Sarasota, FL—Many people shopping at nutrition and wellness stores are vegetarian or vegan. However, one particular diet that might grab retailers’ attention is the raw foods diet, for which followers depend on stores selling organic and fresh raw foods and supplements.

Jenna Norwood, a healthy living expert and speaker, stars in the documentary Supercharge Me! 30 Days Raw (released by Emporia Pictures in 2007), which follows Norwood as she begins a raw food diet. The diet, based on the idea that cooked food creates a toxic reaction in the body, has been evolving over the past 50 years, but Norwood said that when she started the diet in 2005 “it was difficult to find anyone who even knew what it was. Now, it seems like most people are aware of it and are inteSupercharge Me DVDrested in trying it.”

Supercharge Me! explains many of the benefits of the diet. David Wolfe, a raw food and nutrition expert, says in the movie that “Raw food is enzymatically active,” and it has “more vitamin C, it has B vitamins, it has more beta carotene. All these vitamins are degraded by heat,” as are amino acids, he says. In the documentary, Norwood goes to Whole Foods Market to continue her raw food diet, buying not only produce, but also prepared dishes. “It is very helpful for stores to have prepared raw food dishes,” said Norwood, who became a raw food chef and teaches monthly raw food preparation classes, which she says “are almost always full with a waiting list.”

She recommends that if stores cannot provide fresh, prepared raw foods, they should stock up on “dehydrated raw snack foods, like cookies and crackers,” as well as “ingredients that raw foodists use, like organic, raw coconut oil, organic, raw almond butter, raw nuts, unsweetened dried fruits, first cold-pressed, organic extra virgin olive oil, raw cacao powder, hemp seeds, organic spices and goji berries.” A big part of the diet is also wheat grass, which stores can prepare in juice form or sell as a plant.

Supplements are also important, since some people may not be getting certain nutrients they need. Norwood became slightly anemic after she started the diet, so her doctor recommended taking B12, folic acid and iron supplements, which stores can provide.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, Aug. 2010 (epub July 21, 2010)