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What could possibly be dangerous about salads?
Now that I have your attention, I want to tell you something I’ve seen come up in the clinic repeatedly the past couple of months.
While this is the perfect time of year to be increase consumption of raw vegetables, you need to be listening to your body above all else.
Bloating is a pretty common complaint in my clinic.
Some of my patients have given up their beloved gluten and dairy in hopes of finding a solution to their digestive discomforts.
Sometimes it’s a solution, sometimes it’s not.
If you have noticed bloating after meals but don’t know the culprit, I suggest you consider the effect of raw foods.
Salads are loaded with nutrients and vitamins, but if your digestive system is weak, you may suffer bloating from eating raw foods and ultimately have nutrient malabsorption.
Raw foods in Chinese medicine are considered cooling to the body.
Your body literally has to cook the salad before absorption of nutrients can happen.
The strength of the digestive system is known as the digestive fire.
A weak digestive fire can result from overeating, inconsistent eating, eating too many sweets, too much fried/greasy food and emotional stress.
If you have bloating after meals and you are eating lots of salads, eliminate foods which are raw and opt for lightly steamed or a quick high-heat sautee method.
Some lettuces are more warming than others, so if you really love salad, opt for warmer greens like arugula and watercress.
You can learn more about lettuce varieties and their thermogenic nature here.
For patients who tend to feel cold, stiffness of the joints and limbs, and anyone with symptoms which are aggravated by cold, I also recommend eating more cooked and fewer raw foods.
What about juices?
Juicing may be tolerated for some people who can’t fully digest lots of raw veggies and fruits.
Add ginger to warm the cooling nature of vegetable and fruit juices. Generally speaking, fruits are more cooling than vegetables.
Avoid really sweet fruits if you have bloating like mango, papaya, melons, strawberries, bananas and peaches.