Clear skin, lots of energy and a slimmer, sexier you? What's not to love about a lifestyle that promotes that? Many followers of the raw food diet say that when you eat raw, unprocessed foods, you're getting the full nutritional content of the plant without the chemicals, colors and other additives often pumped into the foods we eat today [source: Books].
When you heat your spinach in the microwave or cook any veggie in water, it loses a certain amount of minerals and nutrients. Raw vegetables retain their nutrients, especially eaten with the skin, and are easier to digest because the fiber content remains intact [source: Virginia Cooperative Extension]. But if something must be cooked, 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (43 to 49 Celsius) is the generally accepted high temperature [source: Williams].
What else is possible on this diet if perfect hair, skin and weight are just the beginning? With the right amount of planning and experimenting, you can invent creative new meal ideas. But, of course, there are plenty of naysayers who believe the raw food diet is not all that it's cracked up to be. Learn about raw-food criticisms on the next page.