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Raw Food vs Cooked Food

There is a lot of misconception when it comes to this, especially involving Ayurveda. A lot of people believe that Ayurveda preaches that raw food is better than cooked food, and the more we eat, the better it is for our health.

But that isn't true.

Ayurveda does recommend raw food, but not as a long-term diet. Ayurveda promotes eating raw food, but only for short-term detoxification. That is because raw food is harder to digest for the body as compared to cooked food, which is already broken down to an extent. It also does not provide as much nutrition as cooked food.

So what happens when one eats too much raw food?

As per Ayurveda, raw food increases the Vata Dosha in the body whereas cooked foods promote Pitta and Kapha in the body. Let's deal with this as per the predominant Dosha:

Vata

People who already have an aggravated Vata might not be able to digest raw foods very well. Such people can prefer juicy fruits to get their dose of raw food rather than veggies. They should even avoid consuming too much raw onion and cabbage. Cucumber can be taken, but only in limited quantity.

Pitta

These are the people who have a very strong Agni. But at the same time, people with an aggravated Pitta cannot digest sour foods very well. They can more or less have almost all fresh fruits and vegetables, but care should be taken to make sure that the fruits are fully ripe. One should also restrict sour fruits as much as possible.

Kapha

They can even have sour fruits. There are hardly any varieties of raw fruits or vegetables that should be avoided by people with a predominant Kapha.

Raw foods are better for the mind while cooked foods are better for the body and its development. That is the reason why raw foods are preferred by Yogis and those who want to follow a spiritual path.

Raw foods also promote the Prana in the body, which is the life energy. It is what cleanses the Nadis or channels in the body. For those who have a weak Agni or metabolic power, it can be very difficult to digest raw foods. But people who have a strong Agni can eat more raw foods as they can digest them easily. But a lot of them will not be able to handle raw food over a long period of time. Periodically indulging in raw foods for detoxification of the body is highly recommended by Ayurveda. Raw foods also ensure a proper supply of vitamins and minerals.

So basically, moderation is the key. Too many raw foods are not good, but having a balanced amount of these in your diet will ensure that the dietary requirements are met with!

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