Think salad, and you’d usually think fresh, crunchy greens.
Ayurveda, however, recommends that those greens be lightly cooked, just until wilted.
Does the idea of this make you lose your appetite, somewhat?
Well, you’ll perk right up when I explain the simple reason: Ayurvedic healing is very, very focused on good, thorough digestion. So, foods that are light on the tummy, i.e., don’t place too much of a demand on the agni (digestive fire), are the ideal kind of nourishment, say vaidyas (ayurvedic physicians).
Raw vegetables and greens are considered to be ‘heavy’ and take a lot of time and energy for the system to process. And partly digested food slowly putrefies in the body and causes ‘ama’ or toxic waste to accumulate. This becomes the starting point of all kinds of disease.
Not a pretty picture, is it?
But introduce a little heat into your salad, and at once, their heaviness quotient plummets, things become easier for your inner agni, and you’re good to enjoy your green platter.
And enjoy it you must! Salads are nutritional gold!
A recent study done by the UCLA School of Public Health and Louisiana State University Health Services Center found that people who eat at least one salad a day have a higher level of nutrients responsible for a healthy heart and better immunity.
One of my favorite salads is steamed mung dal tossed with lightly cooked winter greens, pulled together a punchy lemon-pepper dressing, and sprinkled with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Try it. You’ll love it! And your agni will be happy, too!