Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) affects approximately one million Americans, leaving them perpetually exhausted and brain foggy. CFS can be tricky to diagnose and cure, but if you’re one of the millions suffering from it, there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms (and potentially cure yourself entirely) just by changing to a raw food diet.
What Is Raw Food?
Raw food diets typically involve eating entirely (or at least mostly) raw and unprocessed foods. People tend to choose a raw food diet if they’re looking to lose weight, increase their energy levels, mitigate chronic diseases that can come from inflammation, improve their overall health, and reduce their environmental impact.
The raw food diet is similar to veganism in that it tends to be plant-based, relying on vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Some people include raw eggs and dairy in their diet, and even fewer include raw fish and meat. Instead of cooking your food, raw food diets encourage you to experiment with other preparation methods, like juicing, blending, and dehydrating.
A food is considered raw if it:
- has never been heated above 104–118°F (40–48°C)
- is unrefined and unpasteurized
- has not been treated with pesticides
- is otherwise totally unprocessed
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is, as the name suggests, a disorder in which a person suffers from extreme fatigue that can last for over six months and isn’t necessarily tied to any preexisting medical conditions. While CFS gets worse if you’re engaging in physical or mental activities, it doesn’t get any better with rest.
Other CFS symptoms include a tendency to wake up feeling unrested, troubles with memory and concentration, and dizziness that gets worse when you change from a lying down or seated position to a standing one.
Another name for CFS is myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). You’ll sometimes see it written as ME/CFS.
How Can Raw Food Help Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Raw food can help alleviate your Chronic Fatigue symptoms. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before making drastic changes to your diet. Everyone’s treatment plan is different, so a combination of diet and lifestyle changes may help you treat your CFS.
More Nutrients and Enzymes
Introducing raw foods into your diet can dramatically reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Because uncooked foods are still living, their enzymes and nutrients have a different effect on the body. They actively interact with your system and produce a live energy effect. While scientists may not fully understand why raw foods have such a synergistic effect on the body, they recognize that it occurs.
On the other hand, cooked foods have had their enzymes and nutrients destroyed and can cause an energy-depleting reaction in your system instead. This can be especially troublesome if you’re already suffering from chronic fatigue. In some cases, eating highly processed foods can end up causing more fatigue than not eating at all.
You Can Add Superfoods For Huge Benefits
Superfoods are well known for their positive effects on the body. When photographed under Kirlian light, these specific raw foods emit vibrant life energy. Seaweed/kelp, kombu, and dolce emit the brightest energies.
Incorporate these foods into your diet, either in fresh form or in powder form (as long as they were dried, rather than heated to make the powder), to help mitigate your chronic fatigue:
- Barley grass
- Lemon and orange peel
- Green leafy vegetables
- Most herbs
Sprouts are an especially good raw superfood and have the biggest raw energy percentage because they are still growing and bursting with life. They contain vitamins, minerals, proteins, and chlorophyll pigments. They can contain up to 2000 percent more vitamins per gram than other vegetables. You can even grow them yourself using sprouting trays (just be sure to follow the instructions and don’t eat any sprouts over a week old.)
Raw Food Helps Restore Probiotics
Probiotics have been shown to improve the levels of gut dysfunction that often accompany chronic fatigue syndrome. Fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi, are both delicious and have probiotic properties. Certain types of yogurt and kefir are also great sources of probiotics that are acceptable on a raw food diet.
There are even probiotic supplements you can buy that are made from raw foods to relieve some of your CFS symptoms. Eating real chocolate, which contains cacao phytonutrients, can also help alleviate your symptoms.
How to Follow a Raw Food Diet
While choosing a raw food diet can sound a little intimidating, it’s actually pretty easy and can even cut down on your cooking time. To follow the diet, all you need to do is ensure that your diet is made up of at least 75% raw foods. Since most of these foods can be eaten as is, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, that part is pretty easy.
Some raw foods do require some preparation. For example, if you want to incorporate grains and legumes into your diet, you typically need to soak or sprout them first. There are also a few vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, which can cause discomfort if they’re eaten raw, even though they’re very good for you. The best way to prepare foods like this is to steam them, which preserves the enzymes and nutrients while making them more palatable.
If you’re not sure what you can and can’t eat on a raw food diet, use this list as a handy guide.
Foods to Eat
- Any fresh fruits or raw vegetables
- Unprocessed nuts and seeds
- Sprouted or soaked raw grains and legumes
- Dried fruits and meats
- Cold-pressed olive and coconut oils
- Fermented foods (like kimchi and sauerkraut)
- Nut milk
- Raw nut butter
- Raw eggs or dairy (optional)
- Raw meat or fish (optional)
Foods to Avoid
- Any kind of cooked fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains
- Roasted nuts and seeds
- Refined oils
- Table salt
- Refined sugars and flour
- Baked items
- Pasteurized juices and dairy
- Coffee and tea
- Chips or other processed snack foods
- Other processed foods and snacks
Raw food diets have been shown to have a dramatic impact on CFS symptoms. Ingesting raw and unprocessed foods that are rich in living nutrients and enzymes can improve your digestion and give you a serious energy boost.