Healthy Ayurvedic diet – Dietary dos and don’ts
According to texts of ayurveda our body will be in balanced condition only when there is equilibrium between the three vital forces vata, pitta and kapha. Healthy eating always encourages these three forces to be in balanced condition. A good appropriate diet not only keeps the body healthy, but also increases span of disease free life.
According to principles of ayurveda our body is made up of millions of minute channels .These channels are known as srotas. The functions like supply of nutrients, exchange of gases, exchange of molecules etc take place through these srotas. It is very essential to keep these srotas or channels free from blockages to help in normal body functions.
Ama as explained in ayurveda
Consuming healthy foods according to our body type helps to keep these channels clear. Consumption of unhealthy foods causes indigestion. According to principles of ayurveda indigestion produces a body toxin known as ama. Texts of ayurveda explain Ama as a sticky substance which adheres inside these channels and blocks the movement of nutrients, gases, molecules and other important substances. This impairs normal body function. Accumulation of body toxins lead to lowering of body immunity. Lowered body immunity causes diseases.
Ayurvedic healthy eating- How a diet should be ?
A person should consume food based on his constitution. This is known as eating according to prakriti.
A person with VATA prakriti should avoid dry and light food items. The counterbalancing foods for vata prakriti are warm, oily, sweet, sour and salty foods. Green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, potatoes can be used often. Cold foods like refrigerated items are a strict no. It is better to avoid tomato and deep fried food.
A person with PITTA prakriti has to use cold items, sweet tasting foods, bitter and astringent foods. Hot, spicy and oily foods do not suit pitta prakriti person.
A person with KAPHA prakriti should eat hot, spicy and bitter foods which normalize kapha. They should avoid sweet, sour and salty foods.
Effect of quantity of food
One has to always eat a little less than the full stomach. The food quantity should not be too small or too large. Eating very small quantities of food leads to emaciation. When we eat food in very large quantity it leads to indigestion, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, joint pains and heart diseases. These problems may also affect the male fertility by causing erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and low sperm motility.
Light foods like green gram, plain curd, rice etc stimulate digestive fire or agni. On the other hand heavy foods like sesame, nuts, refined flour, black gram, meat and fish are heavy to digest and cause indigestion. Hence light foods can be consumed frequently in sufficient quantities and heavy foods can be consumed rarely with limited quantities.
Symptoms of good digestion:
When food is digested well a person feels very light and there will be no burning sensation, acidity or bloating. He feels energetic. Urine, stools and gas are passed comfortably and easily. He feels hungry and experiences thirst in a healthy way.