When I was in school, there’d be a lot of quotes-based activities. We’d be asked to write stories and speeches around a quote. It was also a pretty fancy responsibility to write a quote every day —with colored chalk, mind you, in the era of blackboards.
One of the quotes that kept returning was health is wealth. And while we were too young to understand it then, in my late twenties, I know exactly what this quote means and why it was repeated in school as often as it was. In fact, now, with all the awareness around mental health—thank God for its advocates—looking after one’s health is as much a task as is safeguarding a treasure.
Key to this whole exercise is a modality that is holistic and sustainable; in the times we live, a person is healthy when they are that in the body and in the mind.
It so happens that a naturopathy diet is created keeping in mind just this.
Food in Naturopathy
Naturopathy places food in high regards when it comes to treating food as medicine. In naturopathic healthcare plans, diet is a critical component. Naturopaths swear by ‘we are what we eat’, and the naturopathy diet strongly reflects this belief.
Naturopathy, obviously, recommends consuming food in its natural state—raw or uncooked. According to naturopathy, in order to remain healthy, our diet should be 80% alkaline (uncooked foods) and 20% acidic (cooked foods).
Diet therapy in Naturopathy
The diet therapy aims at cleansing our body of all the toxins we consume when we eat junk food, fast food, foods rich in trans-fat in unjustifiable quantities. It targets at building healthy eating habits and a routine that you can live with throughout your life.
To do this, the naturopathy diet is divided into 3 phases:
- Eliminative diet
- Soothing diet
- Constructive diet
We’ll now look at each of these phases in detail.
The name itself tells you what this—the first phase of the naturopathy diet—is all about.
The root cause of most diseases that we suffer from these days is the morbid matter that accumulates in our digestive system. This purpose of this phase is to consume foods that activate organs like the kidney and the intestines that help to eliminate the toxins from our body. Also known as the cleansing diet, this phase is very much like fasting. Which is why the recommended food items for this stage include coconut water, lime juice, and so on.
Make sure that, if you are following a naturopathic diet, you must engage in little to no physical activity in the eliminative diet phase. You can opt for something lighter, like yoga. Or you could just walk. But nothing more than that.
Next up, is the soothing diet. Again, the name is self-explanatory. This phase works to revitalize your digestive system that has just been cleansed of toxins. The food items recommended for this phase include nutrients that help to soothe the gastrointestinal tract. The diet in this phase inches a step closer to a full meal by including items like fruits, salads, soups, juices, sprouts, boiled or steamed vegetables, and so on.
And, finally, we come to the constructive diet, the final phase in the naturopathy diet, that constructs healthy eating habits.
Now that the body is fully detoxified, this phase attempts to include food items that make a complete meal to help boost immunity and give your body the maximum amount of nourishment. The items in this phase, therefore, include wholesome flour, unpolished rice, sprouts, curd, pulses, and so on.
When you work with a naturopath, they’ll help you to customize your diet in each phase such that it can stay long term. They’ll also tell you foods that you need to stay away from (like tobacco, tea, coffee, processed and canned foods, foods with excessive salt, white sugar, refined flour, and so on).
There’s also a bunch of other advice that will aid your diet to improve the functioning of your entire body. For example, you should not eat when you are overtired or overexcited. Or that you shouldn’t eat or drink anything that is too hot or too cold.
After all, what we are targeting here is not just a dietary change but a holistic, sustainable lifestyle change. Therefore, it becomes extremely important that you know and you love what you eat.
Pro tip: For a healthy mind and healthy body, only following this diet is not enough. With this, naturopathy suggests breathing exercises, adequate exposure to the sun, and enough rest and recreation. (After all, all work (or all diet) and no play makes Jack a dull boy!)
To give your diet, and lifestyle, a natural makeover, you can get in touch with our verified naturopaths here.
Nikita Jhanglani is a technical and creative content writer, editor and book blogger. Currently, she is into world domination, one checklist at a time.