Nourish

Is Raw Food OK?

Within Ayurveda, cooking is held as better for unlocking the properties of our food, thereby making it easier to digest. However, those fresh shoots of spring & summer, eaten in as natural a state as possible are great providers of prana; our life force & vital energy. Too much raw, on the other hand, raises vata; those airy, ethereal elements of body & mind which can see us imbalanced & depleted. Under Ayurveda imbalance between the three doshas of vata, pitta & kapha leads to ill-health unless addressed. Yoga, the Vedic sibling of Ayurveda, often emphasises raw food more in its dietary principles. This is not disagreement but context. Where Ayurveda is aimed at everyone & emphasises optimal bodily health, yoga seeks to move beyond the limitations of the physical body & body consciousness towards self-realisation. For most of us, even if we are seeking a spiritual path, to jump to such a stage would be to the detriment of our wellbeing. For ordinary people & more casual yogis, the Ayurvedic diet is the best route to a balanced body, mind & spirit & the best leg-up on such a path. Raw food is best eaten apart from cooked food & held to lunchtime when our digestive fire is most aflame. We should source organically grown, seasonal produce in as fresh & natural a condition as possible & eat it slowly & mindfully. Most of all we should listen to our bodies & minds. When cold, dry, low or depleted we should dodge the raw salad in favour of one comprised of cooked elements or a bolstering summery soup.

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