Can A "Raw Food" Diet Eventually Become Depleting?

 

Can A "Raw Food" Diet Become Depleting?
It’s no surprise that many people feel more energetic and more healthy when they initially shift from a diet consisting of heavily processed food to a raw diet. However, many raw food enthusiast have attested that over a period of time there is often a sense of ungroundedness that develops along with symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, insomnia, and eventually decreased vitality and even low libido. According to Ayurveda, digestion is the cornerstone of health and our health is determined not only by the foods we eat but more importantly our health is primarily determined by how well we digest, absorb, and assimilate our food. Even further, Ayurveda states that “ama” which is the by-products of poor digestion is considered the root cause of most diseases and the whole aim of Ayurveda is to balance this digestive fire so that we can digest our meals efficiently and smoothly. However, foods which are raw and uncooked often adds additional strain upon the digestive fire which explains the symptoms of indigestion common to raw food enthusiast.

Raw Food Enzymes - The Truth

 

The Digestive Fire - “Agni”
The process of eating, according to Ayurveda, is metaphorically similar to a burning fire. In Ayurveda, this digestive fire [“agni”] illustrates the body’s ability to digest food; almost equivalent to digestive enzymes. In fact, when managing most health concerns, correcting digestion is often the very first line of management. Digestion is said to be the work of the fire element in the body and it is this fire element which produces the glow of good health and vitality. Our digestive fire may not have any problems digesting a few veggies. However, the dense, rough, and heavy qualities of raw food [in large amounts] is generally considered difficult to digest and as a result can lead to symptoms of indigestion.

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Herbal Di-Gest
Supports improved digestion and balanced appetite; helps with gas, bloating, and discomfort.

Raw Food & Indigestion
According to the wisdom of Ayurveda “vata” is made primarily of the air element and has the qualities of cold, dry, and rough. When vata is aggravated it can cause certain qualitative changes within the body such as increased dryness, roughness, coldness, mobility and variability within the body/mind. Very simply – this can be experienced as variable appetite; gas or pain after eating; dry constipation or loose motions (increased mobility); and dry/rough skin and hair.

DRY:
Due to the dry quality, vata often leads to dry skin, dehydration and even that annoying cracking and popping of the joints.

LIGHT:
The light quality, if increased, can result in the feeling of being ungrounded, light-headed and even lead to insomnia if this quality persists.

COLD:
If you ever shake the hands of a vata type, you will take notice of cold hands. Vata makes one sensitive to cold weather and will often experience pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, specifically in cold weather.

ROUGH:
Vata creates vulnerability to developing dry, rough, and scaly skin. Likewise, the inner lining of the body [i.e. mucosal lining] can also become dry and rough and according to these principles is the underlying cause of fissures along the mucosal lining.

MOBILE:
As mentioned above, the air element of vata types is always moving, resembling the wind. If this mobile quality is increased, this can lead to abnormal movements of the body such as tics, spasms, tremors and even agitation within the mind giving rise to uncertainty and anxiety.

Organic Vata Churna Calming Spice Mix
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance. Organic Calming Vata Churna is a blend of seven ingredients, including cumin, ginger and fenugreek.

 

Can Raw Foods Eventually Become Depleting?
Many raw food enthusiasts would argue that cooking food destroys vital nutrients and enzymes. However, research reveals that plant enzymes obtained by consuming raw foods are mostly digested and broken down by our own digestive enzymes and therefore do not significantly contribute to the actual process of digestion. Furthermore, consuming a large amount of raw food can actually strain our digestive fire and decrease our ability to properly digest the meal - thereby creating symptoms of indigestion. Instead, Ayurveda recommends lightly steaming, sautéing, and/or simmering our food at a low temperature which will make food easier to digest. Ayurveda talks a great deal about “Ojas” as being the end result of healthy digestion and balance of all bodily tissues. In fact, it is ojas which gives vitality to the body and clarity to the mind. As mentioned above – raw uncooked vegetables tends to increase vata. Vata can be likened to the modern understanding of catabolism or the breaking down of tissues. This may be great for shedding off a few extra pounds initially. However, in the long term this is considered to be depleting and as a result may prevent the formation of ojas – the quintessence vitality of life.

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Healthy Tips For Improving Digestion
- Avoid cold food and cold drinks.
- Sip warm water throughout the day.
- enjoy fresh ginger root, lime or lemon juice prior to your meal
- Eat mindfully and take your time to fully enjoy your food.
- Eat according to your primary constitution: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha.
- Eat mostly warm, cooked foods
- Incorporate healthy fats
- Include spices that enhance digestion [i.e. coriander, cumin, and fennel]

 

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  1. 1000x more effective in eliminating free radicals (the root cause of aging) than vitamins C or E1
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  5. vata, pitta, kapha balancing (vpk®)

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.


5 Simple Ways To Balance Kapha Dosha - Ancient Wisdom For Balance & Stability

 

5 Simple Ways To Balance Kapha Dosha
According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas called vata, pitta, and kapha. We can think of these three doshas as the guiding principles that keep all our bodily functions balanced and healthy.

