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A guide to eating healthy the naturopathy way

Naturopathy relies on the body's capability to heal itself and recommends a diet high on whole foods and adequate water

Naturopathy encourages eating diet rich in unprocessed grains, nuts, seeds and fresh veggies which can enhance gut health. (Unsplash/Edgar Castrejon)

By Dr. Narendra Shetty

LAST PUBLISHED 25.02.2024  |  08:00 AM IST

The central belief of naturopathy is that our bodies hold an innate capability to cure themselves. In naturopathy, eating a well-balanced and healthy diet is pivotal for both preventing and treating conditions like obesity, diabetes and cancer. This centeredness on the body probably explains why while advances are being made in drug development, naturopathy continues to be a popular alternative healing practice. Here, in this article, I will lay down three naturopathic diet principles, their benefits, and how you can incorporate them in your life. 

Also read: Finding gut health at the supermarket

TRENDING STORIES

The whole food emphasis: Naturopathy encourages a diet that is centred on whole grains, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits, and vegetables. These foods are abundant in fibre, antioxidants, and other nutrients that give the body what it needs to stay healthy. 

Alkaline diet: An alkaline diet, which entails ingesting foods that support the maintenance of the body's pH levels, is constantly recommended by naturopaths. The belief is that the proliferation of cancer cells is inhibited in an alkaline terrain. Consuming alkaline foods including broccoli, mushrooms, peas, tomatoes, and fruits like apples and cherries help produce a more pH-balanced terrain inside the body.

Hydration: One of the main tenets of naturopathy is drinking enough water every day. Water helps maintain numerous physiological processes and aids in the body’s junking of adulterants. Pure, clean water is advised by naturopaths to support optimal cellular function and general well-being throughout the day.

BENEFITS 

Enhanced nutrition intake: Unprocessed whole foods offer a range of nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, selenium, manganese and zinc. They're also the best source of protein and fibre. By advocating a whole foods-based diet, naturopathy ensures that the body is fuelled only by optimal ingredients that boost overall cellular health, lower inflammation, and bolster the immunity system.  

Also read: Protein-rich breakfast boosts concentration and satiety: Study

Reduced inflammation: Cancer is one of several ailments whose onset and progression is linked to inflammation. Foods such as fish, berries, and green leafy vegetables that are recommended in naturopathy contain anti-inflammatory supplements like omega-3 fatty acids. These foods help reduce inflammation and nurture a terrain within the body that impedes the growth of cancerous cells.

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Better digestive health: Placing focus on a whole-food, high-fibre diet promotes gut health. And one of the key goals of naturopathy is promote healthy gut microbiota and optimise digestion. This is because gut microbiome health is intrinsically linked to the body's immune system, mental health and overall well-being. Maintaining a healthy gut aids in the absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste from the body.   

ADAPTING NATUROPATHY TO YOUR DAILY DIET

1. Include a range of vibrant fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet. A half-plate portion of fruits and veggies during lunch and dinner is good. 

 2. Stay hydrated by drinking water all day long. You can include herbal teas, infused water and fruits high on water content like water melons, peaches and pineapples. 

3. It is important to be mindful and aware of what we eat. Mindful eating ensure we have an enjoyable eating experience. It also helps us understand our   feelings about food. Never skip meals, always eat slowly and honour the food on the plate. This encourages better digestion and helps avoid overindulging.

4. The best way to keep your health in check is to avoid processed food as much as possible as they contain ingredients that are harmful to the gut. Cutting down on sugar improves the healing process.   

It is important to remember that naturopathy principles cannot replace medical interventions, but if enhancing your general health level is a goal, then following the basics as laid above is a good way to start. 

Dr. Narendra Shetty is chief wellness officer at Kshemavana Naturopathy and Yoga Wellness Centre, Nelamangala, Karnataka. 

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