Written by John Immel,
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.
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About the AuthorJohn 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.
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Questions, Comments & Impressions of 'raw versus cooked - what's better?'?Is there something you'd like to know about 'raw versus cooked - what's better?'?
(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review, 8 likes
thanks for this wonderful information. I have a couple of questions:
Dear Manoj, I do not know the rate of enzyme and vitamin breakdown. I imagine it happens quickly depending on the molecule. Cooking will not affect amino acids or minerals. They are already broken down to their core. Cooking will soften fibers. Experimentation is a great way to find which raw ingredients digest better than others. Generally, foods difficult to digest when cooked are also difficult when raw. Burping, bloating, gas, tired after eating, constipation, diarrhea, etc. All signs of indigestion and poor bowel health are signs of poor digestive health.
--why is it that sometimes I find recipe's in Ayurveda that combine tomatoes and lemon juice... when in the rulebook it says these two don't combine well. What are your thoughts on this? Why can't I mix cucumber and lemon juice together? It's a childhood treat I enjoy and I'd like to know why they can't be mixed. - Andrea Nicole Serrato
I'm not a salad fan naturally. Maybe because I'm Kapha :) now I know I love stews, warm food.
I'm considered kapha pitta, but I feel the best when eating low-carb (practically paleo). WHen I look at the list of "allowed" foods, I'm stymied! There are few choices left. How can I merge the two? The more pitta I become the easier it will be.
The reason I can't eat many raw foods is that my teeth are not up to chewing any more - I have two dentures, upper and lower and they make it impossible to chew properly. I do like salads, but have to chop everything very small and eat slowly! Other raw vegetables, I don't have, prefer them cooked anyway. I am mainly Vata.
If you look into a more fruitivore raw food diet Along with moderate amounts of non-cruciferous leafy greens like lettuces celery and occasional potent weeds such as dandelion and fresh herbs . These foods are found in abundance in nature and the carbohydrates, amino acids and even essential oils and fatty acids are found in an 80/10/10 average ratio within these foods. Fruit sugar is converted the fastest and easiest of any food to glycogen which is essential for muscular performance and your brain uses about 80% of all energy created by the body. It is true that a high fat diet combined with high sugar is a disaster leading to diabetes because wh n your bloodstream contains both at the same time the sugar will not be able to escape due to lfat in the bloodstream. High blood sugar insues and unless you use the sugar by burning it fast, candida will blossom as your bodies only defense to stay alive. The solution - if you want profound energy and vitality, fats unprocessed and in their natural form and to a minimum of less than 10%. Eat rich leafy greens and vegetables to supply minerals, amino acids (protieins) and fatty acids. Find water rich ripe juicy and easy to digest fruits such as bannana, melon, berries, mango, peaches, pears or whatever is in season, organically delicious and fresh! Above all, listen to your body and if you live in Alaska where the sun doesn't shine and it is -0 than follow your instincts and your ancient wisdom and eat blubber. Just stay away from all packaged, processed artificially chemicalized GMO laboratory experiments fom big food, pharma and factories. Nature knows best and it created you any everything you could ever ask for in complete unconditional love, I beleive we live in the garden of Eden, we just doubt that we do. Grow for yourself, learn the ways of the earth. listen and she will teach you her secrets. Be grateful for all that you can are never seperate from and you will start to experience true love, joy, peace abundance and life! Namaste P.s. The book 80/10/10 by Douglas graham has great information about a raw plant based diet free from anything but what you can grow yourself. Enjoy!
Such an informative article! In India raw foods like salads are always seasonal and a part of a larger balanced meal. The focus is always on the balance and nutritive qualities of the whole meal, including cooked foods. There are also certain foods that are eaten raw in the West but not in India, because eaten raw they're harder to digest and negatively impact your digestive fire. Thanks for another informed and educational perspective on how to approach food!