Advice for a Balanced Nutrition
Nutrition is very important in Ayurvedic detoxification programmes. This kind of nutrition is very simple and monotonous in the first two weeks, but at the same time it is the right diet for body detoxification.
The Ayurvedic diet does not include any meat, fish, dairy products or eggs. Therefore, food must not be of animal origin.
This type of food is similar to the one which is considered healthy and organic in the Western world. Organic food does not create mucus in the body (there is a minimum of or no dairy products) and is mostly composed of raw and fresh fruit and vegetables. It is important to know that this type of diet is not suitable for everyone. We do not advise this type of diet to those suffering from an inner sensation of cold, a lack of energy or a lack of vitality due to a variety of reasons. Furthermore, this diet is also not suitable for the elderly or the very young.
Symptoms of excessive use of this diet are insomnia, accelerated heart beat, a lack of energy, vertigo, skipping periods and loss of appetite. Therefore, even if the diet is very beneficial, it should not be used as a kind of universal medicine. On the contrary, it has to be used under strict medical supervision, especially in the first stage (lasting first two weeks).
In the process of body detoxification the quantity of fruit needs to be limited. Fruit and fruit juices that are very sweet should be avoided, especially bananas, pears, pineapples, strawberries and grapes. On the other hand, sour fruit juices, such as lemon, red and black currant and grapefruit juices, are suitable, as well as juices which have a bitter taste, for instance cranberry or pomegranate juice.
Most vegetables are suitable for a detoxification diet. They have to be eaten raw or steam cooked. Germs, such as lucerne (alfalfa), sunflower, buckwheat, wheat, rice and barley germs are the best, because they contain special enzymes which help to “digest” toxic substances in the body. Vegetable juices, especially those made of celery, parsley and spinach are good, whereas carrot juice can be too sweet in this case. “Heavier” root vegetables, such as beetroot, potatoes, sweet potatoes (Jerusalem artichoke) and mushrooms should be avoided.
The majority of wholegrain cereals are acceptable for a long-term detoxification of the body. However, they are not all suitable for acute conditions when it is necessary to act quickly in a short period of time. Bread and pastries should be given up entirely, especially those made of white flour. Sweet and “heavy” cereals, such as wheat and oats have to be used only in small quantities. For people with many excessive and toxic substances in their bodies, wheat can be harmful and even provoke an allergic reaction. Barley is very good, especially when cooked in a soup.
In principle, all legumes should be avoided in this diet because they cause gases and help to create toxins. The exception is Mung beans, which are an excellent detoxifying food.
Nuts and seeds
Most nuts and seeds, especially if roasted and salted, are too “heavy” and create mucus in the body. Therefore, they are not suitable for this diet. Exceptionally, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds could be eaten.
Dairy products create an enormous amount of mucus in the body, especially when pasteurised. In case of consumption of a milk product, it should be (for example, yoghurt) diluted with water in the 50:50 ratio, and mixed with spices, such as ginger and cardamom.
Oils should generally be avoided. They can be consumed in small amounts, but only ghee or “dry” oils, such as mustard or linseed oil.
Products of animal origin are greatly responsible for the production of toxins in the body, and should be avoided in this diet, especially red meat, animal fat and tallow. The most harmful type of meat is pork. Furthermore, fish and shells can also add their share in the creation of toxins in the human body. Even though the most appropriate type of meat is poultry, it is best to eliminate all types of meat, and also eggs, from the menu in a cleansing period.
All sweeteners should be avoided, with the exception of an occasional teaspoon of honey. White sugar is the most harmful to the body, because it produces the greatest amount of toxins.
"Hot" spices of all kinds are very appropriate for this diet. The intake of salt needs to be reduced and only rock salt should be used because it is lighter and easier to digest. Acids, such as vinegar, wine and all types of preserved food are not suitable for this diet because the sour taste increases the accumulation of toxins and stimulates the process of fermentation.
Cold drinks should be avoided and ice should never be added to drinks. Spring or distilled water is suitable, but should be always drunk warm. Furthermore, herbal teas are very effective. The best are those made of hot spices, such as cinnamon, germs, ginger, cardamom and pepper. On the other hand, coffee should be generally avoided. It is better to drink black tea, especially if drunk with a bit of milk and without sugar. A useful detoxification technique is drinking hot water or warm tea made of spices every half an hour up to an hour.
The diet has to be carried out carefully. Vata people should not insist on this diet for more than two weeks. The Pitta constitution can endure it for about a month, while the Kapha people can stay on this diet for longer periods of time.