Our guide to the raw food diet

Turn down the heat for an all-new style of eating

Perhaps you're looking to get in shape, lose weight, get healthier, change your eating habits or reduce your impact on the environment? There are diets out there to suit everyone, whatever your reason (we've recently touched on flexitarianism). Plant-based approaches to food are growing in popularity – just search #plantbased on Instagram and you’ll see what we mean – and if you’re intrigued by this food trend, the raw food diet might be the one for you:

What is the raw food diet?

As the name suggests, this diet is based around unprocessed, uncooked plant-based ingredients, which means no dairy, meat or food that has been heated about 48ºC. If you’re thinking of taking it up, note that you don’t always have to eat raw; aim to consume uncooked vegetables and unprocessed foods around 75% of the time with the odd treat here and there.

What should I fill my fridge with?

Soaked sprouts and grains really are the raw-food eater’s friend – they’re versatile and great for digestion while leafy greens like spinach, kale and watercress are packed with iron and creamy avocados (with their good-for-you fats and antioxidants) are wonderfully nutritious and filling.

It is important to ensure enough protein is included in the diet – while this is usually obtained by consuming animal-based products, such as meat, fish, and eggs, the body can get it from other ingredients like raw nuts and seeds. And never underestimate the versatility of eating raw: uncooked veggies can still be turned into soups and pastas.

Recipes that rrraw

Simple rocket and cucumber salad

Courgette linguine with basil pesto and rawcotta

Strawberry, raspberry, cucumber, avocado and mint salad
Skip out on the caster sugar – unless you want to treat yourself!

Avocado, friseé and red onion salad

Coconut, cashew, date and chia bites

Tomatillo, cucumber, spring onion and gazpacho
There’s little white grape vinegar in this dish but if you want to go 100% raw, the recipe works without it.