Lately, there has been a food trend towards giving up grains, or reducing them due to allergies, intolerances, and other concerns. However, grains are a traditional food group that have been consumed for thousands of years, and provide important nutrients—especially for the Ayurvedic vegetarian diet and lifestyle.
According to the traditional wisdom of Maharishi AyurVeda, grains help to build bone tissue and muscle and give bodily strength and endurance. From a nutritional standpoint, grains provide
carbohydrates, protein, iron, calcium, potassium, and important B vitamins necessary for a balanced diet. Grains are an easily digestible source of energy for the body, which make them a great choice during a detox when you want to give your body a break to focus its efforts on cleansing.
Whole grains contain much more fiber (both water-soluble and insoluble) than refined grains. Fiber acts like a broom, sweeping clean the intestines, and encourages regular bowel movements which are essential for good health, and during a detox when toxins are carried into the bowel for elimination. Some types of grains like rice, wheat, barley, and oats contain indigestible fiber that acts as food for the beneficial bacteria living in your gut. Increasing the diversity and quantity of these beneficial bacteria promotes gut health, helps ward off pathogens, and even benefits your immune system—of which 70% resides in your gut!
Quinoa, amaranth, and rice are easy-to-digest, gluten-free grains that provide a boost of wholesome energy, necessary to provide your body strength during a detox. While whole grains are more nutritious, white long-grain basmati rice is a traditional, highly digestible Ayurvedic cleansing food with unique properties. Long grain white rice has a lower glycemic index than short grain rice, which helps to keep blood sugar levels stabilized.
Barley and flatbreads such as fresh chapati made with wheat flour both contain gluten. If you have a gluten intolerance, stick to gluten-free grains. However, a digestive detox which helps to repair gut health can sometimes make it tolerable for those with mild gluten sensitivities to eat it post-detox in some amount.
To maximize detoxification and digestive health, include wholesome grains in your daily diet. They provide a wide array of important nutrients, and supply substance in vegetarian diets.