What does the Ayurvedic Diet mean?

Ayurveda is a health practice that originated in India and is about five centuries old. Ayurveda is a word combined with two Sanskrit words, which mean life (Ayur) and science (Veda). The literal translation of Ayurveda is "the science of life." Ayurvedic medicine designs to make a robust and healthy body through a series of diet, lifestyle, and exercise practices, including sleep and mindful living.

In the Ayurvedic system, good health always starts with proper digestion and emphasizes healthful, refreshing, tasty, and easy to digest foods. According to Ayurveda, a wrong diet may be the source of any condition and disorder. Food is believed to be natural medicine and a balanced diet as the principal resource for well being and good health. The supportive system of herbs, treatments, and medication is structured around these principles. This approach differs substantially from conventional Western medicine that mainly relies on chemical treatments of individual organs. People are becoming increasingly aware that those "quick fixes" may not be the best response to their situations, and are in fact, creating other medical conditions.

An Ayurvedic diet is an eating blueprint that provides strict and clear guidelines for what you eat when you eat and how you eat for optimal health. You can prevent or manage illness and maintain good health. If you stick to an Ayurvedic diet, you are going to eat mostly whole or minimally processed foods and practice mindful eating habits. Several studies have shown that Ayurvedic lifestyle practices, including diet, can help improve your wellbeing. 

See: Ayurvedic herbs for detoxification

Ayurvedic knowledge of food and health

Ayurvedic ties food and health in very elaborate and specific guidelines. 

1. Taste (Rasa) as an Indicator of Health

Among the ways of food classification in Ayurveda is based on rasa. There are six big tastes based on Ayurveda: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. There are qualities of each taste (guna) that boost the properties of a substance.

2. Food Can Alter Moods

Another interesting taxonomy of meals is based on their influence on Psychological dispositions of people. According to Ayurveda, there's a subtle connection between disease manifestation and the six emotional expressions, such as lust, anger, greed, desire, attachment, and self.

3. Proper Metabolism is Important for Good Health

The energy that drives metabolism in the body is known as Agni, which also has a significant effect on health. There are 3 phases in the digestive cycle beginning in the gastrointestinal tract accompanied by tissue-specific and elemental level metabolism. 

4. Food and Physiological Processes and Tasks

In Ayurveda, food has been categorized according to morphological features and their corresponding bodily activities. For example, grains, pulses, processed foods, meat and products, leafy vegetables, fruits, additives, nutritional supplements, various kinds of water, milk and milk products, oils, and alcoholic beverages are elaborated based on their influence on the body. This categorization further develops the terms of place of origin and seasonal variation (12).

5. Prakriti - A Guide to Personalize Diets

Someone's Prakriti is another crucial determinant of the effect of food on the system. Prakriti of a person is defined by a set of physical, physiological, and emotional attributes.  People's taste preferences can be a criterion to group people as follows:

- grouped as Vata (for sweet, sour, and salty tastes); 

- Pitta (for sweet, bitter, and astringent taste), and 

- Kapha (for bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes).

6. Incompatible Foods (Viruddha Ahara) and Techniques

Another distinctive feature of Ayurveda is its understanding of the incompatibilities of food processing and materials. There are 18 types of variances based on Ayurveda (3). Conflicts are explained based on the effectiveness of ingredients, processing, quantity/dose, the process of ingestion, time/season; mixing substances, such as sour fruits and honey or milk and ghee (clarified butter) in equal amounts; milk together with horse gram, jack fruit, or fish; or perhaps heating honey.

7. Wholesome and Unwholesome Food (Pathya and Apathya)

Several examples are provided in Ayurvedic texts for wholesome nutritional supplements, pathya, and apathya. These are indicated explicitly in disease management. For instance, pomegranate, amla (Indian gooseberry), buttermilk, etc. are cited as great pathya ahara in the management of iron-deficiency anemia. Processing of a substance can alter the potency, safety, and pharmacological effect of this substance.

See: Ayurvedic herbs to heal PCOS

Ayurvedic diet personalized

Personalized diets 

The foods you eat correlate with your Doshas and their balance in your body. One food type can be suitable for one person but entirely wrong for another. A good practice is to adhere to a diet that favors foods soothing your dominant Dosha. However you don't need to remove anything from the menu, Ayurveda isn't about absurd dietary plans, but about fundamental guidelines. Just try eating a little more of the foods which balance your dominant Dosha (or some other one which is temporarily overstimulated) and a bit less of those foods which don't. 

How It Works

If you follow an Ayurvedic diet, you will Incorporate many distinct practices into your eating regimen. These practices enable you to gain from the various qualities of food.

- Prakriti: This is the Principle that recognizes that every human being is born with unique combinations of doshas and that this natural balance is what's responsible for physical, psychological, and psychological differences among people. By identifying and maintaining a person's Prakruti, Ayurveda can help each person create their state of perfect health.

