"You are what you eat” is a saying that you have probably heard before. It holds true not only on the physical but also on the psychological level. According to Ayurveda Diet plays a vital role in the maintenance of health as well as in the treatment of disease.
The three basic things required for maintaining health as per ayurveda classics are:
Thus Diet is considered as the foremost factor for keeping oneself healthy. If diet is taken in proper manner it will maintain health and can even curb diseases but if taken in an improper way it may be the causative factor for disease as Mithya ahara (Improper diet) is said to be one of the causes for the occurrence of diseases in Ayurveda. Thus ayurveda has laid emphasis on taking proper diet and a lot of information about it is available in Ayurvedic classics. By adopting Ayurveda diet plans one can enjoy a healthy body, mind and soul.
The Importance of Six Tastes in Ayurvedic Diet
Ayurveda recognizes six tastes and it's quite important to have all of these 6 tastes in your diet every day. The six tastes are:
Sweet – sugar, honey, rice, pasta, milk, etc.
Sour – lemons, yogurt, vinegar, etc.
Salty – salt, any salty food.
Pungent – chili peppers, cayenne, ginger, any hot spice.
Bitter – leafy greens, turmeric, lettuce, etc.
Astringent – pomegranate, beans, lentils, etc.
Including all six tastes in your diet contributes to feeling satisfied at the end of a meal. Cravings are often caused by not having all of the six tastes in your daily diet.
Ayurveda gives some great guidance for eating, especially when it comes to digestion. Here are nine Ayurvedic guidelines you should try to embrace.
Eat only when you are hungry- Eat when your previous meal has been completely digested. Sometime we might think that we are hungry, however, it could only be that we are dehydrated. Be in tune with your body and re-discover how it feels to be really hungry.
Eat in a calm and comfortable place- Sit down when you eat and eat with as little distraction as possible: no tv, no book, no phone, no laptop etc.
Eat the right quantity- We are all different, with different needs and different stomach size and metabolic speed. Listen to your body and eat only to point when you feel satisfied.
Eat warm meals- Ideally freshly prepared warm meal is best. This allows your digestive enzymes to work efficiently.
Eat quality food- Make sure that your meal is juicy or a little oily as this will facilitate digestion and improve nutrient absorption. Avoid foods which are too dry.
Do not eat incompatible food items together- This might lead to an upset stomach. Here are some food combinations that you should avoid. Fish with milk, salt with milk, milk shakes of sour fruits, curd at night, cooked yoghurt and honey etc.
Be present when you eat- Use all your 5 senses. Take time to appreciate the smell of your meal, the look of your plate, the texture of your food, the different flavors, and the sounds that you make when you eat.
Don't eat fast- Don’t just swallow your food, take your time to chew. Chewing is an essential step of digestion.
Eat at regular time- Nature like’s cycles and regularity so you should abide!