The AYURVEDIC DIET – FOOD IS MEDICINE
Ayurveda, the ancient healing art of India, teaches that food plays an essential part in one’s health and sense of well-being. Recipes are formulated using herbs and spices to help balance the constitution of each person. The effect of the foods on the individual constitution is included with every recipe, together with the medicinal properties of many of the foods.
Ayurveda is a way of healing & a way of life that always takes into consideration the whole person. According to the teachings of Ayurveda every aspect of life contributes to overall health. Poor health seldom has a simple or single cause and diet is the best place to begin.
One’s sense of well-being reflects the inner state of health. Good health is the maintenance of one’s unique combination of the Dosha’s:- the balanced condition of the Agni (digestive fire); of the seven body tissues; the three water systems (urine, sweat & feces); as well as a balance in the mind, senses and consciousness. It is equally important to ones well-being to have love, happiness and clarity in daily living.
Doshic imbalance governs internal biochemical changes that will eventually lead to either high or low metabolism.
Pita dosha governs all physical and bio chemical changes that take place within the body. Through this process foodstuffs are transformed into energy, heat and vitality.
Pita performs these functions throughout one’s life but is especially prominent during the adult years. All the activities of Pita depend upon the “digestive fire or Agni”. Poor Agni means poor health.
Wrong diet such as hot spicy foods, wrong lifestyle such as living in a hot climate and repressed emotions can alter the normal functions of Pita.
Anabolism is the process of building up the body. It is the repair, growth and creation of new cells. This process is managed by Kapha and is most active in the baby-child and teen years. Kapha dosha can be disturbed by excessive intake of dairy, cold and oily foods.
Catabolism is the destructive, but necessary stage of metabolism. Larger molecules are broken into smaller ones. This molecular death is governed by Vata dosha and is most active in old age. Repeated intake of Vata provoking food, such as salads and popcorn, and over-exercising can escalate Vata and disturb health.
Pita, Vata and Kapha are simply affected by what we put into our senses. Even the weather and time of day and season has an affect.
The planet is spinning and tilted, balance is the quest of life.
Improper eating habits
- Eating soon again after a full meal
- Too much water or no water during a meal
- Drinking very chilled water during a meal, or indeed anytime
- Eating when constipated
- Eating at the wrong time of day-either too early or too late
- Eating an imbalance of heavy food or light food
- Drinking fruit juice or eating fruit with a meal
- Eating without real hunger
- Emotional eating
- Eating incompatible food combinations
- Snacking in between meals
Time of day
In order to maintain balance and health we need to live in harmony with natures daily cycle. There are times of the day that are more suitable than others for our regular daily activities such as waking, eating, exercising, relaxing, and of course sleeping.
The three doshas have a close relationship with the daily cycle – each of the doshas is most active at a certain time of day and night and the energy associated with that dosha will effect us. If we become aware of the natural cycles according to Ayurveda we can experience better health and become more in-tune with our bodies.
The bodies’ biological clock is regulated by the Dosha’s.
The time of maximum activity of Kapha is during early morning and early evening, 6am to 10 am and 6am to 10 pm.
The Pita period is during midday and midnight, 10 am to 2am and 10pm to 2am.
Vata hours are dawn and dust, 2 to 6 am and 2 to 6 am.
Thus a Pita-type disease, like ulcers, may cause the most discomfort late at night in the Pita time. The reverse is also true, in the sense that experiencing a sharp pain in the stomach region late at night may signify ulcers or another Pitta type aggravation.
Every act you perform around food should be in a loving honouring and sacred manner. Whether you are growing the food, selecting it in the supermarket or preparing it for cooking, the amount of loving awareness and respect you give transfers exactly to the food and to the hungry stomachs.
Food that is prepared in a loving manner can bring truly
healing results to everyone.