“Health results from the natural, balanced state of the doshas.
Therefore, the wise try to keep them in their balanced state.”
– Charak Samhita

What Is Kapha Dosha? 
Kapha, made up of the properties of earth and water, embodies structure and stability. Earth and water … slow, stable, down to earth, slow to anger, and easygoing! The Kapha-dominant take their sweet time, too. If you’ve heard the expression, “Slow and steady wins the race,” that’s a good example of Kapha. Kaphas may be slow to get going, but they are dependable and dedicated. At their healthiest, Kaphas possess excellent immunity; a robust figure; the ability to sleep soundly; and oftentimes thick, voluptuous hair, large eyes and radiant skin, too! Those who are Kapha-predominant may have larger-frame bodies and heavier builds. When in balance, they are the teddy bears among us — sweet in nature and a pleasure to be around. What person wouldn't love to be around Kapha’s grounding energy? Kaphas are like the "slow down” pill for the other doshas. On the flip side, Kapha out of balance tends towards lethargy, feelings of sadness, occasional congestion, and “accumulation” of a variety of things: weight, water, possessions, etc. Kaphas often don’t want to throw anything away or let things go — be it an old sweater, or a relationship. They can become stuck in their ways and resistant to change. Remember, earth and water.

Sound familiar?
Feeling the need to get unstuck? Keep reading to learn a few tips for keeping Kapha well-balanced!!

 

1. Get Up, and Get Down!
Following a regular exercise routine is important for all doshas, but particularly for Kapha, since they naturally tend towards sedentariness and may gain weight more easily. Try out different kinds of exercise to see what suits your style and skills. Hopping on a treadmill is far from our only option! Consider swimming, cycling, rollerblading, dog-walking, dancing — anything that gets you breathing and your heart rate up.

Herbals for Those on the Move:
Joint Soothe II
is a great herbal blend for soothing tired or achy joints.
Flexcel is fantastic for keeping yourself mobile and your body running smoothly during workouts.
Fatigue Free — boost energy, creativity and mental clarity with this go-to herbal!

 

2. Stay Warm and Dry
Those who are Kapha-dominant may be sensitive to cold and wet seasons (particularly wet). Kapha can become congested easily; if this is the case, dry heat may be beneficial — a heat lamp aimed at the chest or a heating pad under the back can help. Keep the nose, throat and lungs protected from harsh winter weather. Using a Neti pot is very helpful for nasal cleansing and reducing congestion.

Respiratory Health Products:
Clear Breathe, Organic Clear & Soothe and other Respiratory Health products are all excellent for maintaining Kapha respiratory balance.

 

3. Clean Up Your Act
Back to that tendency towards accumulation… this applies as much to physical possessions as anything else. Kaphas like to keep things around, and their spaces can become quickly cluttered. If you have this tendency, try spending a few days going through your possessions, decluttering and “tidying up” by organizing your belongings and sorting items to be donated — while items that are useful or bring you joy belong in your home and in your life.

Emotional Balance is Key
Kaphas, as mentioned above, are loyal, caring, compassionate and sentimental. Out of balance, they can become lethargic, apathetic, depressed and clingy. Keep Kapha-heavy emotions balanced with stimulating activities such as yoga or other aerobics; play upbeat, lively music and dance around the room like a carefree kid! Utilize self-massage (abhyanga) before showering or bathing — just the act of massaging and stimulating the skin can go a long way towards boosting circulation, energy and positive feelings, not to mention the benefits that come from taking care of oneself and prioritizing one’s own well-being. Garshana Gloves are great for a dry abhyanga. If emotional heaviness is weighing you down, Blissful Joy is formulated to help uplift the emotions and alleviate feelings of sadness. In addition, practicing Transcendental Meditation® twenty minutes twice a day offers a direct means to transcend and restore balance to both mind and body. If you have not learned Transcendental Meditation, then practice your technique of choice.

 

4. Follow Your Nose
Aromas can be a powerful tool for balancing Kapha. Try Stimulating Kapha Aroma Oil, Sniffle Free Aroma Oil, or Blissful Heart Aroma Oil in a diffuser, or burn Suraj Sandalwood Incense for an instant environment change.

 

5.  Eat For Your Type
Kapha diets in general should be “lively” and full of energy. This can help boost Kapha’s otherwise sluggish digestion.

  1. Almost all vegetables are excellent for Kapha, but reduce consumption of sweeter or juicier vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and zucchini.
  2. Kapha predominant individuals can enjoy spicy or pungent foods to help stimulate their digestion.
  3. All spices help pacify Kapha. Organic Kapha Churna is an excellent addition to meals. Try to reduce salt, though, as an excess of salt can cause fluid retention.
  4. Reduce the intake of nuts and seeds, though pumpkin and sunflower seeds are very good for Kapha.
  5. Lighter fruits like apples, cranberries and apricots are also good.
  6. Organic Stimulating Kapha Tea is a great beverage to help balance Kapha. Otherwise, a lively ginger tea is an excellent choice.
  7. Use only small amounts of oils and fats for cooking. Ghee, extra virgin olive oil, and almond oil are among oils that are beneficial for Kapha.
  8. Reduce consumption of grains such as oats, rice and wheat, and favor barley, millet, corn, buckwheat and rye.

 

It’s also important to make dinner the lightest meal of the day, and to eat at least 3 hours before going to bed; eating a meal right before bed can slow digestion and make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Herbals for Digestion:
Organic Digest Tone, Triphala Plus is a great addition to a Kapha diet. Triphala helps stimulate digestion and elimination and acts as a detox for the gut. This is very important for slower-moving Kapha-dominant physiologies. Keeping Kapha in balance and happy is relatively easy to do. Turn practices and habits into a routine; make that routine simple, fun and stimulating — both intellectually and physically. Doing so allows us to reap the many benefits of vibrant good health and boundless vitality, and to enjoy the best qualities that Kapha dosha has to offer.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.