Ayurvedic dietary habits and foods


Ayurvedic dietary habits and foods

No matter how hard we try, there are some things in life that we do not seem to have a control over. One of these things that literally infest the human mind for a greater part of their lives is diseases. From the time evolution started and the human race came into the existence, there have been some negative forces that hinder the rate of growth and development. Be it a small rhino virus causing common cold or the more profound siblings that cause the deadly disease cancer, microorganisms have been held responsible for many anomalies of the body. Of the different medicine practices that have evolved over all these years, Ayurveda is univocally one of the oldest ones. Not only curing the disease, Ayurveda aims at a holistic development of the body and the mind alike.

The meaning of the term ‘ayurveda’

Although ayurveda is a very old medical practice, probably as old as the Indus Valley civilization itself, it is rather a fact that not many people in the western countries know much about this science. Even in India, there are more misconceptions than appreciation for the subject. In such a situation, the knowledge about the basics of Ayurveda can help greatly in reviving the lost faith and popularity.
To start with, the word ‘ayurveda’ traces back its origin to the ancient Indian civilization. The word is made up of two word roots, ayus and ved meaning the knowledge of long life. It is very clear from the word itself that ayurveda deals with all the ways in which one can attain a good health and live long. In the past, all manuscripts and other religious volumes were written in the language of the gods; Sanskrit and so are ayurvedic methods and medicines recorded in Sanskrit. Over all these, all these manuscripts were translated in all major world languages and soon it spread to the world.

The historical account of the ancient medicine practice

Before we discuss about how the medicine works, it is important to know how it all started. Back in the prehistoric eras, the first attempts to cure anomalies in the normal body functioning were made. With time, people started developing the scientific aptitude, found out direct relation of the herbs and their medicinal properties, and soon drew lines to cure many more such diseases. This was the beginning of a new era of healing and from then on, it only got better until it became what medical sciences are today. In the Atharva Veda, which contains around 114 hymns dedicated to only these sciences there are detailed descriptions of all the ayurvedic processes that were known that time. Complex medical conditions like cataract, angina pectoris and even anal fistulas were greatly studied and precise techniques to cure these were known. These techniques were so precise that even today; these are practiced in the modern allopathic medicine with only some changes. Ayurvedic herbs with proper meditation and yogasanas are the key points to make your life bliss without any ailments to disturb.

An inside knowledge of the various principles and processes of ayurveda

It is a very deep field of study and to know the inside secrets of ayurveda in a short time are like challenging the mighty Himalayas. However, in a nutshell, there are a few key concepts that every ayurvedic medical practitioner follows. If we know these, it is never tough to abide by the dietary tips and inculcate those good habits into our lifestyle. Some of the basic thing in the field of Ayurvedic studies in as follows.
One of the first concepts is about the constitution of the human body. According to all early religious concepts, the human body and the entire Earth for that matter are thought to be made of four key elements. These are the vayu (air), jal (water), prithvi (Earth) and Agni (fire) and are present in varying proportions in each human. A part of the ayurvedic sciences claim that by knowing the proportions of these in an individual we get know a lot about the person’s character and habits. Another concept in ayurveda says that the body has certain essential points called the Marma and when we excite the points that are located all across the body; it ignites and rejuvenates the corresponding visceral organ. For example, the Marma for the kidney is located in the toe and a proper massage with a specified amount of pressure on the particular point can have healing effects on several excretory system related disorders. Next, is the concept of doshas and is by far the most important principle in the science. According to ancient scriptures written on the subject, there are three quintessential energies or humors in the body. These represent the four elements of the nature and are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Just like the Chinese concept of Yin and Yan, in ayurveda too, it is all about striking a balance between these three body components. Be it food, drinks or any drug, all ayurvedic processes follow this balance and aim to restore it back when the balance stutters. They believe that all diseases are caused predominantly because of faltered balance between these dosh. What we today call vessels, are called Srotas in the practice and include blood, lymph and other humoral fluids. Diseases like blood cancer, digestive dysfunctions and several other conditions like acne are believed to occur due to unclear srotas. Ayurveda has a holistic approach to the whole concept of healing and is closely linked with allied sciences like yoga, meditation etc.

