As per Ayurveda, your diet holds an important place in your life and is considered as effective as your medicines. Following a diet that is in sync with your constitution and leading a ‘sattvic’ daily schedule promotes digestion and ushers good health, happiness and vitality in the individual’s life.
The inclusion of Six Tastes in Ayurvedic Diet
Ayurveda places great emphasis on the inclusion of six tastes in your diet. The underlying principle is that it reduces cravings for otherwise excluded foods and leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction at the end of the meal. The six tastes and the order in which they get digested in the body are listed below:
Which tastes need to be consumed in greater proportions will depend upon the predominant ‘dosha’ or the constitution of the individual. Be sure to rev up the tastes with spices as they add therapeutic value to any food item.
The concept of Agni& Healthy Eating Habits
In the Ayurvedic diet, ‘Agni’, or what is known as the digestive fire holds a great place of importance. If your ‘Agni’ is strong and healthy, digestion becomes an easy process whereas if the ‘Agni’ is compromised in any way then the food ingested by you is not digested properly and this leads to the production of toxins or ‘ama’. In order to keep your ‘Agni’ in balance, it is essential that you follow certain healthy eating habits. Following pointers will help you to know about them:
- Give your meal the due respect it deserves. Begin it with grace or close your eyes and take a few slow and deep breaths. Your body is now prepared to intake the food.
- There is no substitute for eating food ingrained with the love of the person preparing it. While eating, you ingest not only the ingredients but also the emotions of the cook.
- Eat in a peaceful and calm environment that is devoid of distractions. Heated or emotional conversations, television, the radio should be avoided.
- Proper and sufficient chewing is necessary as that enhances digestion.
- Eat till you are 3/4th full and drink lesser amounts of liquid during the meal.
- Indulge in a light conversation for a few minutes after your food and then undertake any other activity.
- The largest meal should be your lunch and the smallest one should be dinner.
Foods to be Included
Some of the best foods that should be ingested as per Ayurveda diet are items like Kichari, basmati rice, moong dal, peas, cilantro, apples, berries, apricots, green beans, asparagus, clarified butter, sunflower seeds, lassi and goat’s milk. Opting for plenty of fruits and vegetables that are suited to your physiology is recommended as they act as effective natural internal cleansers. Processed foods or foods that are genetically modified or contain synthetic chemicals or artificial preservatives should be avoided and instead, food that is naturally and locally grown should be included in your diet. Drinking warm water in the course of the day is largely propagated as warm water is the mother of all cleansers. It is best to reduce the intake of carbonated, caffeinated or soft drinks or alcohol.
Lastly, remember that your physical personality and mental makeup is largely dependent on the food you eat. So eat wisely and lead a healthy life!