IMPORTANCE OF DIET
Diet is a subject of the greatest importance in all systems of medicine but in naturopathy it is of over significance because most of the treatment consists of cleansing the system through diet. The basic principle of dietetics is that the body has to be fed like an engine, which needs fuel. Food is the fuel for the body just as there are various types of fuels for the automobiles. The human body also needs special types of food according to its conditions. If you are a robust individual without any constitutional disorders, you may take any type of food but it must be supplemented with special diets.
Naturopathy believes that the correct approach for eating: "eat to live" and not "live to eat". Eating should be a necessary function as breathing is, but most people regard it as a means of gratifying their desire for the nice things of life. By tradition "nice" things are supposed to be those which give pleasure and satisfy your taste buds but nature has a different code. You would see that most things, which have a bitter taste, are good for health-bitter gourd is one such example. Recent researches have shown that the vegetable plays a vital role in activating the pancreas, the malfunctioning of which leads to diabetes, the fruit of the neem tree is a great purifier of blood despite its bitter taste.
Another curious fact is that in most vegetable and fruits the rind (commonly thought to be unnecessary and hence removed) contains all the vitamins and the mineral salt, which is too much necessary for the maintenance of health. A person who misunderstands the vital ignores the facts. Their foods are refined to such an extent that their value is lost even if they become more pleasing to the taste buds and the eyes. In the process of preparing food we tend to lose many of the vitamins. An example is boiling of vegetable. In the way most of the vegetables tend to loose their value, if over boiled. The polishing of rice and the refining of sugar are other examples where the preference for a nicer look leads to destruction of their essential value as foods. As is known to everybody there are certain trace elements in our body, which are required to keep us in good health. Even a small lowering of these in the system will give rise to many disorders-for example, the destruction of iron in the blood will give rise to Anemia and weakness and many other disorders.
Thanks to the pioneering work done by the experts that we now know that the artificial foods found in abundance in the food stores are in a great measure responsible for many of the disorders that inflict on their users. A large number of diseases ascribed to the various organisms by the traditional practitioners of medicine are in fact due to deficiency of vital elements in the food that people take. They try to make up the deficiency by administering those substances prepared in the laboratories, but another sad fact which they are unable to confront is that elements found in nature are more easily digested by the human body. Vitamins and minerals, that the body needs, are found in nature as unspoiled foods. They not only make up the deficiency but also cleanse and purify the body, ridding it of toxins that give rise to various diseases. A possible explanation for the state of affairs is the pre-occupation of modern medicine with the laboratory. Unless the technician is able to put his litmus paper in a substance or look at it through his microscope he refuses to believe its existence. Even where tests prove the effective role that some drugs or fruits play in the healing of certain diseases the shadow of disbelieve does not leave and then efforts are made to prepare the substances and minerals found in natural foods synthetically in the laboratory. It has been proved that the synthetics vitamins are not easily digested by the system as those which are contained in some fruits and vegetable though the pseudo scientists insist on using them.
The medical professions, the traditionalists, have not yet properly assessed the role the mineral salt plays in the functioning of the body. These substances are already available in the quantities needed by the body in fresh fruits and vegetable. These substances playa cardinal role of purifying the body by ejecting the accumulated toxins. Too much refining of foods through processing and canning of food stuffs destroys the essential vitamins and minerals. Even the addition of synthetic vitamins and minerals do not help. Another fallacy which modern medicine suffers from is the measurement of food value in terms of calories. Energy is something fundamental to the organism and can be enhanced through the quality of the foodstuffs taken. If the foodstuffs lack the essential elements, which should be present in them, the vital force of the body is not enhanced. On the other hand, it might be even reduced because of lack of essential elements if the feeding habits are not in tune with nature. A system burdened with unnatural foods loses its capacity to fight disease. It may become a victim of toxins fight which shows themselves in the form of various diseases. That is healing by fasting. And when fasting is followed by intake of fruits and vegetable, recovery is ensured.
The lack of all fruit diet makes the body susceptible to disorders of various kinds. An all fruit diet cleanses the system from all toxins and aids in recovery. It is recommended during the period of fasting so that the bowels are kept clean. (They are not likely to move on their Own since the solid food is not consumed). In some cases a restricted diet consisting of fruits & salad is recommended. That introduces variety in one's diet and then salads and vegetable taken as salad are not mere adjuncts to one's food as is commonly believed but are the mainstay of health as they supply calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, silicon, and other trace elements so essential for a healthy body.
Milk is a complete food and one can live on it without impairing one's health. But it must not be boiled and should be taken fresh. It is recommended after a few days of all fruit diet has been taken. After a protracted fast an all milk diet is usually recommended. An all milk diet should, however, be taken under expert guidance. In this the total intake of milk is increased to six times a day. In India's ancient system of medicine it was known as "dugdha kalpa" and was recommended in certain conditions. Pernicious anaemia, diabetes, arthritis, neurasthenia and many other diseases have been cured by milk therapy followed by a long fast. The fasts, the all fruit diet (fruits and salads), the restricted diet (the fruit and milk diet) and the full milk diet put the patients on the road to recovery after which a balanced diet is recommended.
The main point to be noted is that 75% of the diet of a patient should consist of alkaline which act as cleansing agents for the toxins of the body. Meat is considered by most naturopathy practioner as an unnatural food because of the danger of its putrefaction in intestines. If it has to be taken it should be of freshly killed animals. In most cases of illness meat should be totally avoided. Refined food stuffs like sugar & white bread, polished rice, boiled potatoes etc. are acid forming and should be avoided as far as possible. Brown sugar, whole meal bread, unpolished rice and potatoes with their peel intact are recommended as they are less acid forming. The naturopathy depends on eggs, cheese, milk and nuts. Saturated fats like ghee are an abomination for the patient. Coconut oil and other unsaturated fats like sesame are recommended.