Some easy to follow ayurvedic dietary tips

Prevention is always better than cure. This is a fact that we cannot really ignore. Be it a road trip or any lifestyle habit, the practical implication of the thought mentioned above never goes wrong. However, like most things in life where we do not pay attention until the last moment and end up badly, in the case of personal care and healthy habits too, the same attitude follows. We never stop eating those burgers until we get obese and start having heart issues. Ayurveda from a long time preaches for living a healthy life style so that all the diseases that arise due to faulty lifestyle and eating habits can be avoided from the beginning. Some of the most commonly used and extremely useful ayurvedic tips to make your digestive system strong are written as under. These are not impractical things that you cannot follow in your life. Instead, these are as easy as saying ‘cheese’!

  • Unlike the modern day concept that says that it is very essential to start the day with a filling and heavy breakfast, according to the tenants of Ayurveda, the digestive system slags during the morning hours just the way you feel a little low. Therefore, it is ideal to eat something light and highly refreshing like an apple or some other fruit. Spicy, fried, or even savories should be avoided instead sugary things that are the easiest to digest and give a boost of energy are ideal.
  • Forget caffeine and go green! To start the day with a cup of warm water with a dab of lime or lemon in it, is probably the best drink. Lemon is one of the most interesting fruits and has a whole range of beneficial effects on the body. Drinking lemon and water with honey early in the morning after you, get up is a boon for people who wish to lose weight. Even if you are not on the bulkier side, it refreshes your mind and certainly awakens your digestive tract. It is an excellent de-toxicant and helps in replenishing the lost charm and glow of the skin in no time. Caffeine and nicotine present in coffee and tea respectively have several negative attributes and in the long run can be addictive too.
  • Say no to cold drinks immediately before and after eating a meal. While some of you may find this point irrelevant, but there is a very interesting theory to back it. As already, mentioned, the human body is made of the four elements and the element fire stirs the process of digestion. The principles say that if you drink something cold right before or after taking your meal, you unintentionally flicker away the fire. It is just like pouring water over a splinter. So to ignite the process of digestion and have a good and highly active digestive system, it is important to drink something warm and abstain from all cold beverages.
  • Have a proper lunch, as it is the most important meal of the day. Again, it is contradiction to the modern ethics of nutrition but there are scientific evidences showing the positive effects of having a good lunch. The main reason is that according to ayurveda it is only by the noon that the digestive system of our body is fully awakened and works its best. Skipping lunch, which we often do is not at all a good idea as it carves the path for many digestive disorders like gastroenteritis, stomach ulcers etc. all these problems arise due to the unused amount of bile and other digestive juices, which in the ayurvedic language is called a Pitta dosh.
  • Drinking lots of water that is kept at the room temperature proves magic for your system and many srota relatedissues and is very good for acne and similar problems.
  • Like all other things in life, your food should also have a particular set time. Eating at the wrong times and eating the wrong kind of food are the two most disastrous things for your body. Eating very late at night or early in the morning do not have any good effects and on the contrary make your system and in turn, yourself sluggish. You must have felt this that after a late night grab, especially if you eat junk food, it is very difficult to sleep a sound sleep. Since, your digestive system was already in the resting phase when you ate, it was difficult to digest the food. This causes acidity and gas formation making your night a nightmare.
  • Another very essential point that most of us totally ignore is the fact that food is way more than just a fuel to fill your stomach with. It is something that you need to enjoy fully and needs a good deal of preparation on your part to eat well. Owning to the hectic lifestyle that all of us have in today’s time, we have certainly forgotten the lost art of fun dining. It is more about filling your stomach than satisfying your senses. We tend to eat everywhere; on the train, in the café or even while we are exercising! This is totally antagonistic to what it should be. Not only does it reduce the feel of the food, it also poses several; other threats like choking due to eating fast and improper mastication definitely slows down the digestive process. It is thus, very important to slow down, sit properly and enjoy every morsel of grain that you take.

The above-mentioned points are some of those universal tips that everyone can follow to start a healthy lifestyle. These are not only useful in the long run but also have many instant effects that you feel within a few weeks of implementing them. Apart from these, there are separate dietary charts prepared for individual patients depending on their problems and several other important factors.



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