8 Raw Foods We Eat All The Time : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Friday Jul 15 | BY |
| Comments (51)

muna peru
In Peru, we’d drink tea from this herb just about every day…

Last week, I posted an article on 5 foods we don’t really think are as healthy as they’re portrayed… (here)

After posting, a lot of you wanted a list of raw foods that we DO eat all the time and do think are healthy.

I thought this was a great suggestion and so today I’m going to share 8 foods with you that we eat on a regular basis.

Before I share, I do want to note 2 things…

First, I want you to know that we eat much of our raw foods seasonally, so this list was harder to compile than I originally thought. This list is a list of foods that we’re eating now regularly since most of the foods are in season. When summer is over – or even at the end of summer – these do change. (I’ll be adding figs and peaches to the list really, really soon!)

Second, I don’t really like posting what I eat because there might be an assumption that these foods have more relevance to me than I actually give them. So because if I say that I’m eating a lot of carrots or fennel, that doesn’t necessarily mean I think they’re the most healthy foods on the planet, nor do I think you should base your diet around them (you can if you want!) These are just good raw foods that we’re eating – simple as that.

So with those two disclaimers out of the way, let’s get into the foods we eat all the time (or at least in the last few months)…

1. Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries (blackberries soon)… we love them. We add them to smoothies, eat them fresh and even always have a bag or two frozen in the freezer.

Berries have tons of antioxidants and are my first choice of fruit because of their low standing on the glycemic index chart (this is a good thing!)

2. Lettuce

I love lettuce. I’ve been quoted as saying that all I want to do – or my mission – is to get as many people as possible to eat more lettuce.


It’s a leafy green that most everyone can enjoy, it contains vitamins and minerals, and its the base of any great salad.

We don’t eat iceberg lettuce, but we do eat green leaf, red leaf, butter, romaine, and any other lettuces that we can find at the farmer’s market.

(Under lettuces, I think it’s good to note that this can include other salad greens as well as wild edible greens.)

We eat at least one type of green – many times more – a day.

3. Kelp

Because Annmarie’s thyroid runs on the slower side, we tend to eat a large amount of kelp. Annmarie has been known to sprinkle it on anything that may remotely be considered a good combination. She always adds it to her salad dressing mixes as a way to sneak it in without messing up the flavor at all.

Kelp – as you may know – is a fantastic source of plant based iodine, which has been shown to help assist with proper thyroid function.

4. Spinach

On the health side of things, spinach is a great green to eat because it’s filled with minerals – including iron.

On the taste side of things, spinach – I think – just tastes awesome. That’s why we eat a lot of it. Annmarie makes a honey mustard salad dressing and puts it over spinach that is amazing.

5. Fermented veggies or drinks

We don’t eat just one type of ferment on a regular basis, we tend to rotate all different kinds.

Recently, as you’ve seen on the Renegade Health Show, we’ve drank a lot of chicha. Before, we were into kimchi. Before that, sauerkraut.

Fermented foods pack a lot of nutrition as well as healthy bacteria, B vitamins and amino acids that help support healthy gut flora as well as the immune system.

6. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are great for the summer – as well as other seasons – because they’re filled with water. We put them in our juices to provide nutrient rich water, instead of adding any additional H20.

Cucumbers are also a decent source of silica which can build strong nails, hair and bones.

7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is primarily on the list for flavor, but then happens to have some great health benefits as well.

Since it’s summer, we make chilled cinnamon tea every week or so. We made some recently and brought it into the office and everyone went crazy over it.

Cinnamon, on top of its amazing flavor, is an herb that has blood sugar lowering properties and has been shown to help curb appetite and regulate metabolism.

Be sure to get Ceylon or “true” cinnamon since this product is far superior than what you’ll find in most supermarkets. (You can find ceylon cinnamon here.)

8. Holy Basil

This is my adrenal tonic and probably the only “superfood” on this list.

Holy basil is an adaptogenic herb from India that – for me – has a cooling and calming effect on my adrenal glands.

If you’re stressed, then this herb extract is for you.

I add a little to my smoothies or make a tea using the extract and add a little cinnamon and vanilla.

I usually take a break from this herb every month or so… so I do one month on, one month off. This varies depending on if I feel like I need it or if my body tells me that I’m overdoing it.

(You can find high quality holy basil here.)

