Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Pitfalls in Vegetarian Nutrition (6) – Raw Diet

Burdock salad with wasabe sprouts
as a life force salad
A lot of vegetarians 
decided to pick up a vegetarian diet 
to pursue better health. 
Hence, along the path  of their wellness pursuance, 
it’s common to see vegetarians 
following the fad of raw diet.

Raw diet is a special diet which consumes 
only foods which are not treated with heat, 
to avoid damaging the natural enzymes in the food 
so that the foods are easy to digest. 

By wellness principles, 
the ease of digestion leads to better conservation of energy, 
and in turn brings about better skins, anti-aging effects. 
This is one major reason raw diet is gaining popularity.

Raw diet, just like a vegetarian diet, 
requires basic education, to plan safely and healthily. 

A common mistake is that 
many presume raw diet is merely avoiding cooked food. 
Therefore, many under-informed raw foodists, 
when avoiding heating their foods, 
have inevitably fallen to the trap of consuming mainly 
fruits, leafy salads and smoothies only. 

From the view of nutrition, 
although enzymes is highly valued, 
raw diet may cause nutritional imbalance
due to the relatively limited food choices. 

By Yin-Yang principles, 
fruits and leafy vegetables are generally 
inclined towards Yin properties. 
If one is to consume Yin food in large amount 
for prolonged period, 
the bodily system balance will be upset and cause disorders.

Therefore, there are a few critical remarks, 
raw foodists must take note of:
(1)     Not to be selective with food, and to diversify food varieties: 
          Due to the fact that most plants 
          generally contain toxins to different extent, 
          heat is often recommended to degenerate the toxins. 
          Going raw hence inevitably attracts fewer food options/varieties. 
          If a raw foodist, further becomes selective with food, 
          the risk of nutritional imbalanced may be worsened. 

(2)     Emphasize on germinated seeds and sprouts:  
          Among the 6 plant parts (root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, seed), 
          seed has got the most comprehensive nutrition and 
          is generally inclined towards Yang properties. 
          Hence, the proportion of seeds in a raw diet 
          must be substantially high, 
          in order to secure comprehensive nutrition and 
          Yin-Yang balance. 

          Although some seeds can be eaten raw, 
          they are still somewhat toxic. 
          It is recommended to soak, germinate or sprout them 
          prior to consumption. 

          Some examples are: 
          sprouted mung beans, soaked almond and sunflower seed sprouts.

(3)    Increase the intake of root vegetables: 
          If can be taken raw, 
          try to increase the consumption of root vegetables; 
          because generally root vegetables contain more minerals 
          which is relatively little in other plant parts like leaf, flower and fruits.  
          Roots which can be eaten raw include: 
          ginger, radish, carrot, beetroot, sengkuang, burdock, Huaishan etc.

(4)   Take fermented food more frequently: 
         Fermented foods are rich in Vitamin B complex 
         which are relatively lacking in a raw diet. 
         The source of Vitamin B complex is mainly cereal grains 
         which generally cannot be eaten raw; 
         hence fermented food becomes a major source of Vit Bs for raw foodists.
         Moreover, fermentation reduces toxins in raw food, 
         rendering some raw ingredients safer to be taken raw. 

         For examples: fermented soy bean paste, rejuvelac, saurkraut, 

For beginners, 

(i) it is generally not recommendable 
to consume large quantity of raw food, 
because beginners have yet the matured skills and 
in depth knowledge about raw food. 

(ii) Should one decide to adopt a raw diet, 
it is advisable to take one raw meal per day only. 
This is to reduce the risk of nutritional imbalance. 

(ii) Also, if possible avoid taking raw during breakfast, 
as morning is already lacking of Yang elements.

(iv) Furthermore, as both raw and cooked diets are 
treated differently in the digestive system, 
it’s always recommended to keep both 
raw and cooked food eaten separately. 
If both raw and cooked foods are constantly mixed in meals, 
the digestive tract may be compromised in long term. 

(v) If occasionally both raw and cooked foods have to be mixed, 
ensure that there is an obvious difference between raw and cooked portions. 
In other words, 
arrange such that cooked food portion 
is a few times more than raw food portion, 
or vice versa. 
(e.g. 80% cook+20% raw or 20% cooked+80% raw)
This way the digestive tract is less confused.

Raw diet is profound. 

Before hastily leaping into a raw regime, 
slow down and first get the foundation of vegetarian diet steadily built up. 

As to how to build a good foundation for vegetarian diet, 
consider consulting experienced vegetarians or attend a vegetarian nutrition course.

*More raw diet tips at Recipe eBook:

Many blessings,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}


  1. Love your blogs & lectures. I am blessed to have met you.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hi Readers,

    I had been eating leafy veggies and few other types of veggies in a limited variety.
    As a result, it can affect the body temperature internally and cause the blood pressure to go very low beyond that normal level (till I learnt that leafy veggies is the real culprit for this condition). It can also affect the sense of taste buds and cause little nausea when u eat other veggies like beet.

    At that time, I find it strange to have such kind of symptoms.

    So I was advised to consume ginger molasses, one of yang elements to balance yin elements but at least warm up in my body but not wholly.

    After it was back to normal although I'm a little yin, the taste of beet was different (tasted nice than last time).

    I was also advised by a physician during my tour to drink animal milk which is lactose tolerant daily, I feel warmth being circulated among in my body for the first time in my hands and feet. It is confirmed that I am too yin.

    At other time, the western doctor said to me that it is not advisable to drink soy milk DAILY because it cause fatigue and spine or bones (which I couldn't remember) would be too soft. At that time, I drank soy milk daily when I had been eating veggies. No wonder, I had been feeling tired most of time.

    Readers, don't go into raw diet.

  4. All plant parts have their specific roles to play. It's neither the fault of any vegetables nor the issue of raw and cooked , but the under-information of proper management of nutrition. Hence, education is important here.

    It's ok to go raw, but proper education is pre-requisite.


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