Ayurveda & Nutritional Food Habits

by Vibe
posted in Blog
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It is interesting and mildly amusing that the more science develops, the more we seem to accept the wisdom of our ancestors. The inference being that with the passage of time and in a hurry to modernize, we lost our true bearings. As new diseases appear and, modern medicine becomes helpless to deal with certain diseases, humankind seeks solutions from the past.

Ayurveda is a way of life and not just a system of medicine. Ayurveda literally means long life through knowledge. The knowledge being employed to strengthen the immune system and the body to ward off diseases and thus ensure a long healthy life. And, one of the cornerstones in this approach is good nutrition.

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need”- Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb.

The balance between Vata, Pitta and Kapha – the Tridoshas result in good health and this balance is partly brought about by the food we eat. A deviation from this causes an imbalance and is one of the root causes for a majority of the maladies affecting the human body – lifestyle diseases, is an appropriate term. The imbalance can affect the digestive process which can result in formation and accumulation of ama (toxins). Ama in turn affects the complete body and results in disease. The key to healthy health lies in the elimination of this ama, which can be possible through detoxification and through proper nutrition.

Ayurveda addresses these problems by designing a diet that tries to bring the balance back to the body. Ayurveda requires the use of certain herbs and spices – turmeric, chillies, caraway, ginger etc on a regular basis. The best way to use these on a daily basis was to incorporate them into food, one way of ensuring. Cooking with herbs ensures better digestion and absorption of food, which in turn means better assimilation and elimination. Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Aswhwagandha (Withania somnifera), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra ), garlic (Allium sativum) etc have been used in India either as a part of the culinary recipes or as a specific ingredient in rasayana preparations. Today, science agrees that these are some of the most effective anti-oxidants known to humankind and are as effective in treating diseases as in their prevention.

Ayurveda is uncomplicated in its approach and requires an individual to adapt with the environment surrounding the individual. Which means, the diet to be taken, is dependent on the place, the weather, the requirement of the body and should be taken at proper intervals. Diet is to be sourced from organic food grown locally. Fruits and leaves used in the food are best plucked early in the morning rather than in the evening. Cooking is to be done on stoves that use wood as a fuel. Utensils are either made of clay or bronze. Water stored in copper vessels overnight should be consumed as this again helps in balancing the Tridoshas. Food is to be prepared with love and served with devotion.

The heaviest meal of the day is to be taken between 12.00 and 13.00 when the Pitta content is at the highest. The lightest meal is the last meal of the day.

Ayurveda is a way to good health. Each individual can make a few changes to the diet. A couple of additions and a few deletions in your current diet would go a long way in helping you avoid the many maladies of modern life like

hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity etc. The key to good health lies in building up a strong constitution and a few nutritional tips from a 5000 year old science would be one big step in the right direction.

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