Please note, you won’t find many crazy and expensive superfoods on this list. The reason why is because I think it’s important to eat fresh foods as much as possible. If I were to make a list of 8 superfoods that we ate regularly, they’d probably include cherries, kale, and sauerkraut – not maca, goji berries or cacao. That’s not to say we eat these things from time to time, we may, but we don’t form our diet around them, we use them as additions to our healthy diet.

I want to know your thoughts: Is your must have raw food or foods?

Live Awesome!

Want to know what other raw foodists eat?

Now you can!

Nomi Shannon has put together a cool book that shows what well known (and not so well known) raw foodists eat on a regular basis.

The book includes their complete meal plans for 7 days as well as some awesome recipes that they’ve contributed as well.

To read more about this book and get it now, here’s where to go…


Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. JC Danis says:

    I’ve heard that raw spinach can be detrimental for people with sluggish thyroids. Have you seen any info on this?

  2. Betsy says:

    Under wild edible greens – people should try more purslane! It grows all over my yard – and I leave some growing in my garden now so that it’s not trampled on and dirty. It is very mild but PACKED with vitamins and minerals.. a friend introduced me to it. I put leaves of it into omlettes or into salads. Since we don’t put any poisons now on our lawn – our dandelions etc are also safe to eat and we do add them also to things.

  3. Bruce says:

    Purslane + cloves = bye bye parasites

  4. Pamela says:

    Kale! Lots and lots of kale!

  5. lisa says:

    These are all great, and I’m totally with you on all of them, HOWEVER, what about a regular source of protein for muscle strength and some fat for a proper functioning brain??

    I’ve met a lot of raw foodies who are more on the fruitarian type side and they (hope I don’t offend anyone here) are kind of, well, very loopy.

    Do you then get most of your other needs met through non-raw sources or do you find you need such a small amount that it doesn’t matter? My problem is that I don’t crave protein and so I have to force myself to incorporate it into my daily diet.

  6. lisa says:

    And… how come I can’t seem to find that honey mustard dressing anywhere? Now I’ve got a real taste for it on my garden spinach!!

  7. suzette says:

    Kevin, are goji berries not good for you on a daily basis? I heard they were such a powerhouse of antioxidants. The other day a chinese lady served me and some friends hot tea with gojis dropped in our cups. I’ve been thinking about incorporating just a few of them (1/4 cup) in my daily regime. Not a good idea?

  8. suzette says:

    And do you know if pu’er tea is good for us?

  9. maca says:

    Kevin – do you have any plans to ship to Asia any time soon? Also, as you don’t at the moment, do you know of somewhere that I can buy good quality holy basil online?

    I think your next video will be explaining that you do actually eat other foods, because people will take this list literally. LOL.

  10. Charlie Edwards says:

    I wondered what your view was on Nickel heavy foods? My specialist has just told me a big part of my fatigue and raised IGE (764) is due to nickel toxicity? My diet is already restricted to no sugar,gluten,dairy,oats,rye,grains,carbohydrate,egg to name but a few-due to thyroid and adrenal disease. The only substitute grain i eat is buckwheat. Until now i have relied on lots of leafy greens and nuts to bulk up my diet…
    i am in a real dilema as am facing invasive treatments such as fat lipid exchange or neutralisation by daily injections to combat the nickel. I already take various supplements to chelate other toxins.
    I would be interested in your opinion.
    Thank you

  11. marie-andree says:

    To answer to maca no. 9, you could contact Dr Mercola’s office. He is selling organic holy basil, very good.

    And Kevin, every morning I drink a juice with carrott, spinach, parsley, celery, half a lemon, half a lime and sometime I add dandelion or swiss chard. Very good. I make sure I take 4 capsules a day of Bio Super Food, it is a mix of the 4 most powerful algaes in the word which contains 50% pure protein and Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and so many more nutrients. It is a complete food. I had problems with my eyes and it is completly healed by using that food.

  12. Winter Fey says:

    Some favorite raw items (not altogether, though!) sunflower and buckwheat sprouts, avocados, mangos, strawberries, spinach, pears, oranges, lemon/lime, mmmmmm :)))

  13. Silya says:

    For #10 Charlie… Have you tried Adya Clarity for getting rid of the nickel? It is black mica based and is the source material for zeolite etc. If you want more info you can go to kacperpostawski.com/waterwebinar. You can watch a whole video about it’s uses and some of the miraculous things it does & how to get it.. It is even potent for somethin as toxic and pervasive as radiation! I hope that helps 🙂

  14. Coco says:

    In a perfect world here’s my list of 8.

    Purslane (my fave of faves!)
    Wild berries (raspberry, mulberry, blackberry)

  15. Nita says:

    What is the recipe for the honey mustard dressing? I cruised the site.

