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Ayurvedic diet, the diet of your health

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

The Ayurveda or Ayurvedic diet is not a weight loss diet but a way of life. It is not a simple diet so we are going to try to explain it in a way that we can understand it. The Ayurvedic diet considers food as important as the routines and habits that influence it and pursues a correct state of health in which we achieve balance between the body and the mind both in the physical field and in the mental and spiritual . It is not only a diet, but it is a lifestyle based on achieving a balance to be able to stay healthy and have a good and long life.

The eastern Ayurvedic trend seeks to tune the external forces to find a balance fleeing from the simplicity of the western that solves everything with remedies while Ayurvedic techniques are more complex and do everything through food, exercise, routines and exercises. Ayurvedic harmony techniques.

Basic principles of Ayurveda

The foundation language of Ayurveda is Sanskrit where “ayur” means life and “veda” knowledge,  so Ayurveda is the science of life.

To understand this science it is essential to know certain foundations of the construction of the body, that is, it is based on elements such as air, earth, fire, ether and water and on doshas  or humors such as Kapha, Pitta, or Vata . To understand it basically we can say that Kapha is stability, Pitta is transformation and Vata is force in motion. The Doshica construction is the predominance in our body of a force.

People of Vata constitution tend to be active , intelligent, restless, and creative. Faced with stress, they react with insomnia, fear and anxiety. His sleep and appetite are irregular. While people who are predominantly Pitta are usually intellectual and more executive, they react to stress with irritability and anger because it is related to fire. On the other hand, Kapha people are methodical and thoughtful, stress affects them little. They tend to be sleepy and have slow digestion.

Ayurveda routines, Vihar

Ayurveda must take care of its routines , among which we highlight the daily routine (Dinacharya), the night routine (Ratricharya), the seasonal routine (Rutucharya), ethics (Sadvrittam) and finally the sexual routine (Bramhacharya).

Ayurveda gives great value to the body since it is the support of well-being and vehicle of life, therefore; Ayurveda must put aside everything to take care of your body, we call this Vihar, the routines of body care, which we will explain below.

Ayurveda routines pursue the physical , spiritual and mental well-being of the body , so they involve a change of attitude to achieve stability.

On the other hand, choosing the foods that benefit us according to the Ayurveda criteria is not easy, as it requires the assimilation of certain previous concepts, which we will explain below.

Dinacharya: the daily routine

They are the routines to follow from the moment we wake up until we go to bed.

  • Get up before the sun rises, remove waste products (urine, feces or mucus) from the body, examine the tongue and its possible changes, wash the face, teeth and tongue.
  • Drink a glass of warm water to help cleanse the kidneys and large intestine. Give a body massage with oil and take a bath. Exercise and meditation, in addition to meditation and relaxation exercises.
  • Have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Vata people can have breakfast earlier, kapha is better after 10 am, not earlier. The most important meal is lunch, and it should not be delayed beyond 2 in the afternoon. Dinner should be light, and we must go to bed having done the complete digestion to get a good rest for the body and mind.

Ratricharya: rutina nocturna

It is the sleep routine to get a good rest, which is very important. Good rest is essential for the body but also for the mind. If there is a lot of stress or mental activity, we should apply sesame oil on the body and give ourselves a massage and a hot or warm bath. We can also massage the scalp with the same oil, as this will calm the mind.

We must adopt the position that best suits our constitution. The phases of the sun and moon can also affect us, so we must pay attention in their action on our body and mind.

Bramhacharya: rutina sexual

It is recommended that Vata people have a sexual routine of twice a week as well as Pitta and Kapha more assiduously.

We must heed the recommendations on sexual acts such as that it is harmful to have intercourse during menstruation and that after having intercourse warm milk with unrefined sugar should be drunk to promote sexual strength and energy. Just as it is harmful to have sex after eating.

Rutucharya: seasonal routine

There is a relationship between the seasons and the annual cycle of the doshas, ​​so each season is governed by one of them, so we must follow a routine adapted to the season to maintain a balance, especially we will take the most beneficial foods of each season. .

We must bear in mind that the seasons change depending on the location and the climate, so we must adapt to ours. We must take the foods that appease the seasonal doshas.

  • Spring (Kapha and Pitta) flavors: spicy, bitter, astringent, sweet.
  • Summer (Pitta) flavors: sweet, bitter, astringent.
  • Autumn (Vata) flavors: sweet, bitter, sour.
  • Winter (Kapha) flavors: spicy, bitter, astringent.

The types of foods in the Ayurvedic diet

In order to distinguish the foods that benefit us the most, we must take into account 4 different factors, Rasa (flavor), Guna (properties or attributes of the food), Virya (experience of the food) and Vipak (post-digestive effect of the organism).