One of the primary characteristics of an Ayurvedic diet is that you eat based on a dominant constitutional type or dosha. You may think of your dosha as your energy. Three distinct Ayurvedic doshas derive from five unique elements: space, air, fire, water, and ground. Each component offers different characteristics.

Vata (distance and atmosphere ): Vatas are described as creative, extreme, or expressive. Attributes consist of dry, light, cold, and rough.

Pitta (fire and water): Pittas are usually described as intelligent, joyous, and driven. Attributes consist of sharp, hot, liquid, and portable.

Kapha (ground and water): Kaphas are usually described as calm, loving, or lazy. Characteristics include moist, dense, soft, and static.

After studying descriptions of each dosha, you may discover that one seems more like the qualities you embody. A lot of men and women realize that they have two powerful doshas. Those who exercise an Ayurvedic lifestyle believe that each of us represents all three doshas. Your prominent dosha will determine your eating style.

- The Kapha Dosha Ayurvedic Diet

Kapha is typically the biggest of the human body types. Physically, they have broad hips/shoulders, thick wavy hair, and significant physical stamina. Mentally, Kapha types tend to be slow learners, but they have good memories. Emotionally, they usually are very loyal, secure, and reliable - they're often known as the foundation in a relationship.

Out of equilibrium, Kapha Individuals are inclined towards sinus congestion, poor circulation, and sluggish digestion, which could easily lead to obesity. Kapha types may add garlic into their diet or take garlic supplements to fight the congestion. To help improve circulation, they could perform a stimulating dry body massage, known as garshana. This is accomplished with raw silk gloves, or you can use a sponge instead. The massage eliminates excess water weight and is a natural remedy for cellulite. To boost metabolism, Kapha people may use the herbal supplement guggul, which is a plant that's closely associated with myrrh. The dose of guggul is typically 100mg per day. Exercise is also essential to maintain Kapha people in equilibrium; if you've got a Kapha body type, you need to get up and move!

From a diet perspective, Kapha individuals should reduce oil/fats, salt, and sweets as much as possible because of their sluggish digestion. Instead, they ought to concentrate on cooking with a lot of spices, eating plenty of vegetables, and higher fiber foods like legumes.

When Kapha gets uncontrollable, they could suffer from weight gain, depression, tumors, and fluid retention. Lighter meals will help to lessen their heaviness. Foods that are sour and pungent are perfect, but they should cut back on foods that are salty or sweet.

All vegetables can be consumed, however sweet and delicious vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and tomatoes, should be prevented. Detoxing juices and diets are amazing for Kapha individuals because it helps their digestive systems. Fruits such as apples, pears, and apricots help keep balance in the body. Bananas, oranges, and melons should be prevented.

- The Pitta Dosha Ayurvedic Diet

Pitta individuals are typical of the average build. Physically, they have excellent muscle tone; have a propensity always to feel warm; have premature graying hair or balding; have red complexions; enjoy high energy levels, and have very powerful digestion. Mentally, they are quite smart, focused, ambitious folks. Emotionally, they're passionate in life, have a propensity to be perfectionists, and can get easily irritated.

Out of balance, Pitta types can undergo excessive anger, suffer from inflammatory conditions (such as headaches and migraines ), experience digestive problems (for example, acid reflux, nausea, and nausea ), and eventually become over-stressed, workaholics. To assist with the inflammation, Pitta people can do a fast coconut oil massage into the scalp and feet for 5 minutes before entering the shower. To prevent the digestive issues, they could drink a combination of a quarter-cup of aloe vera juice using a half-cup of pomegranate juice in the morning on an empty stomach. To take the "edge off" at work and fight off stress in these worker bees, they ought to eat a teaspoon of rose petal jam.

Imbalance of Pitta causes aggravation, inability to bear hot climes, rashes, and heartburn. People of the ministry people ought to avoid foods that are salty, salty, and sour. Sweet fruits such as mangoes, melons, mature pineapples, and oranges are beneficial. Avoid any sour fruits.

Of the vegetables, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, celery, okra, green beans, cucumbers, lettuce, and potatoes are beneficial. Avoid garlic, onions, beets, carrots, tomatoes, radishes, hot peppers, and spinach.

Regarding their diet, Pitta individuals should avoid hot spices, alcohol, coffee, vinegar, and acidic foods such as citrus and tomatoes. They ought to eat sweet juicy fruits such as mangos and melons. They should also include a lot of cooling vegetables with high water content, such as Cucumbers, lettuce, and kale, in their diet.

- The Vata Dosha Ayurvedic Diet

Imbalance in Vata causes weight loss, fatigue, restlessness, and digestive issues.

Rice is excellent because of their diet. Of the fruits, mangoes, papaya, plums, pineapples, and dry fruits are right for them.

Spices like black pepper, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cloves, fennel, basil, mustard seeds, basil, and oregano are useful in maintaining the balance.



