A raw diet in its purest form is simply eating any and all animals, vegetables and minerals that are naturally edible without human manufacture and heat processing (i.e. cooking).
Eating naturally edible foods as close to form as they arise in nature and as freshly as possible means avoiding the difficulties and expense of cooking and/or processing by human methods.
Raw foods afford the most nutritious, simplest, cost-effective and easiest way to eat. Some commonly available examples of what type foods may compose a pure, raw diet include:
Some commonly occurring natural foods are not advisable to eat raw. This includes many Vegetables (i.e. whole plants, leaves, roots, fruits and nuts) as well as some Animals that are naturally toxic to humans.
Most all plants produce toxins as a defense mechanism to ward off predators (from fatal at a minuscule dose to mild enzyme inhibitors troubling to human digestion). Some plant toxins can be made edible by cooking and/or other human processing (e.g. soaking, sprouting and fermentation, etc.), such as:
Many people commonly (and mistakenly) define raw diets as ONLY vegetarianism or even veganism – this is terribly misleading in regards to actual cultural food practices on historical record as well as global diets practiced today.
It is easy to not realize you already eat a raw diet (e.g. salads, sushi, tartares, ceviches and carpaccios), because you don't eat raw 100% of the time. And that's ok.
A raw diet is therefore very broadly applicable to all ages, all walks of life, all cultures and all personal preferences, for example by eating:
As with all diets, your choice of food definition, design and ultimate success in a raw diet depends upon what you're trying to accomplish and your own capacity and readiness to achieve it. The reasons to eat a raw diet are myriad and proven.
... but that's a different question and worthy of another set of answers.
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