Life in the Raw

Chris from (sorry can’t remember where) sent this letter:

‘It seems that the next significant milestone in dietary evolutionary is ‘raw’. What is your take on a strictly raw food diet, wouldn’t it be even more in the mode of goodness?’


My answer: Hello Chris. I am not a firm follower of so-called dietary evolution. My philosphy is that very scientific dietary laws have already been conceived thousands of years ago in the Ayurveda, and modern science is occasionally catching up, usually deviating, and always speculating.

If raw food works for you, fine. Different body types need more or less raw food. Actually for some, raw food is HARDER to digest than cooked foods.

So it is a decision based on knowledge of ones bodily constitution, his body-type according to the science of Vata, Kapha and Pitta and his personal needs and taste. No one rule for all, it is highly personal.

Raw foods and juices can be cleansing and energizing. Sprouts are especially wonderful because they contain large amounts of enzymes and nourishment which help with digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Some of the spicier sprouts help to destroy and eliminate toxins in the system (known as ama in Ayurveda).

But in general, raw food is very cold and hard to digest in the sense that it releases its Prana, or nourishing life giving energy, in the upper portion of the body between the mouth and the stomach. This gives quick, short-term energy, but not long-term tissue building nourishment. This is good for pittas, and some raw foods are good for kaphas, but this is not very good for vatas.

According to Ayurveda, the main advantage of well cooked grains, beans, and vegetables is that they release their Prana in the colon. This provides long-term tissue building energy. However, these energies cannot be released from complex carbohydrates without the assistance of enzymes. A clean intestinal tract is also essential for proper absorption.

This coincides with two of the modern holistic health theories of colon cleansing and enzyme consumption. But the Ayurvedic approach again is practical and individualized.

This is my perspective. Hope it helps.
Posted by Kurma on 5/9/06; 7:09:38 PM

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