This is the basic distribution of food because there are also specific actions independent of these previously mentioned factors that are known as Prabhav, which we could know as exceptions to the previous rules, which we will explain later.

Rasa, the taste

To clarify concepts, we will start at the beginning, the flavor, Rasa : according to Ayurveda, the flavor begins in the mouth thanks to the taste buds and the water, since without the humidity we would not perceive the flavor. For Ayurveda there are 6 different flavors that are the following:

  • Sweet: known as madhura , it is the union of land and water.
  • Acid: known as amla , it is the union of water and fire.
  • Salty : it is known as lavana , it comes from earth and fire.
  • Bitter : tikta , the union between air and ether.
  • Spicy : katu , composed of air and fire.
  • Astringent : kasaya of air and earth.

Guna, the properties

According to the taste of the food we would classify it as follows, in addition we will take into account the properties of the food, from which we distinguish 4 categories:

According to the Guna a Dosha decreases: the light guna decreases the Kapha dosha and the heavy one the Vata.

On the other hand the cold guna diminishes the Pitta dosha and the hot the Vata and Kapha. The oily guna lowers the Vata and the dry one the Kapha, while the soft one the Pitta and the sharp one the Kapha.

Virya, the experience

The virya is the experience that produce food upon arrival in the stomach , it can be cold or hot. Bitter and astringent sweet foods produce a cold virya and salty, acidic and spicy foods a hot virya.

Cold virya foods increase Vata and Kapha and decrease Pitta, while warm foods increase Pitta and decrease Vata and Kapha.

Vipak, post digestive effect

The post-digestive effect of foods is known as vipak , that is, what they produce after digestion, they can be of 3 types:

  • Sweet: Foods with a sweet or salty taste produce sweet vipak .
  • Acid: foods with this same flavor have acid vipak .
  • Spicy: vipak has spicy foods with bitter, spicy and astringent flavors.

Prabhav, exceptions

Ayurveda contemplates certain foods with independent reactions to their vipak, guna, rasa and virya; known as Prabhav , are some of the following:

  • Lemon: being acidic and having hot virya, the effect on the body is cold.
  • Honey: being sweet and virya cold, it is hot.
  • The onion: being spicy and hot it has a cold effect.
  • Turmeric: being bitter and cold, it has a hot effect on the body.
  • The pomegranate: being astringent and cold with a spicy vipak it has a sweet effect on the body.

Ayurveda antagonist foods

There are also antagonistic foods, that is, they should not be mixed for their effects. We are going to explain them below.

These contradictory foods when mixed if we eat them together are the following:

  • Milk and fruit: they cause problems in the respiratory system and therefore are incompatible.
  • Fish and dairy are incompatible.
  • Yogurt and kefir at night is not recommended because it clogs the channels and the agni is slower and does not absorb well. In addition, yogurt for its unctuous and heavy properties increases Kapha and at night we should consume light foods.
  • Do not mix hot and cold foods.
  • Cold milk at night for a Vata person is also not convenient due to the creation of gases but if we drink it hot it can be beneficial.

There are also food incompatibilities by type of construction and by climate and season or by the state of the agni. To clarify the agni is known as the “fire” responsible for digestive activity.

Recommendations in Ayurvedic foods

Before eating, we must wash our hands, feet and mouth well. Everything must be clean, both the utensils and the surface where we are going to eat, in addition this must be a pleasant place both with respect to its cleanliness and its smell.

We must always brush our teeth after each meal.

Food must be prepared at the same time and must be hot.

We must eat in moderation and respecting the state of our agni, that is, we must not eat without hunger, for example.

We must chew our food well, not eat antagonistic foods, drinking cold water before meals is considered an Ayurveda poison, so we must always drink warm water between meals.

If after eating we take a nap, increase the Kapha. We should not eat if the mood is not correct, if we are sad, angry, furious, worried, etc.

Some Ayurvedic Aids

We can take a tablespoon of ghee (clarified butter) with rice to help our digestion.

Ginger is one of the star foods for Ayurvedic people, so we recommend taking a tablespoon of fresh ginger with a pinch of salt before meals; which will facilitate our digestions and ignite the agni. In addition we can also drink warm milk with ginger before going to bed as it is nutritious and helps digestion and calms the mind which helps us fall asleep.

If your constitution is Vata or Pitta you can add a teaspoon of ghee.

Other diets that you may find interesting, to suit your individual are the diet of blood group , the diet of the moon or the yogi diet , but certainly the most suited to the personality of each is the diet of the genotype , discover it by clicking on its name.

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