Ayurveda is a traditional Indian medicine in which nutrition plays a significant role. Nutrition is viewed here as a natural remedy. And only when one correct, balanced diet no longer gives a healing effect, then they resort to drugs and medications.
From the point of view of Ayurveda, a person’s health is influenced by what and in what quantity he eats, how the food is prepared, how much time is spent on taking it, and also with what mood the meal is taken.
Ayurveda approaches nutritional issues strictly individually, considering that each person has his own daily need for certain substances. The main focus of Indian medicine is on the conformity of food to the constitution of a person, the taste of dishes, food compatibility and much more. The content of calories, fats, proteins and carbohydrates in food is not the most important in Ayurveda.
According to the teachings of Ayurveda, each person should consciously approach the choice of food, taking into account personal characteristics. In this case, food will maintain the balance of the three doshas – energies that are responsible for the biological, psychological and physiological functions of the body. So, people with a constitution of the same type (kapha) should eat less heavy oily food; people of a different type (pitta) – it is necessary to limit the consumption of spicy, salty and fatty, and the third type (vata) is best to reduce the intake of cold, poorly digested foods.
According to Ayurveda, it is also necessary to take into account the taste of food and its properties – liquid or hardness, light or heavy food for the stomach, whether it has a warming or cooling effect. When the properties of food and dosha (energy) are similar, the food is stimulating and leads to dosha disorders. Conversely, the opposite properties of food and doshas are calming. For example, on a person of pitta constitution (fire), mint tea, which has a cooling effect, has a harmonizing effect, bringing the pitta into a state of balance.
According to Ayurveda, each product has a specific taste. There are six main flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. It is necessary that all of them be present in the diet, each in the proper measure. Then the systems of the body come into balance.
Ayurveda attaches particular importance to agni – the ability to digest food. Every healthy person is hungry 2-3 times a day. What is eaten at this moment is completely absorbed, and the result is ojas – the pure essence of all body tissues, which strengthens vitality, strength and immunity. If agni is weakened, then ojas forms poorly and then the body poisons ama – toxins, undigested food debris. Ama weakens the body and causes disease.
Ayurveda insists that it is necessary to monitor the compatibility of products in order to maintain digestion. For example, in Ayurveda, incompatible products are milk and yeast bread, yogurt and coffee, tea, cheese, bananas, sour fruits, eggs and cheese, milk, potatoes, etc.
In addition, food should correspond to the time of year,
and climate, and the age of the person. It is better to give preference to those cereals, fruits and vegetables that grow in the same geographical area, namely where the person lives.
And in this teaching of ancient Indian medicine, one can trace the special laws that we spoke about earlier.
You need to eat while sitting, in a calm atmosphere, in order to receive the joy of satiety. After all, even well-prepared food can cause some kind of upset if you consume food in a bad mood.
The mood of the person who prepares the food also plays an important role. So the culinary specialist should prepare meals in a good mood and with the best intentions.
Another Ayurvedic rule concerns the frequency of food intake. You need to eat at the same time. You can start eating only when you feel hungry and when the food of the previous intake is completely digested, that is, no earlier than 3-4 hours later, avoiding intermediate meals.
You need to eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly. You should not overeat, since food surpluses are not completely digested and toxins are formed in the body. It is best to consume only freshly prepared meals, giving preference to complete, natural food.
Food not only supports the body, but also affects the mind. Ayurveda characterizes the mental attitude of a person with three gunas: sattva (truth, love, clarity), rajas (activity,
movement) and tamas (darkness, inertia, heaviness).
According to Indian philosophy, the gunas are universal qualities inherent in the entire universe. According to them, Ayurveda divides food into three types, depending on what properties of the mind it awakens.
Thus, sattvic food is light and healthy. It increases the clarity of thoughts, promotes the development of love and compassion. This type of food includes fruits, vegetables, fresh juice, fresh milk, fresh homemade yogurt and cottage cheese, and white rice.
Rajasic foods include hot, spicy, salty and spicy foods, as well as sour fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, fish, chicken, various spices, etc. The abundant use of these Ayurvedic foods makes the mind agitated and unstable, which can cause anger, hatred, desire to rule and rule.
Tamasic food is heavy. It dulls the intellect, causes drowsiness, and leads to disease. This type of food includes dark meats (lamb, pork, beef), mushrooms, onions, garlic, hard cheese, pasteurized milk, as well as brown rice, wheat, refined sugar and cakes. Ayurveda also includes plums, watermelons and apricots to this type.
Stale food has similar properties, as well as being too greasy and heavy.
It should be noted that the last type of food in Ayurveda is harmful only with its excessive consumption.
In small quantities, this food promotes stability, in particular, it can calm an agitated mind somewhat.
Ayurveda recommends adhering mainly to the sattvic diet, which improves intellectual ability, restores mental balance. But if a person is engaged in physical labor, the sattvic diet may be too poor for him and it should be enriched with other types of foods.
Ayurveda does not recommend getting carried away with sattvic food and people who are naturally overly sensitive, with a heightened ability to compassion.
Ayurveda is an ancient teaching. Her knowledge was collected many centuries ago, but they are applied in our time. Ayurvedic centers and clinics operate in many countries of the world, and they are very popular among many segments of the population.
It depends on each of us whether to accept this teaching on faith or not, although there are a lot of useful things in it, like in many other diets.
The controversy over diets has been and continues to this day. There is no consensus on this issue, and probably cannot be. Is the diet good or bad, good or bad? You can only answer these questions by experiencing the diet yourself. But be that as it may, in every diet there are both positive and negative seeds. And so that any, even the most harmless diet does not harm the body, you need to choose it only after consulting a specialist.