RDA(recommended daily allowance) anyway.
Iodine is just one nutrient of concern, there are others and like ive said above getting sufficient calories and a variety of different foods in you is the best idea. Its all fine going raw but if it is harming your health to such a degree like those examples above then adding in a little cooked foods for example, even if its just to temporarily stabilize your symptoms isn't going to kill you.
If you are one of those unlucky ones that aren't getting the great benefits of increasing raw foods into your diet and are getting side effects such as above, its good to take a break and step back for a moment. Analyze what could possibly be going wrong, use online caloric calculators such as fitday.com check to see if your getting sufficient calories. Next check that your not possibly missing some of the common raw vegan deficiencies such as vitamin D3, iodine, protein, b12, iron etc. Just don't take the word of a random person on the internet that it is just down to detoxing and prolong these ailments which could lead to further irreparable problems, you can have initial detoxification with increasing raw foods into your diet but they don't cause symptoms as severe as above.
To read more on veganism, juicing, alternative health please visit http://www.vegankingdom.co.uk
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