Vegan Diet: Pros and Cons - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
There are a lot of people out there right now that are trying a raw vegan diet. It is absolutely fine and I highly recommend it for certain people. But it is not good for everyone. One of the things that can be a problem is getting enough protein in. And it is really, really important that you get enough high quality proteins to maintain your lean body mass. Eating lots of vegetables is great. Eating raw vegetables can be fine. There are certain vegetables that the human body actually does better with them being processed or cooked at some level, even if it is just blanched which is kind of like wilting some of those greens. There are certain vegetable groups like the cruciferous vegetable group (that includes broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, boc choi) that have certain constituents in it that are really hard for the body to digest and process. They are components of those vegetables that are hard on the thyroid gland and really hard on the kidneys. So once you apply heat to those you do a little bit better. You can also apply enzyme activity of microbial activity.
So one of the way those raw vegan groups can get around some of those limitations, particularly in that food group when looking at vegetables, is to ferment. So, it is not really cooking but is a processing done by microorganisms that helps to break down some of those things. So in order to be a healthy raw vegan, you actually need to spend quite a bit of time "cooking", for lack of a better word, processing your food. Because you need to know what to put in to each of your meals to make sure you get all of those vital nutrients, to cover all the basics, so that you stay healthy. You can do a lot with juicing. Juicing can be very helpful, but then again if you get too much of certain constituents in your diet and too little of others you throw your whole system out of balance. One of the things that juicing can do is add a lot of sugar in the form of fructose. If you take the pulp out of your juice you can actually set yourself with an imbalance and push yourself towards diabetes, even though you think your eating a really healthy diet.
So it is about really learning. It is about taking the time to really know what your bio-chemistry is and to really learn about that diet that you had like to try. So what I highly recommend, it if it is something that you are interested in giving a shot at, is talk to someone- a professional- or get some really good books out of the library to learn how to do this in a healthy manner. You do not want to get yourself sick by trying to make yourself healthy.