According to Ayurveda, healthy diet along with a healthy lifestyle is a fundamental pillar of health and longevity. For more than 5,000 years, Ayurveda has been practiced to promote wellness.
Eating healthy is one of the most important things that we can do for our health. In Ayurveda, there are various ‘shlokas’ which indicate that-“food is a powerful medicine when consumed properly.” But, nowadays, most of the people are grabbing food on the run as people are eating in their cars.
They are eating readily available and conveniently eating food. At night, people usually eat heavy food but at night, food is not going to digest because digestive fire is not active at night. According to Ayurvedic principles, if the food is not digested properly due to any reason, it causes indigestion and which results in the production of ‘Ama’ or toxins in the system.
Ama blocks the channels which lead to certain disorders such as high cholesterol, chronic fatigue and waking up with a puffy face, backache, joint problems, weight gain, respiratory disorders and etc. Eating healthy prevents all these disorders. If Ayurvedic principles of healthy eating is followed, then we can prevent the number of diseases as right food is powerful medicine.
Healthy eating is helpful in overcoming fatigue, lethargy, and susceptibility to illness and stress supports immunity, helps in improving mood stabilization, prevents anemia and also helps in preventing various lifestyle disorders such as heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory disorders, joint disorders, cancer etc.
What are the rules of Healthy Eating according to Ayurveda?
Ayurveda considers lunch to be the most important meal of the day. Lunch should be the main meal and dinner should be lighter than lunch.
- Digestion would improve dramatically and this will help the persons to get rid of various gastric problems which are associated with ama formation such as gas, bloating, constipation, heartburn
- Lunch should be considered as the main meal of the day. It should be balanced that includes the combination of various spices.
- Food digests properly in the afternoon, therefore body can use the nutrients to build tissues and will be able to replace worn cells and tissues quickly.
- It will help by balancing the physiology as well as the The body will work at optimal levels.
- Lunch must include vegetables, some grains, some higher protein-rich foods such as lentils, tofu or paneer.
- Yogurt or fresh buttermilk can be included with lunch as it supplies good bacteria to the system and therefore aids in digestion.
Shun Fad Foods:
Many companies launch their food products in the market and claim that their food products are guaranteed to work.
- It is not necessary that food products that work for the majority of the people will still work for us, as each of us is different individuals.
- Ayurveda recognizes the uniqueness and allows us to manage our health in a personalized way. This is the beauty of Ayurveda and it is not the It is the ancient science of living.
- Fad diets generally don’t work because these foods generally lack nutrients and minerals and are not suited to the body type of every individual.
According to Ayurveda, our food should consist of 6 tastes namely sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent.
Spices are not only meant to add flavor to our food but they have therapeutic value as well.
- Spices help to boost the immune system.
- They boost our digestive system so that our body is able to absorb and assimilate the nutrients from the food we eat.
- Spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cumin seeds, fennel, cardamom, asafoetida should be included.
Drink water on an empty stomach in the morning as it helps in re-hydrating our system and it flushes out toxins from the body.
- Drink water throughout the day, but avoid drinking ice-cold water. Drink warm water or water which is kept at room temperature.
- Drinking ice-cold water hampers the digestive system as it will slow down the secretion of gastric juices as well as enzymes.
Eat Natural Foods:
It is just in the last few years that artificial ingredients and toxins have been introduced in our diet and the incidence of cancer has exploded in the last few years. Cancer is the body’s response to toxicity and considered as the most extreme expressions of imbalance in the body.
- Processed foods, Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) foods, synthetic and processed foods which contain artificial preservatives and colors should be avoided because according to Ayurveda, our physiology is a reflection of nature and it works better if we live close to nature.
- Our body processes and digests the food that is close to nature such as- whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Drink Healthy Beverages:
- Ayurvedic herbal teas suits to our physiology and are formulated to correct the particular imbalance.
- Certain good eating habits such as: making lunch as the main meal of the day, eating fresh food, & avoid eating leftover foods help in adding life to our years.
- Eat a lighter and well-cooked meal at night at least three hours before going to bed.
- Avoid eating heavy meat or non-vegetarian food as they are hard to digest.
- Avoid stress in life as it causes weak digestion.
- Keep your body hydrated as it helps in removing impurities from the system. When the body is not hydrated properly, it cannot remove impurities from the lymphatic system properly.
- Choose a variety of foods and eat slowly in a calm environment without distractions.
- Eat more nourishing foods which are specific to particular doshas and include healthy fats such as- clarified butter (cow’s ghee) in the diet.
So, we can pursue what is in our control such as: living a balanced lifestyle, staying hydrated so as to get rid of impurities, eating pure foods and exercise regularly so as to prevent disease.