Some raw in diet is especially important in our Western diet, which is so devoid of nutrients and is over-processed and overcooked. And why would anyone cook a fruit. That is just a perfect raw food. Now, some raw foods are fabulous especially for cleansing and renewal, and I can’t think of a better vegetable for that than beet root, which we have here in the recipe. Interestingly, the combination of beet and carrot has been used in hormone regulation during menopause, and beet alone has been used to promote menstruation. That is, only if you are a woman. Beets strengthen the heart, calm the spirit, purify blood and build it up in case of anemia. As a spring salad, raw beet will be especially beneficial to support the liver and help it detoxify from abuse of heavy festive winter foods. It contains silicon, and that is a not well known fact: silicon supports skeletal health and helps other nutrients build the bones and it can prevent atherosclerosis.
While Raw is a very popular diet in the US, in terms of ancient Ayurveda, raw foods are not preferred foods, in part because of the parasites and microbes they may harbor. We have to remember that food safety and temperature control have changed a great deal since those times….Still, if we look back to Chinese tradition, raw food can weaken one’s “center”, making digestion and assimilation weak. As much as the raw vegetables are cleansing and uplifting, the fact remains that raw they can be hard for many of my very compromised and weakened patients. In that case, vegetable broths are much easier and minerals are much easier to extract when vegetables are cooked in water. If we go back to India again, raw foods reduce the ability to make Ojas, the life essence. Ojas is necessary for growth, development, and immunity, as well as mental and spiritual enlightenment. Interestingly, it is not beet or carrot that is eaten raw in India. It is cabbage. Cabbage does not harbor parasites. In a healthy person, concentrated digestive secretions can prevent parasites from proliferation, but if you are ill already, cook or steam your foods or soak them as below. Also, some of the worst foods to eat at the airports and restaurants are raw salads…So sorry. I know. Contamination is a high risk there!
For those that are afraid to venture into raw vegetables and fruits because they are already compromised and do not want extra parasites and other undesirable microorganisms, Paul Pitchford recommends soaking produce in a mild solution of apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes. One tablespoon of vinegar per gallon of soaking water or ¼ cup per a sinkfull will do just fine. He also mentions hydrogen peroxide (HP), but that is a bit more involved: according to Pitchford, hydrogen peroxide can remove parasites as well but it can also denature sprays on non-organic produce better than apple cider vinegar. A regular HP is just fine: you can buy a quart or a gallon size bottles at drug stores, apparently. Soak produce for 20 minutes in sink filled with water and. Add ¼ cup 5% HP. Otherwise, use 1 tablespoon 3% HP per gallon of soak water. A fast way to use HP is to spray 3% HP on produce, wait one to two minutes and then rinse.
Enjoy this refreshing raw beet salad that’s perfect for a hot summer day! Looking for more recipes with functional nutrition benefits? Follow me on Pinterest!
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