High Protein Raw Diet is a diet characterized chiefly by the intake of foods with high protein content but consumed in a raw form. Proteins are basically the building blocks for our body and are required for two main purposes- growth and maintenance. Protein is an indispensable macronutrient, the presence of which is known in practically every human tissue. Proteins have multiple roles to play in the human body. Regular protein intake provides a source of amino acids (which proteins are made up of) which are utilised in the body for the manufacture of structural proteins, enzymes, hormones, cellular regeneration and repair of worn out or injured tissues among other functions.
Protein Types and Sources
- The best protein sources include meats, fowl, fish, dairy products and eggs.
- Vegetarian sources of proteins consist of lentils, beans, pulses, and soy products.
- Proteins may be classified as complete or incomplete depending on their amino acid structure. Normally, complete proteins are obtained from animal sources and contain all the nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are not produced by the body and hence need to be obtained through diet. Plant proteins are referred to as incomplete because they are usually lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids.
- For vegetarians therefore the best option would be to use plant proteins in combination e.g. Rice with beans or lentils.
Features of High Protein Raw Diet
- Considering the fact that most complete protein sources are non-vegetarian and that most meats cannot be eaten raw, selecting food items that could form a part of the high protein raw diet seems challenging. However wise choices can make a High Protein Raw Diet possible.
- It is in fact believed that heating of food to a temperature above 116 F causes the denaturation of enzymes needed for the appropriate digestion and adequate nutrient absorption. Consuming eggs in the raw form, without cooking, can provide the body with the highest quality proteins. Egg whites can be blended into raw milk and consumed as an ‘egg flip’ to avoid cooking losses. However, studies show that while some nutrients are better available on cooking eggs, others may be lost in the process.
- Fish is another food that is consumed raw in many parts of the world, especially after the Japanese popularised their traditional gourmet raw fish “Sushis” and “Sashimis”. As a matter of fact fashionable appetizers like caviar, certain oysters or seafood, stallion salamis are eaten in the raw form, as delicacies in many parts of the world.
- Similarly it is believed that certain African natives consume beef in the raw form. The French are known to serve steak tartare consisting of either tender horse meat or beef mince along with eggs, perhaps seasoned but not cooked.
- Vegetarians will have to rely on nuts, pulses, legumes, beans and seeds for their raw protein requirements. Dried fruits and nuts like almonds, walnuts are healthy sources. Sprouted beans, lentils, pulses apart from providing proteins in their raw form, also are high on their vitamin and mineral content. Hemp seeds and protein powder obtained from hemp are highly nutritious providing all the 21 amino acids including those essential to (not synthesized by) our body.
- Raw food experts consider dark green leafy vegetables to act as good protein sources that also provide folic acid, iron, beta-carotene and calcium when consumed raw.
Benefits of High Protein Raw Diet
- Experts are of the opinion that even vegetarians who include substantial variety into their daily raw diet by consuming different raw vegetables, nuts, grains, pulses, beans and seeds are most likely to obtain the required amounts of protein.
- Raw eggs prove to be the ideal source of essential proteins, amino acids, essential fatty acids along with a host of vitamins and minerals that provide nutrition to the brain cells, nerve cells and different glands and hormones.
- Clearly raw foods assist in the digestive process by making the nutrients available to the system in the most natural unaltered form. Subsequent nutrient absorption is also expedited.
- Raw liver, if consumed, is the most potent source of amino acids, B-vitamins among several other vital nutrients.
- Certain studies revealed how consumption of raw animal products helped improve both reproductive as well as hormonal performance.
- Raw meat and milk intake demonstrated marked improvement in both thyroid and hormonal disorders as also in prostate problems.
An interesting observation was that when Eskimos, whose diet consisted of primarily raw meat and fish, switched to a well-cooked diet, it did not suit them and they fell ill. Returning back to their original diet helped them regain health.