Ayurveda is a health and nutrition system emerged in India about 5000 years ago. It is still in use in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The word “ayurveda” means “knowledge of life” in Sanskrit. It is the result of thousands of years of observation and knowledge accumulation. The Ayurvedic Diet aims to live a healthy life by keeping physical, mental and spiritual life balanced.
What is ayurvedic diet?
In Ayurveda, every person is unique, so It does not foresees a standart diet and nutrition plan for everyone. The key to health is to protect oneself from diseases. It is based on the fact that everybody has different needs and this is why they need personal unique diet. It features yoga, detox, vitamin and mineral supplements, aromatherapy, massage and meditation to get protected from the illnesses. The researches show that yoga and meditation are actually good for some diseases such as ashtma, hypertension and artiritis.
I this system the food we eat play an important role in our lives. For the optimal physical and mental health, It is necessary for our digestion system to function correctly. The digestion system is seen as a second brain for us.
If a person applies a challenging diet system which will cause the digestion system function improperly, the toxins which can not be put out of the body in time will spread through the body and will weaken the immune system. This will make you vulnerable to physical and mental diseases.
For this reason, the ayurvedic diet gives you many recommendations to keep your digestive temperature high and keep your body balanced.
Doshas in Ayurvedic Diet
Ayurveda is based on 3 dosha principles. Dosha is a kind of energy that is found in one’s body. It can consist of different components and may differ in quantity from person to person.
Every human consists of five components that exist in the universe. These are space, air, fire, water and soil. These components come together and create three doshas called Vota, pitta and kapha.
- Vota: Space + air
- Pitta: Fire + water
- Kapha: Water+ soil
Every human is a compilation of these doshas but one of them is dominant. Each dosha controls the different functions in the body. The imbalances among these doshas causes the diseases. By looking at these imbalances one can guess which diseases you are likely to get.
How to apply ayurvedic diet?
The firs step in ayurvedic diet is to determine which dosha is dominant in your body and its harmony with other doshas. All your illnesses, your weight, your voice and tone of voice, your life style are considered while deciding on your dosha. Each dosha has its own diet style, exercise and sleeping time, and lifestyle. If you do not obey your doshas needs, this means inviting diseases to your body. You can determine your dosha by doing a test. You can find these test online.
Here is a test to find your dosha: click to find out your dosha
The next step after determining your dosha is to try a diet and lifestyle that is suitable with your dosha. For example, If your vota dosha is dominant, you should keep away from cold drinks consume spices that will warm your body and hot meals. Thus, you can stay away the problems such as digestion system problems, anxiety, sleep disorders that are typical vota dosha problems.
Suggestions according to doshas
Here you will find some recommendations according to dosha types. But, ayurvedic diet is strictly personal so you must stay away from generalizations and see an expert to determine what exactly you should do.
Vata: You must try to gain regular habits. You must follow a strict time schedule such as doing things at the same time everyday. Have enough sleep. Try to eat hot, cooked, nutritional and easy to digest foods. Sweet fruits such as berries, blueberries, strawberries, small dried legumes, rice, nuts and dairy products are ideal foods for Vata type. You must not go excess with your exercise plan. You may try yoga, meditation and walking and swimming. You must stay away from tiring and extreme activities.
Pitta: Do not get exposed to sunlight. Keep calm by eating away from fried and spicy foods. Do not smoke or drink alcohol. Consume fresh juicy fruit like cherry, mango, cucumber, watermelon, avocado. Prepare salads from vegetables like Arugula, chicory, chard which have dark green leaves. Stay away from conflicts, try to improve your virtues such as honesty, courtesy, generosity, auto control
Kapha: They have to be active in their daily life as they tend to be lazy, depression and gaining weight. They are recommended to have new experiences outside their house. They should be open to beneficial changes. Try to consume light, hot and spicy foods. A cup of tea prepared with powdered ginger and lemon is ideal for kaphas. Try to stay away from processed food, espacialy the ones which contain added sugar. consume lots of spices such as black pepper, ginger cumin, hot pepper and dark green leafy vegetables.
General Recommendations for Ayurvedic Diet
- The most important principle of ayurvedic diet is to consume fresh and natural foods which are not processed or undergo genetical process. They must be consumed in their season. And you must also consume local food as possible as you can.
- In Ayurvedic diet, fresh does not mean raw food. In contrast, cooked meals which contain different ingredients are preferred. Enrich your meals with spices like turmeric, ginger, cumin and coriander. These spices have many healing features in addition to their amazing aroma and benefits to digestion system.
- Ayurvedic diet recommends that you eat in a balance rather that focusing on a specific meal or food. Consume different vegetable and multiply your cooking methods.
- The ingredients which give the fruits and vegetables their color have many benefits. They are very rich in anti oxydants. Add vegetables to your rice, bread and soups.
- At each meal time, consume fruits that have different colors. Sweet and juicy fruits give detox effect to your body.
- Stay away from cain containing and fizzy drinks. Do not ever drink alcohol.
- Consider lunch as the most important meal of the day. Eat less at dinner table. Breathe in and out deeply before eating your meal. Do not forget to be thankful for the meal you’ve had.
- If you are indoors all day, what about going out and getting some fresh air and sun light at the lunch time? Sit for some minutes after meal. Eat your meal in silence.
- Do not consume the same things again and again. Try at least one new recipe in a week.
- The food you eat must be prepared in a happy environment. And you must eat your meal happily.
- Include your family in to the preparation session of the meals. It will be more enjoyable not only the cooking process but also the eating session.
- Do not consider meal times as a waste of time, instead use that time to learn your body’s needs.
- The changes in ayurvedic diet must be in a slow phase. You must start with the changes that are natural and easy for you. Your mind will adapt in every step.
Ayurveda is not about making one’s diet and lifestyle perfect, It is about living in a harmony with your body , emotions and environment. It is based on showing a way to people to help them find their protect their physical and mental health. The changes to make in diet and life style is considered more important than medication. Unlike fad diets which make you get rid of your bad eating habits in a sudden, the ayurvedic health system leads you to a lifestyle which is customized according to your needs. Keep on listening to what your body says, It will tell you what to do and what not to do about your lifestyle.