food

The kitchari cleanse: An ancient detox diet

9 Comments
By DINASHA CELLURA

Kitchari (kitch-ah-ree), a comfort food originating from India, is made with a lentils or “dal” (typically mung beans) combined with basmati rice, spices, various vegetables, lime and cilantro leaves. The word “kitchari” actually means mess, referring to the porridge-type nature of the dish. It is a warm, delicious and satisfying dish, but beyond taste it is packed with protein and nutrition that can sufficiently nourish your body for long periods of time.

India’s ancient Ayurveda is the oldest known medical practice in the world. The kitchari cleanse is an Ayurvedic home remedy or mono-diet for detoxifying the digestive system. A mono-diet is defined as a limited diversity in food consumed for a number of days. Through this simplification of diet, the digestive system is given a well-deserved rest, as the demand to produce multiple enzymes to break down different meats and processed foods are eliminated.

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The kitchari is eaten two to three meals a day without consuming anything in between. Some allow for seasonal fruit as a snack, but others promote a more rigid approach of fasting in between meals. I chose the latter, and while restorative, fasting is very challenging and eye-opening to the many habits and dependencies I had in my daily diet.

Day 1

After a delightful two-hour yoga practice, I rush home to make my first pot of kitchari. My brain is already rationalizing and building a case against this diet. I nervously dive in, and cook my first pot using red lentils. I figured since I grew up eating red lentils it would be an old, familiar meal. Sure enough, my belly was full and all was calm.

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9 Comments
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"Detox" is nonsense.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There is no evidence at all that "detoxifying" the digestive system has any health value.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Detoxing/Cleanses is pseudoscience with no real evidence or backing behind it at all. At best it is a waste of time and money, and at worst it can be seriously harmful to your health.

I've had kitchari, it is tasty and pretty healthy. That doesn't mean you should eat only it for any period of time though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wondered what is 'kitchari' since I have never heard of it before and then I realized that the author means 'khichdi', a healthy meal given to anyone who is sick in India since it is easy to digest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

‘Khichdi’

Interesting, EB, because my reaction when I read the article was exactly that this would be a good one-off meal if you didn’t want anything too heavy. To eat nothing but kitchari for days in the name of so-called “detox” on the other hand seems ridiculous. Especially since the writer was always going to come up with a positive take on it, since that was the whole point of writing the article in the first place.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But this and turmeric which are Indians' healthiest food/spices couldn't able to fight the virus.

There is this Himalayan food called 'Dhedo', i think older Japanese might know about, i once saw exact Japanese dish. Now that is the heathiest food Japan might be interested and you got to know how to eat it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mung Beans are not Dal nor Lentils.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What a waste of bean sprouts. Wrap them in an egg roll with pork, shrimp and green onions and deep fry them. Top it with plum sauce and hot mustard. Yummy

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It looks great

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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