Friday - - Beauty -

Q My gym in­struc­tor has asked me to go on a raw food diet – raw veg­eta­bles and fresh fruits only – to lose weight and stay healthy. What is your opin­ion about a raw food diet?

AAyurvedic prac­ti­tion­ers rec­om­mend mostly cooked foods. Ayurvedic nutri­tion is not about eat­ing foods based on their vi­ta­min/ min­eral/en­zyme count; rather, it’s about the right food for the right per­son.

It’s not only what you eat that makes a dif­fer­ence but how the food is pre­pared. This is be­cause cook­ing in­creases the el­e­ment of fire (agni), essen­tial in the as­sim­i­la­tion of nu­tri­ents and their trans­for­ma­tion into bod­ily tis­sues. While sug­gest­ing a healthy food, we have to take into ac­count the in­di­vid­ual’s constitution, the im­bal­ance and symp­toms, the cli­matic in­flu­ences, stage of life, among oth­ers.

Ayurvedic nutri­tion places more im­por­tance on di­ges­tion, as­sim­i­la­tion and ab­sorp­tion than nu­tri­tional val­ues. Eat­ing cooked food de­creases di­ges­tive stress, and op­ti­mises nu­tri­ent ab­sorp­tion.

Raw food may help to re­duce fat, but in the process of weight loss it breaks down other tis­sues too. Peo­ple who are on raw food di­ets show in­creased risk of den­tal ero­sions and other health prob­lems. Un­cooked food can also cause skin con­di­tions and rheumatic pains.

Boiled in wa­ter, strained and sautéed with a lit­tle ghee is the right way to eat leafy veg­eta­bles. Fresh fruits are healthy but avoid eat­ing them af­ter sun­set. An Ayurveda doc­tor can pre­scribe a diet ac­cord­ing to your body type.

46 DR VL SHYAM is a Dubai-based Ayurveda prac­ti­tioner

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