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Naturopathic Diet - An Overview

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In naturopathy, having the required food is considered the medicine to cure many illnesses. Continue reading to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Neha Suryawanshi

Published At March 8, 2023
Reviewed AtMarch 11, 2023

What Is a Naturopathic Diet?

The body is believed to have five elements, air, water, fire, earth, and space. Naturopathy is a system of medicine that balances the five elements and prevents diseases or cure health conditions. It is a non-invasive and painless method that treats the body against diseases and helps to heal itself without taking any medications. In naturopathy, food combinations, natural herbs, customized diets, and other healthy practices are considered ‘medicine.’ They will also be encouraged to quit unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol.

Diet is the key element of naturopathy treatment. The diet will be specifically customized for the patients to treat diseases, speed up recovery and maintain a healthy state. It recommends the consumption of fresh and natural foods. Natural foods have purifying and cleansing effects on the body. Preparing fresh food using natural ingredients and simple cooking methods ensures that the nutrients of the food remain intact.

What Are the Types of Naturopathic Diets?

The naturopathic diet can be classified into three categories. They are:

  • Eliminative Diet.

  • Soothing Diet.

  • Constructive Diet.

A patient under naturopathic treatment has to undergo the above three phases of diet therapy.

  • Eliminative Diet: The stage of a naturopathic diet is where the body eliminates toxins. This diet eliminates morbid matter from the digestive system. These matter or toxins will be the basic causative factor of almost all diseases. In this phase, foods that are eliminative will be consumed. This includes juices and soups. Some foods consumed are tender coconut water, lemon juice, citrus fruit, buttermilk, vegetable juice, and wheat grass juice.

  • Soothing Diet: During the elimination phase, the patient gets tired and weak. The digestive system will face less load during the elimination phase and will not be efficient enough to digest normal food immediately after the elimination. Therefore, a soothing step is required to prepare the digestive tract to digest normal food. During this phase, simple and easy-to-digest foods which are light on the stomach should be consumed. Salads, sprouts, ripe fruits, steamed vegetables, and vegetable chutney are some examples of soothing food.

  • Constructive Diet: Constructive stage helps to prepare the entire body to start normal functioning. The person has to get adapted to the normal food routine. It should also give extra energy to rebuild the body’s structure and perform normal duties. A wholesome diet is usually recommended during this phase. It includes food prepared with millet, unpolished rice, whole wheat flour, pulses, sprouts, yogurt, etc.

What Are the Principles Behind the Naturopathic Diet?

In naturopathy, primary importance is given to the diet or food consumed. According to naturopathy, a change in dietary habits brings remarkable changes in an individual's health. Naturopathy believes that the wrong food intake facilitates the accumulation of morbid matter within the body. The basic principle of the naturopathic diet is based on this thought, focusing on altering the diet to eliminate such toxins. Another principle is based on the diet regimen of the person. According to the principle, reconditioning the digestive system helps to cure many health problems.

What Are the Purposes of Food?

The two main purposes of food are:

  • Supplying essential nutrients to the body.

  • Maintaining the acid-alkali balance of the blood.

According to naturopathy, maintaining the acid-base balance in the blood is considered the most valuable purpose. The acid-to-alkali ratio in the blood is generally 20 to 80. The body maintains this ratio, which is important to stay healthy. Certain foods leave alkaline residues in the body after digestion, absorption, and metabolism. Some other foods leave acidic residues. These foods are called alkali-genic and acid-genic foods, respectively. The acids produced by metabolic activities are generally uric acid, lactic acid, etc. These acids react with the alkalis in the bile, lymph, blood, etc., and get neutralized. But if the food contains excess acid, the body cannot cope with the resultant excess acids, accumulating acids in the blood. The acidic content in the blood causes symptoms like headache, fatigue, insomnia (difficulty sleeping), anorexia (eating disorder), nervous tension, etc. Acidic blood hinders normal growth and development, causes degeneration, and diminishes vitality.

Prolonged cooking destroys the nutrients of the food. On the other hand, the germination of pulses and grains increases the nutrient content. This is why the naturopathic diet gives more importance to germinated seeds and sprouts.

What Are the Tips to Follow While Following a Naturopathic Diet?

The following tips can be followed while dieting the naturopathy way.

  • Eating wholesome food and food combinations.

  • Only eating when hungry.

  • Not eating under physical or mental tension.

  • Not eating or drinking anything too hot or cold.

  • Chewing the food well.

  • Not drinking water with meals.

  • Refraining from filling the stomach with food or not overeating.

  • Resting for some time after having food.

  • Eating only one meal a day every week.

  • Consuming fruits alone for a day every week.

What Should Be Avoided in a Naturopathic Diet?

The following foods should be avoided while doing a naturopathic diet.

  • Processed Products: White or brown sugar can be substituted with palm sugar, jaggery, honey, or coconut sugar. Iodized salt can be replaced by sea salt or rock salt.

  • Refined Products: Unpolished millet and red or brown rice can substitute for polished millets, white rice, or maida (flour).

  • Oils and Fried Foods: Oily and fried foods can be substituted with baked, sun-roasted, or dry-roasted food. Only A2 ghee is recommended, and that too in about one and a quarter spoon. A2 ghee is pure cow’s ghee.

  • Vegetarian Diet: Consuming vegetarian-based foods alone on trying a naturopathic diet is recommended.

What Sort of Foods Are Included in the Naturopathic Diet?

The naturopathic diet includes the consumption of food that is close to nature, such as:

  • Unpolished rice and millet.

  • Fresh fruits.

  • Steamed and boiled vegetables.

  • Green leafy vegetables and salad.

  • Nuts, nut milk, and nut oils.

  • Spices and herbs.

  • Dairy products.

  • Fermented food.

  • Rock or sea salt.

  • Natural juices.

  • Traditional preparations made using nuts and dry fruits.

Conclusion

A naturopathic diet is the best preventive treatment. A healthy individual can practice it to maintain their good condition. It can also be practiced by a person suffering from illness to cure the diseases or the causative factors. It is a great maintenance therapy and also aids in recovering or healing from the illness rapidly.

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Neha Suryawanshi
Neha Suryawanshi

Nutritionist

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