Naturopathy focuses on using your body’s inherent ability to heal by intervening with dietary modifications. Naturopaths emphasise on diet-based treatment that are customised as per the medical condition, age of the person and other components.
Happiest Health reached out to naturopathic experts. Here is what they say.
Signs of presence of toxins in your body
Dr Apar Avinash Saoji, Principal, School of Yoga and Naturopathy, SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Anusandhana Samsthana) Bengaluru says that health conditions such as indigestion, loss of appetite, constipation and heaviness in the body, drowsiness or loss of sleep, tongue coating (a white coating on the tongue due to bacterial accumulation often associated with impaired digestion) and altered skin texture are some of the signs that you have toxins in your body.
Naturopaths give utmost importance to addressing the root cause of any health condition. Any health condition is the resultant of accumulation of toxins in the body. The idea is to restore the gut’s health, which in turn will improve overall health.
Dr Saoji also explains the various stages of this diet intervention. The diet plan involves introducing three specific diet regimes in the following order:
- Eliminative diet
- Soothing diet
- Constructive diet
“The first stage is meant for eliminating the toxins or detoxification. This involves fasting which is the most effective way of detoxification. While fasting, the energy is redirected towards healing,” says Dr Saoji.
He further clarifies that fasting is not just depriving the body of food. He recalls his guru, the former director of Pune’s National Institute of Naturopathy Dr Babu Joseph’s definition of fasting as a physical, physiological, sensory, and mental rest.
There are two ways of detoxification – fasting or consuming diet that eliminates toxins from the body. This phase can last for 7-30 days depending on the medical condition, and the extent of detoxification. The diet would continue until all the above-mentioned symptoms come down.
“During this eliminative phase, you will be allowed to consume liquids such as tender coconut, fruit juices (especially citric juices), vegetable soup, or buttermilk,” adds Dr Nitesh M K, Medical Officer from Alva’s Anandamaya Agorgyadhama, Mangalore, Karnataka.
After the detox stage, your doctor assesses the symptoms of proper elimination of toxins and puts you on a soothing diet.
“Soon after the elimination phase, you can’t get back to the normal diet. You will be allowed to consume thicker juices, salads, steamed vegetables, and sprouts,” says Dr Saoji.
The choice of veggies and fruits is based on the medical condition. For example: for asthma, anti-peptogenic diet (anti-inflammatory diet) is planned and ash gourd juice is given for hyperacidity.
As the name itself suggests, this stage focuses on providing health benefits to the body. This is more towards reintroduction of a normal diet.
“You will be allowed to eat a regular diet except for foods that are too spicy or flavoury. This would look like a sattvic diet which involves more of less processed, whole grains, sprout, seasonal fruits, and vegetables,” adds Dr Saoji.
Can anyone follow this method?
This diet can benefit a person by detoxifying, nourishing and aiding in easy recovery of medical conditions if any. It is customised as per an individual’s need, and this makes it easy for people of any age group and with any health condition.
The diets are also customised based on the health condition such as – diabetes, asthma, obesity, PCOD, joint disorders and inflammatory conditions. Naturopaths say that even a healthy individual can undergo this diet intervention to get rejuvenated.
What happens after this intervention?
By the end of the constructive diet regime, you will be allowed to resume your regular diet with some modifications. You will be asked to consume a nutrient rich diet (diet loaded with raw or less- processed vegetables and seasonal fruits), adequate hydration, spices in moderation.
These diets are strictly to be practiced under an expert’s guidance
“Your physician will analyse your condition, plan your diet based on your conditions, age, and other requirement and guide you with everything. Reaching out to an expert is advised to get the maximum benefit from it,” says Dr Nitesh.