IS A RAW FOOD DIET BENEFICIAL?
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