  16. she says:

    Kale, avocado and beets. And collards. They have a nice slight spicy kick.

  17. Thomas says:

    Holy Basil is also called Tulsi.

    Maca: You can get Tulsi tea, powder, etc. from iHerb.com
    They ship to Asia all the time, as many of the user comments are from all over Asia. You can get $5 or 5% off using coupon OMA196, which should save on the shipping.

    It originates from India, but people in the States grow it in their yards, so I imagine it will grow anywhere.

  18. Dejana says:

    hi Kevin, thanks for sharing! I’ll be looking forward to answer questions video as one person suggested. So here’s mine- I love lettuce but have to be careful with it because it naturally contains opium that slows down movements in intestines. If I eat lettuce few times a week I get constipation.
    Also, there is so much controversy about spinach and iron, and in what form spinach has to be for the body to be able to assimilate iron. Shazzie wrote in her book that her daughter had iron deficiency so they eat spinach very sparingly.
    Any thoughts on that?

  19. No Name says:

    Hi, thanks for the amazing tips. However this statement confused me:

    “We don’t eat iceberg lettuce”

    Aren’t we suppose to eat that kind of lettuce?

    Thanks again!

  20. Jacque says:

    Don’t forget to eat your broccoli! Also, put dandelion leaf in your green drinks (smoothies) every once in a while – it’s good for the liver.

  21. Kathy says:

    You mentioned cinnamon tea. How do you make that?

  22. elle~b says:

    I say, divulge that Honey Mustard recipe, pronto! It would lead to the eating of more spinach, I am certain of it! 🙂

    My list is identical to yours with the exception of the afore mentioned leafy green. Also, after prompting from tips in the comments, I just discovered that I have been weeding purslane OUT of my garden for months-I am so pleased to find that it belongs on my plate!

  23. Wheatgrass and unsulphured blackstrapp molasses. Eat those and you have an amazing source of energy, full of nutrition, minerals and vitamins. Both of those actually REVERSE THE GREY IN YOUR HAIR, in ”

    months” of eating both of those you have your natural hair color back – no more grey hairs. Great for your blood and fighting off disease. Those are miracle foods 🙂

    In my fridge and cupboard – Avocado, sprouts, quinoa, lemons, dandelion greens, almonds, berries, beets, cherries, figs,

    I good book suggestion would be foods that will sustain your life. A combo of enzymes, carbs, ameno acids, vitamins, minerals which sustain and fuel your body keep it clean and with optimum health, regenerative youth and vitality, super fast healing, strength, flexibility, calm in your being, clarity in your mind. We all want a smooth sleek ferrari, not a dying rusted old pinto. he he

    If you have all 72 trace minerals and a balanced PH I think you are rockin’. So look to those foods that accomplish that.

    Thanks Kevin for sharing what you eat, at this point in the year, and why you eat it, specifically for the reasons of adrenals and thyroid concerns. Sharing is caring 🙂

    I did hear that to properly digest spinach you need to have some form of citrus such as lemon or orange or other to make it digest properly? The juice squeezed on it or eaten with it. Otherwise you do not assimilate the iron properly. I am not 100% on that. Just heard about it.

  24. taysic says:

    fermented foods = rotten foods. they are the antithesis of raw.

    read here:


  25. Ricardo Blasco says:

    Kelp is no good for to treat hypothyroidism.
    The Dr. Ray Peat say :”Kelp and other sources of excess iodine can supress the thyroid,so definitely shouldn’t be used to treat hypothyroidism”

  26. Linda Duffy says:

    Hi Kevin… I’m happy to see you leaving the more “exotic” superfoods out of your list. It seems that so many of the gurus on the forefront are pushing these types of superfoods, as well as many very expensive herbs, etc. and I, for one of many, simply can’t afford it.

    For post # 23…, typical iron supplements don’t assimilate well if taken w/a number of other supplements; however, Vit. C aids in the absorption of iron. Perhaps this is the basis for using lemon with spinach???

  27. Rhonda says:

    I have had training with raw foods and plant-based foods and from my work I find a balance of the two work really well. I do about a 50% raw fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds and the other 50% could be some grains and steamed vegetables or cooked beans. It is a great balance for me.

  28. Rhonda says:

    To add to last comment, I do smoothies daily, and green drinks along with juicing. So I found adding some brown rice or quinoa to vegetables and or beans and oatmeal are good real foods to have in the diet. I always do organic and homegrown as much as possible. No animal products.

