Beyond nutrition, however, raw vegetables can simply be hard to digest. Anybody with irritable bowel syndrome knows this. You can chew and chew, but cold, hard raw food can upset the digestion, especially when it isn’t working at optimum capacity.
When you have a completely intact, strong digestive system, you can eat your big salad at lunchtime (I never recommend raw food at dinner because of lower digestive strength at night). But for now, hold off on that and opt for cooked veggies instead. Steam them, sauté them, or poach them, but give your digestion that extra boost. Cooking them in ghee makes them even more digestible because ghee increases your digestive fire.
If you love salad for lunch, you don’t have to give it up altogether. Instead, try tossing it in a warm skillet for a minute or two before you eat it, just to warm it up and wilt the greens slightly. Warm salads are delicious. Try a roasted root vegetable salad, or wilted greens with roasted vegetables.
At the very least, consider warming your salads during cold weather. When summer comes and your digestion is strongest, then you go back to those cold crispy lettuces you love — but just at lunchtime when your digestion is the strongest.
As for beverages, just say no to ice. Drink your water warm or at room temperature, and avoid chilled beverages of all kinds. No ice-cold lemonade, no ice-cold beer, no ice-cold soda, and no ice water.
If room-temperature water and herbal teas are your beverages of choice, your digestion will run more smoothly. Just think about what happens when you stick your hands in cold water or snow. Your fingers turn white because cold reduces blood flow to the area and vessels clamp shut. When you drink cold liquids, such as iced tea or ice water, the same thing happens to your digestive tract: blood vessels constrict and blood moves out of the area. The channels that move nutrients in and waste out then close up.
This is exactly the opposite of what you want. You want blood to flow to your digestive tract, to help facilitate healthy and efficient digestion and carry out waste easily. Warm liquids open up channels and encourage flow.
So keep drinking that warm tea, but leave the ice out of your water.