What Belly Dancers Need to Know About the Raw Diet
The raw diet uses raw foods rather than cooked ones to help maintain weight and energy. It has many benefits to everyone but there are some things that belly dancers who choose this diet need to be aware of.
Background of the Raw Diet
The Raw Diet was created by Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a medical doctor from Switzerland. He treated himself for jaundice with raw apples and began study on the effects of raw foods on the human body.
The premise behind the raw diet is foods in the raw (primarily vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and certain types of raw meat) should not be cooked due to vital nutrients and natural enzymes being lost during the cooking process. These enzymes help the human body to digest not only the raw foods but also cooked foods. It is more popular today than any other time since its creation, but is considered a fad diet.
Raw Diet Merits
The raw diet is fairly easy to abide by. It mostly consists of salads and other easily prepared foods and also can help save on the energy, packaging and preparation needed to cook other foods. Raw foods also help the body digest cooked foods more thoroughly. It revitalizes the digestive tract by introducing helpful bacteria and enzymes. Another positive point concerning the raw diet is that belly dancers can stop the diet after 30 days and resume normal eating habits or decide to introduce more raw foods into your normal diet.
There are many supposed benefits for belly dancers who choose the raw diet. They include clearer skin, higher energy, weight loss and a lower possibility of disease - all important factors for those who professionally belly dance. The diet has fewer saturated fats and trans-fats than typical American diets and it is also lower in sugars and sodium as well. It is also higher in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
The properties of the diet are consistent with lower rates of disease and cancer. The raw diet also could theoretically slow the aging process due to the lower amounts of glycol by-product produced by the consumption of cooked foods.
Raw Diet and Belly Dancing
There are a few things those who perform or take classes for belly dance need to know about and be aware of when it comes to the raw diet. Some studies show lower bone density and dental erosion for those who followed the diet too strictly for too long. Luckily, belly dance is a weight bearing exercise that leads to stronger bones, though no studies have been done to suggest belly dancing might counter balance the bone lose one might experience by taking part in the raw diet.
Another study showed that the vitamin B12, which is necessary for higher energy, was low in vegan raw diets. Protein for muscle building is likely to be low if the prospect of eating raw meat disturbs you. However, there are raw alternatives, such as certain types of beans and raw cheeses which can help to reduce the need to eat raw meat while giving belly dancers to protein they need to sustain long workouts.
While it is possible to belly dance and have a diet rich in enzymes, minerals, vitamins and nutrients, the raw diet does have both merits and flaws. It is important to learn about any diet and consult your physician before starting any new diet, especially if you have any medical problems or take certain medications, as certain foods may interfere with them.