    Works great for me and my spouse. We are active and in good physical shape and same weight since high school. And believe it or not, we have friends and family that think we are too extreme! Ugh, never can you please anyone else, find what works best for you and do not worry what others say or think. Unless of course what they are doing really works then ask questions.

    Kind regards,


  29. Jasmine says:

    Kev, I know Dr. Williams is big on the kelp for thyroid but I wish you would dig into this more. Those high sources of iodine along with raw goitrogens sure did a number on me. My thyroid is really wacked out! How much is the right amount?

  30. Gail says:

    Am pretty on board with your list exactly except the cinnamon and fermented foods which I just haven’t gotten ‘into’ making yet, and I know I should and will at some point.
    I have a 3 ft sf garden and in it I have kale, beets, swiss chard, spinach, arugula, cilantro and basil. In a big pot, I am trying cucumbers for the first time.
    I also grow sprouts sometimes – the spicy ones. Berries make me cough – the seeds irritate my throat even though they are small, but i still eat them.
    Wish we could get this thyroid topic squared away. Mine is so messed up.
    My diet leaves MUCH room for improvement, but am MUCH better than most people. I have to remind MYSELF that it’s more about what you DON’T eat than what you DO eat. Because my DO’s are pretty good. My DON’T’s..they could be better.

  31. Gail says:

    Oh, one more thing! LOVE Nomi Shannon – she’s one soulful lady!

  32. James Fischer says:

    My daily raw food, right now is seeds. Pumpkin, sunflower and flax. I put 2 tablesppons mixed in my yogurt, and two to three tablespoons in my salads. raw and unsalted.

  33. Anna21 says:

    Kelp may not fix Annemarie’s thyroid issues. There are several different types of hypothyroidism. Only 1 involves an iodine deficiency, in which case kelp would help. As for the other types- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune disorder, the most common type of hypo in the US, also involves celiac disease), Lymphocytic Thyroiditis,
    Thyroid Destruction, Pituitary or Hypothalamic Disease and Pituitary Injury- iodine could actually make the thyroid issues worse & cause ‘flares’!

    Some other things that make thyroid issues worse- raw/ fermented goitrogenic foods (kale, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, maca, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, strawberries, pears, peaches, etc.), raw food & cold food.

    In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), an excess of cold & raw foods creates an energetic imbalance leading to damp heat conditions (candida, hypothyroid, hypoadrenal, etc.). TCM prescribes diet & herbal supplements to balance out the energetic excesses or deficiencies. For example, well cooked grains & beans- job’s tears, basmati rice, quinoa, lentils, yellow mung beans with certain spices (cumin, tumeric, fennel, ginger, basil & citrus peel help to dry out a ‘damp heat’ condition. Acupuncture can also help move the stagnant energy.

    Please do your research on the different types of hypothyroidism, Chinese Medicine & energetic patterns. I know first hand because I have Hashimoto’s and a raw diet with goitrogenic smoothies and cold raw foods was not healing. It made me 10X worse! And my body temparature dropped even more (too low and I would have gone into a coma). Then I cut out all grains (GAPS diet) and still didn’t feel that great. Now on the TCM diet I am starting to see improvements. The more mistakes (diet, supplements, drugs) you make when hypothyroid, the harder it will be to restore balance. Good luck, and again, do not take my word for it. Do your research.

  34. sue says:

    I usually have kale daily, or at least every other day. Right now, I have been enjoying a tomato a day. One of my neighbors has an abundance that she shares!

  35. John Michael says:

    Maca, I live in Chiang Mai, Thailand and I grow ( actually my gardener ) Holy Basil as it is quite an active ingredient in Thai cooking and easy to grow and harvest.

  36. Jean says:

    Wow – from all of the above comments, goes to show that we are truly individualistic! It’s our job to find out what works best for us. This involves a lot of trial and error until we hit the proper combinations that best serve our bodies.
    I read a great research paper a few years ago showing that the Japanese average about 12 mg. of iodine daily through their diet = fresh & dried seaweed (very bio
    available). Everybody in the U.S. is so concerned about “over-dosing”. The studies are old and antiquated, and probably they used mortons table salt – a very poor source of iodine. This is all just FYI!