See: Ayurvedic herbs for constipation relief

Ayurvedic view on water and food relationship

The timing of water intake vs. food intake is also vital in Ayurveda for weight loss (or gain)

How does Ayurveda view the relationship between food and water? Water intake is governed by the nerves in the hypothalamus from the desired center. Ayurveda describes eight groups of water based on its origin and views it as an essential part of nourishment for life.

As water is thought of as essential for sustaining life, water is not considered to be a bad thing under any conditions. Warm water is mild, digestive, stimulating, and alleviates all doshas. It's good for Kapha dosha, asthma, Kasa (Bronchitis), Jvara (fever). Water that has been taken before ingestion induces Kapha dosha and suppresses the ability of digestion.

Cold water requires more time to be digested and is recommended only during murcha (fainting) vitiation of Pitta, usma (excessive heat), madatyaya (alcohol consumption), bramara (giddiness), bodily fatigue and nausea. Cold water shouldn't be taken in pratisyaya (cold), flatulence, aruchi (anorexia), hiccups, and immediately after oleation therapy. During the process of ingestion, water obtained in small quantities stimulates digestion, and if taken following meal induces sthaulya (obesity).

Water that has been taken in excess fetters digestion and dilutes nutrients. Therefore frequent consumption of water in little quantities is advised. During the course of eating, only a third of the capacity of the stomach ought to be full of water. The consumed food is digested by "jathar agni" (gastric fire). The nutrients ingested in the food experience the process of absorption, assimilation, and then are finally transformed into consciousness or energy.

According to Ayurveda, Agni, the fire principle of the body accomplishes this procedure. The critical breath (Prana), favorable immune system (Ojus), and the mobile intelligence (Tejas) are expressions of nourishment via the resources of Agni. The end product of meals, after digestion, runs throughout the circulatory system and bathes (irrigates) the cells in the kind of ultimate nutrients.

Water plays a crucial role in the trafficking of nutrients. These nutrients are selected and transported to the cells and other particular places in the body, which are subsequently transformed into energy.


See: Ayurveda and Indian Herbs for Sinusitis relief

Ayurvedic diet guidelines

Ayurvedic diet has clear guidelines:

- Food should be of excellent quality and pure, obtained from naturally grown products.

- Cooked food is thought of as easier to digest than raw and should always be consumed in a peaceful manner, not in a hurry.

- Ayurveda promotes a diet with very little meat or a vegetarian diet.

- Moreover, as meals closely associate with the Doshas, different kinds of food are required at various times.  They should correlate to the time of the day, and the season along with your personal Dosha constellation. More substantial meals are suitable in winter and mild choices in the day.

- Ideal foods are considered Tridoshic, so they maintain the right balance of the three Doshas within themselves. For instance, Tumeric benefits all Doshas, cleaning toxins in the bloodstream, and helping digestion.

Ayurveda recognizes more attributes in food than only its nutrient value (fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and the lot), but also other characteristics such as:

- Vitamin contents

- point and type of processing

- balance inside the Tridosha system

- temperature

- the mix within It's consumed

- how easily and quickly it is digested

- other skills like binding other foods, strengthen, and stimulate.

These guidelines lead to a complex system that takes its time to master. Still, even some fundamental comprehension of the Ayurvedic diet basics can help to improve the one or other ailment.

See: Ashwagandha benefits for anxiety

References

1. Payyappallimana U, Venkatasubramanian P. Exploring Ayurvedic Knowledge on Food and Health for Providing Innovative Solutions to Contemporary Healthcare. Front Public Health. 2016;4:57. Published 2016 Mar 31. DOI:10.3389/fpubh.2016.57

2. Charak. Charak Samhita (700BC), Sharma, PV. ed, and English vol 1-4. Chaukhambha Orientalia, Varanasi, India. 1981-1985

3.  Lad VD: Ayurveda: The science of self-healing. Lotus Light. Twin Lakes, WI. 1984

4. Svoboda RE: Ayurveda: Life, health, and longevity. Penguin Books, New Delhi, India. 1992.

Lad VD: Book of Ayurveda. Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda. NM. 2002

5. Sharma J. Guha A: Sankhya: The philosophy that Shaped the Tenets of Ayurveda. J Elements: Ayurveda & Health. vol 3 (3)4-5.2005

6. Sharma, HN: the Concept of Consciousness in Vedas. J Elements: Ayurveda and Health. vol3 (3) 4-5.2005

7. Radhakrishnan, S: Indian philosophy, vol 1, Oxford University Press, London. 1999.

8. Gerson S: Ayurvedic medicine: Alternative Therapies, 7(2). 79-86. 2001.30:155-17. 2002.

9. Willett, WC. Stampfer MJ: Rebuilding the food pyramid. Scientific American, 64-71. January 2003.

See: Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits & Side Effects

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