Ayurvedic Diet

Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion Made Easy

Symptoms | Diet | Diet | Raw Food / Salads
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Raw Food / Salads Ayurvedic Perspectives

Raw Food / Salads

Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC
There is no right or wrong answer to the raw versus cooked debate. The real answer to the debate depends on the digestive strength of the individual. Raw food offers nutritional benefits but is more difficult to digest, causing gas and bloating in those with weak digestion. Cooked food is easier to digest but destroys some vitamins and enzymes. Neither is superior.

If raw food gives you gas, the toxicity created by the gas & fermentation outweighs the nutritional benefits of the food. Indigestible food is considered poison in Ayurveda. Many under cooked foods are hard and chewy, and hard to chew usually means hard to digest. The measure of good food is not just its contents, but its interaction with your body.

Pitta people have the strongest digestive strength and can tolerate more raw foods than other doshas. Juicing fresh raw vegetables or blending fruits into a smoothie might make them more digestible for some people. Once food has been pulverized and thoroughly blended, the body does not have to do as much work to process it. But, it still depends on the power of one's agni.

The qualities of raw food itself are light, cold, rough, difficult, and clear. Raw food feels cold in the stomach and rough on the GI. It has the qualities of Vata and can therefore increase Vata if consumed in excess. Many claim that raw food can be a path to spiritual development, attesting to its light and subtle qualities. A person on a raw food diet might feel inspired and light - like they are floating on air, living off the prana of raw fruits and raw vegetables.

Another danger in raw food is that undercooked food often contains parasites. Whether or not the issue is publicized, parasites are common in every country including developed industrialized nations.

Aggravated Doshas & Qualities

Imbalance Accumulates

Improper food and lifestyle causes balances to accumulate. Ayurveda shows you exactly which doshas and qualities will accumulate in your body. Once these doshas and qualities accumulate too much, they will begin to cause disease. You can reduce an imbalanced dosha or quality by removing things that aggravate it from your diet and lifestyle.

'Raw Food / Salads' is likely to aggravate the following doshas and qualities.If you have a systemic imbalance of one of these doshas or qualities, Ayurveda would generally recommend removing, substitute or lessen the frequency of Raw Food / Salads.

Vata aggravatingDigestive Effects Help

Key: V = Vata, P = Pitta, K = Kapha. A slash through a dosha means it an aggravated dosha. To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.

Educational Resources

Browse these educational resources for 'raw food / salads'.
Healthy Digestion Made Simple: Get Relief with...
Many doctors agree, better health starts in the digestive tract. Why? Because digestion turns food into blood. Healthy blood revitalizes your entire body...

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Personal Experiences

What are some of the reasons why you include 'raw food / salads' in your life? Is there something you'd like to know about 'raw food / salads'?

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If raw is aggravating then I wonder about raw vegetables that have been allowed to ferment? Is this how to get around raw or is steaming and cooking the only way around this?

- Donna, MT, 04-17-13 (Reply)
Pickled (fermented) vegetables are considered cooked in ayurveda and easier to digest. They may aggravate pitta/vata.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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