  37. susan says:

    i put ginger and cinnamon in everything, sage tea, wine and raw juicing, food, i just get wild with mushrooms and seaweeds of all kinds. While living in Alaska with the southwest Alaska Natives (my daughter is half) so i still can get traditional foods such as dry salmon, black seaweed (nori) that it chopped and roasted, red dulse, hooligan oil. I felt so healthy while eating these foods, interesting they traditionally mix wild berries (salmonberries, thimbleberries, nagoonberries, blueberries, etc with the hooligan oil(a small smelt like fish) and seal oil. Many wild greens such as nettle(love it pick with gloves), goosetongue, fiddleheads all pick in spring.Devil’s Club tea in supposed to fix everything(inner bark).
    i would like to find out more about the edible plants in Florida and traditional uses, i believe every plant has a use, we’ve gotten away for this common knowledge the Natives and pioneers knew out of necessity.

  38. Peter says:

    I would stay away from cucumbers (organic or not) for now, just concerned about the outbreak in Europe. There are many other sources packed with water and nutrients for summer, like watermelon.

  39. Angie says:

    My must-have raw foods:

    raw milk
    raw egg yolks

  40. Rick says:

    Why does iceberg lettuce have such a non-nutrient image (except water content)? If it is grown in similar soil than it’s neighbors, why wouldn’t it have more to offer? To me the cucumber may be another one in question, simply based on color (exluding the skin). If you have any feedback, I’d love to know…

  41. Chellie Lynn says:

    Sprouts, sprouts, sprouts! Lentil, broccoli, sesame, pea, clover, alfalfa, millet, dill, radish, etc, etc. So much fun. Sproutpeople.org has “how to” videos.

  42. Marlene says:

    for Charlie Edwards and others interested in a safe way to remove heavy metals and toxins…go to my website and check out the Natural Cellular Defense. It is an activated zeolite that is taken orally (tasteless) as an addition to food or drink and carries the toxins away through urinary excretion. Unlike some other forms of chelation, it does not remove good minerals! You can order the product through my website or join as a member and buy it at wholesale pricing.

  43. Margot says:

    According to Victoria Boutenko you have to rotate your greens. Every green has some sort of toxin and when you eat the same day after day for some 6 weeks it’s no good.
    Apart from that, spinach has quite a lot of oxalic acid which prevents the absobtion of calcium.
    So I drink a quart of green smoothie daily, but I rotate the greens as much as the season allows.

  44. Jen says:

    These are my staples…

    cinnamon & ginger (recently converted to the good cinnamon)
    chamomile tea

  45. Joseph says:

    These are a few of my favorite daily things as I defeat cancer!

    medicinal mushrooms
    Gogi berries
    Hemp seeds,protein powder & milk
    Flax seed oil & cottage cheese smoothie
    Greens are spinach, beet, celery, dandelion & fiddle heads(frozen from Spring)
    Bean & lentils soaked added veggies cooked for a variety in my diet
    Fruits, avocado, mellon, apple, grapefruit, orange & kiwi…frozen blueberries, straw & raspberries & blackberries
    Orange juice

  46. Jamison says:

    Sprouts would be great to add… or micro-greens like wheatgrass or sunflower greens. I was thinking that the best raw foods are the ones that are either picked right off of the plant ripe. Or ones that you grow in doors. Fruits/veggies bought from farmers market/grocery stores are decomposing every moment after being picked. They are losing nutrients constantly. Also, they are picked unrip. Meaning, their process of nutrient gathering is incomplete. Thus, your body would have to compensate for the lack of nutrients in other ways.

  47. Thea says:

    Please can you post Annmarie’s honey mustard salad dressing recipe.

    Thank you


  48. susan says:

    GARLIC!!!! I forgot I eat as much as i can, why no one mentioned this i am surprised, especially the combination of garlic and onions super anti oxidant and there is a whole chapter devoted to garlic in the classic BACK TO EDEN

  49. I think you should try organic zucchini. It’s great in salads and grows prolifically during the summer. It has a pleasant taste and can fill you up. I like to enjoy the fruits and vegetables of each season to help me deal with that season better. For example, watermelon is a summer fruit and will hydrate you and lower your body temperature.

  50. Kale, must have it daily almost.

  51. Beatrice says:

    Dear Kevin

    I did not have the time to read through the responses but here two quick remarks regarding SPINACH:

    1. The high iron content is a myth and should not be stressed as its fame (Popeye) is based on a comma error in the publication of the research result decades ago.

    2. Patients with kidney conditions should absolutely stay away from it as the acids can further kidney stones.

    Thanks for the many valuable topics, esp. the cancer series!

    a – fortunately – healthy spinach lover from Switzerland 🙂

    Comments are closed for this post.