What is diet therapy in naturopathy and how can it be helpful?
Naturopathy is a nature-based therapy in which natural elements are used to heal a certain ailment or disease. It has many important components that come together to create a whole system that triggers the body to heal itself. Elements like touch, pressure, food, and exercise play a very important role in creating a naturopathic environment.
Diet is a very important aspect of any health or healing ritual and the food we eat has a deeper influence on our mental and physical form than we think. Food is medicine in naturopathic treatments and the key ingredient of healing.
Let’s start with a simple example: When we consume heavy, oily or fried food we feel heavy; When we consume fruits, fluids, and easy to digest foods we feel light. Heavy or oily food tends to make you feel sleepy and slow, while green vegetables and fruits keep you active and fresh. Our body has an innate sense of knowing what suits us, and what doesn’t. Part of naturopathy is learning how to get in tune with this innate sense and listen to our bodies.
Naturopathy encourages the consumption of food in the natural form, i.e., raw and uncooked. It is suggested to create a diet that consists of 80 percent raw and 20 percent cooked food.
According to Naturopathy, cooked food has an acidic base whereas raw foods are alkaline. Now, due to the accumulation of acids produced by foods in our body, various diseases and ailments come into action.
On the other hand, raw foods and fruits eliminate these acids in the digestive process, keeping the body clean and healthy. The whole idea of a diet in Naturopathy is to strike a balance between a diet that suits an individual and their medical history. The diet plan can vary according to a particular ailment a person is suffering from.
Types of Diet in Naturopathy
Naturopathic food is usually classified on the basis of its nature in terms of acidic or alkaline residue in the body. The diet, hence, is composed of food which will affect the motion and function of various body parts and the whole digestion process. Some of these diets are mentioned below with the kind of foods that are a part of it.
Raw diet: As the name suggests, it is a diet comprising of raw fruits and vegetables. This diet is low in calories but high on nutrition value containing all the necessary vitamins and minerals a body needs to work in the best of its forms. The typical raw diet consists of a lot of raw seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dry fruits.
Eliminative diet: The elements of food that help clean the body in one way or the other comes under this category. It is usually the first diet that is prescribed during a naturopathy treatment to first clean the system you are going to build a foundation of health on. It removes the unsuitable elements and toxins from the body giving all the organs a detox. It is a cleansing process and foods like lemon water, green tea, citric juices, etc. are mostly used in the eliminative diet.
Soothing diet: Once the body is clean and detoxified, the second stage arrives which is not as rigorous as an eliminative diet. Here the patient is given food with more carbs and calories as compared to the prior stage. The body conditions itself to the non-toxic food behavior and starts working normally to digest the solid foods in a better manner. Foods like salads, steamed vegetables, vegetable soups come under soothing diet.
Constructive diet: Constructive diet is the third and the final phase of the naturopathy diet. This is the time when the body is fully detoxified and is ready for whole wheat and carbohydrates. The body starts working in a normal manner and the diseases that a patient is suffering from may have slowed down by this stage. The food consumed in this diet are mostly pulses, sprouts, curd, unpolished rice, etc.
These diets are really helpful in improving health, immunity and purifying the body. It is also a great approach towards healthy living and using our resources to the fullest, leading to a better lifestyle and creating a wave of positivity. No, you cannot acquire good health by consuming a wrong meal. So, keep up the exercising, meditation and the most important a healthy approach towards life.
Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.