- A raw food diet – so many people get on this as it feels light and refreshing. However, if we be honest, there are many people who say “it doesn’t suit me”. Why would that be? Why wouldn’t everyone like light and refreshing nourishment? Let’s explore this in this article.
- One man’s medicine is another man’s poison. The first thing to bring awareness to is our body-type. We all balance heat, coldness, dampness, dryness, heaviness, lightness etc. in our body a different way. This is partially genetic and partially our personal condition at a given point in time.
- Raw foods are light and cold in nature. People, who have a naturally healthy heat metabolism and have a healthy circulation and heat distribution in the body. They can afford to have a little more raw food dishes as it cools their excess heat. However, a person with less heat and more coldness in their body may not be able to digest and assimilate raw foods on a daily basis. In fact, if they eat too much of raw foods, their assimilation of healthy nutrients even from cooked foods will be less. As the “agni” or as they call it in Ayurveda, one’s “digestive fire” will be reduced by over consumption of raw foods as per their body type. Digestive fire aka agnihelps one digest and assimilate food in the body. The lesser the digestive fire the more strain on the digestion to be able to digest food.
Nature of food:
- The next thing we want to pay attention to is which foods we are considering to consume raw? If we have raw cucumbers, salad greens, lettuce, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, avocados, seasonal fruit, olives etc. in moderation in accordance to our body type, it is considered as part of a healthful diet. However, if we have foods such as cauliflower, broccoli, millets, rice, and beans raw then it is extremely tough on our digestion. Lighter foods that are easy to digest are easier to consume raw. Heavier foods may cause flatulence and digestive discomfort.
In accordance to season:
- We can have more raw foods in the summer time as it’s hot and raw foods help to cool our body to bear the heat. In that way, eating more raw food in the summer helps balance our energy and heat metabolism. In the winter we need to maintain body heat to bear the cold and hence raw foods should be reduced in the winter.
Quantity of food:
- 100% raw or 80% raw? Or 25% raw? Personally I believe the percentage of raw depends on the season and your body type and should vary anywhere from 20%-40%. People who wish to have 80% or 100% raw may have this for a short period as a “detox” or cleansing period under professional supervision and guidance. However to eat 80%-100% raw on a daily basis endlessly is not normal for the human body. We are part of nature and nature has 5 elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, water. In Ayurveda these five elements are a little different – ether, earth, fire, air, water. In both the systems fire is common. To align our energy with nature and natural elements it is important to have a certain amount of fire energy in our body as well and the best way to nurture this energy in a gentle and nourishing way is by slow cooking food on the flame/fire. This helps to balance many aspects of heat metabolism, circulation and fat metabolism in our body.
- Even though someone who follows raw foods 80%-100% may feel good in the initial days, months or years, they may eventually feel weak or develop deficiencies. It’s good to educate ourselves on different perspectives and work with successful professionals in the natural field to build more awareness about what is best suited in what quantities for our body type.
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