An Ayurvedic Diet
So for those that have not heard about Ayurveda it is an ancient Indian Holistic medical system that works on achieving physical and mental harmony with nature based on Sankhya Philosophy of creation. Sat meaning truth and Kha to know. Ayurveda teaches us that everybody has four physical and spiritual instincts, religious, financial, procreative and freedom. Combined these create happiness, well being, creative and physical growth.
Ayurveda the science of life requires the practitioner to reach the patients inner soul to be a healer. Life has a goal, purpose to realise our inner divine nature. Positive thinking and love is the best medicine. Ayurveda also recognises that there are two types of health; Health and True Health and everyone of us have our own true health according to our Natural Body Constitution.
Unfortunately for most of us our current life styles are not bring our souls true happiness and there for leading to ill health. In Ayurveda we use Diet, Massage, Yoga, Herbs and Life Style changes to promote True Health and today I want to talk about an Ayurvedic Diet.
So before talking about the five elements and the three doshas to keep it simple for all according to Ayurveda to eat healthy follow these rules:
Only eat when hungry. Don't over eat.
Only eat "SOUL FOOD" Seasonal, organic, unprocessed and local so head to our local Farmers Market.
Food should be cooked and warm when eaten.
Food should be tasty and easy to digest.
A balanced diet includes all the six tastes, Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy, Bitter and Astringent.
Only eat food according to your Prakriti (natural body constitution) and Vikriti (current body constitution).
Avoid faulty food combinations.
Eat fresh food and vegetables daily.
Leave at least 3 hours between foods.
Follow a plant base diet where possible. Only eat meat and diary for medical reasons.
Ice Cold Drinks
Watching TV or talking when eating.
Artificial colours and preservatives.
Eating before the previous meal is digested.
Eating too quickly or too slowly.
Eating when not hungry.
Everyone should also favour Sattvic foods. These are light, soothing and easy to digest. All fruits, vegetables and grains. They draw energy from the sun to help towards easy digestion. These food already contain "Agni" our digestive fire. They have a lightening effect on the nervous and digestive system. They help keep the channels within the body clear. They remove heaviness and Ama (toxins). They are always cooked or steamed.
Ayurveda also recognises that certain foods should not be mixed as the digestive system cannot digestive these faulty food combinations which can lead to Ama developing in the body. Fruit should always be eaten on its own as a snack so please leave at least 30 minutes to an hour to having a meal after eating fruit. Melon should not be mixed with other fruits. Legumes used not be combined with diary, eggs, fish or meat. Legumes are recommended to be eaten with starches however to create a prefect protein. Honey should never be cooked, heated, baked or boiled as this causes the molecules to become toxic non-homogenised glue that is unrecognisable and indigestible. If mixed with equal amounts with ghee it is also consider toxic. Lemons should not be mixed with cucumber, milk, tomatoes and yogurt. Diary should not be mixed with fruit, fish or meat.
Nightshades which are potatoes (not including sweet potatoes) aubergine, peppers and tomatoes should be avoided by anyone with an inflammatory condition such as arthritis, IBS and anyone with excess Pitta or heat in the body.
So a little knowledge on the elements and Doshas. Ayurveda works with five elements, Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth in that chronological order. Without Space no living or non-living thing can exist. When air enters space its movement creates heat and when heat rises it produces water and when water fills a space it can no longer move, it become heavy and solid like earth. In Ayurveda we also work with the Doshas. Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata is made up of the Space and Air elements, Pitta the Fire and Water elements and Kapha the Water and Earth elements. These elements and doshas are within all of us but our natural body constitution known as Prakriti can be predominantly one, two or all three. Our current constitution, Vikriti, is when these doshas become imbalanced either in excess or lacking. In order to bring us back to our natural constitution we use opposite qualities of the doshas to affected to restore balance.
Vata's qualities are dry, cold, light, subtle, mobile, rough and not slimy due to the space and air elements. There for if in imbalance we would favour nourishing foods that are moist, warm, heavy and oily. Sweet, sour and salty tastes are best. Soaked nuts, warm soups, stews and whole grains are perfect.
Pitta's qualities are slightly oily, hot, penetrating, fluid, sour and pungent. To bring back balance foods to favour include sweet, bitter, astringent tastes. Use less oil and more ghee. Favour more cooling foods that are refreshing and uplifting.
Kapha's qualities are cold, wet, heavy, solid, unctuous and slow. Favour warm light foods, spicy, bitter and astringent tastes are best. Dry foods with warm water or warm hot foods cooked fresh are best. Grated ginger helps stimulate the digestive fire. Fasting is especially beneficial for Kapha body types or imbalances.
So this is just a little information about the role of diet according to Ayurveda. If you would like to know more on how it can help you please do contact Lynn at Danu Beauty & Wellness Studio or book in for a consultation.