Himalayan Yoga Academy

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Ayurveda Diet and Nutrition

30 Mar 2023 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

ayruveda diet

Ayurveda, having origin in the Vedas, focuses a lot of accent on a diet (Aahara) and food (anna), and it holds that a balanced diet nourishes the body, mind, and soul. Ayurveda does not categorize food as good or bad; rather, it places prominence on a number of factors that affect it, including its biological characteristics, place of origin, environmental factors, seasons, preparation, and freshness. It also offers a logical justification for how to balance food in accordance with a person’s dosha and physical requirements. Scriptures state that there is no letter that cannot be a mantra, and no root can be a medicine.  Every man is useful in some way. 

According to Ayurveda, “Ahara” (diet) and “Anna” (food) are very important for a healthy life, health, and wellness. Mind, body, and spirit are all nourished by wholesome, healthy food. Despite the fact that each person’s digestive ability may vary, a healthy life requires eating food of sufficient quality and quantity. Food, when consumed in the right amounts, gives you energy, and a healthy complexion, and supports the health of your tissues.

Science, philosophy, and spirituality, according to the 6000-year-old Ayurvedic medical system, are all crucial aspects of living a healthy life. Ayurveda is recognized as a complete medical system as well as a way of life. The individual is inseparable from his or her environment and a “microcosm” within the “macrocosm.”

Ayurveda talks about six tastes. When ingested in the proper quantity, each taste elicited by the meal helps to nourish the body. Sweet enhances the quality of life generally, gives skin luster, strengthens the body overall, and is good for the throat. However, overuse will exacerbate kapha and exacerbate problems including obesity, congestion, and other illnesses.

The right digestive powers (Agni) are stimulated by sour tastes, which also give energy, arouse the mind, and cause salivation. However, frequent use will result in indigestion, water retention, and heartburn. When used in moderation, salt, which is greasy and heavy, acts as an antispasmodic, a stimulant of energy, and a supporter of electrolyte and water balance. Salt, however, causes water retention when used in excess, raises blood pressure, and causes nausea. Rock salt should be used in the diet since it contains minerals, according to Ayurveda.

Pungent assists with digestion, absorption, and sinus cleaning when used sparingly. It also promotes circulation and aids with excretion. It contributes to the body’s health and vigor while acting as a blood thinner. However, overuse can result in sterility, exhaustion, and extreme thirst.

Bitter foods like fenugreek, aloe Vera, turmeric, and dandelion boost all other flavors. They remove fat, tone the pancreas, and function as an antipyretic. Overconsumption may make you feel lightheaded.

“Sour taste” in Ayurveda typically refers to acidic foods or fermented foods, as in “the milk has gone sour.” Yogurt, wine, beer, miso, and pickles are examples of sour foods. Citrus fruits and subacidic fruits like peaches are also regarded as sour; nevertheless, sour fruits cool the blood as opposed to ferments, which heat it.

Unripe bananas, pomegranates, and chickpeas are a few examples of astringent foods that are binding and aid in absorption. Use in excess will cause blood coagulation, constipation, and whining.

Indigestion, flatulence, acidity, and the formation of toxins in the body can occur when various foods are consumed together and their qualities are not complementary. However, the same food may be quickly digested and may even encourage “agni” when consumed separately. Ayurveda offers recommendations for food combinations that promote healthy digestion and optimal nutrition. Additionally, it advises using herbs and spices when cooking (Ayuvedic cookery) to make the food easier to digest. Ayuedicooking is a great science that teaches how to combine foods and food ingredients in the right ways to keep good health.

Ayurvedic Diet :

 According to Ayurveda, every root is a medicine, thus there is no such thing as good or bad food. It also offers a logical method for creating balanced meals for the best nutrition by creating food groups that are harmonious, encourage appropriate digestion, and maximize nutrient absorption. Food that is comparable to one’s dosa will make the dosa worse. To balance the dosa, one needs to choose the right food group. Ayurveda advises:

(a) Right consumption of raw (uncooked) food, fruits, and vegetables,

(b) Prior understanding of the effects of herbs, and

(c) Should stay away from incompatible food pairings, such as salt and milk.

 According to Ayurveda, the plants and plant-based foods that make up our diet have a significant impact on how we feel physically and mentally. Ayurveda advises avoiding leftovers and consuming a moderate amount of raw foods in order to have appropriate digestion. It is advised to eat handmade, freshly prepared food for proper nutrient absorption. Spices are used to mellow the negative effects of the dish and make it more palatable. Warm food is advised because it stimulates the Agni and digestive enzymes.

Food intake timing is also taken into account; for example, Vata people may choose smaller portions and eat more frequently. The best times to eat are at dawn and dusk. While Kapha persons can skip breakfast and make lunch their greatest meal, Pitta individuals can eat their largest meal at noon (a maximum of three times). Other aspects to take into account are gender and age. Older people should follow an anti-vata diet, whereas middle-aged people and youngsters should follow an anti-pitta diet.

Similar to how women choose a more anti-Kapha diet, men may explore a more anti-pitta diet. It is advised to have a calm and relaxed attitude for the best digestion. It is advised against eating when one is experiencing strong emotions like stress, rage, or grief, among others, as these things might cause abnormal digestion and have a detrimental effect on the mind, which is the seat of all sensory perception and control. Spices’ Function in the Ayurvedic Diet: Ayurvedic nutrition places a high value on herbs and spices since they are utilized to balance the humoral qualities of food.

For example, ginger neutralizes the heavy quality of the food thus adding ginger will convert the property of heavy food into a lighter state. Similarly, when combined with different food agents it will change its mode of action as ginger when taken with rock salt will reduce vayulvata symptoms, with rock candy it will reduce pitta and when used with honey it will reduce kapha. With its versatile qualities ginger is used for treating indigestion, flatulence, colic, vomiting, stomach spasm, colds, cough, and asthma. In addition to their medicinal qualities herbs and spices enhance the taste and flavor of the food and aid digestive secretions. Herbs and spices also provide mineral and vitamin supplements. Five of the commonly used spices are described below. Influence of food over mind and emotions

For instance, adding ginger will make the property of heavy food into lighter state since ginger neutralizes the heavy character of the food. Similar to how changing dietary agents can affect a substance’s mode of action, ginger can diminish vayulvata symptoms when mixed with rock salt, pitta symptoms when combined with rock candy, and Kapha symptoms when associated with honey. Due to its adaptability, ginger is used to treat a variety of conditions, including indigestion, flatulence, colic, vomiting, stomach spasms, colds, coughs, and asthma. Herbs and spices provide health benefits in addition to enhancing the flavor of food and promoting the release of digestive juices. Additionally, herbs and spices offer vitamin and mineral supplements.

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