The practice of Ayurveda is a proof to the civilization from which it originated. It is a medical system which states that humans have originated from nature and they are an indispensable part of the universe.
Ayurveda has played a significant role in healing when clubbed with cooking. Indian herbs and condiments support in this action. Based on the different constitutions: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the foods in Ayurveda are designed for each specific constitution.
The Ten Ancient Principles About a Healthy Diet
Nutrition can be analyzed differently, from an Ayurvedic perspective. Nutrition for a dietitian means the intake of the optimum amount of food containing reasonable or a balanced combination of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. But, for an Ayurvedic dietitian the meaning is much broader. It lies in the ancient ten principles guided by Charaka about a healthy diet and what is the right way to eat. These are listed as follows:
- Food should be hot or better said, cooked.
- Food should be delectable and easy to digest.
- The optimum amount of food should be consumed, neither too less nor too much.
- Food should only be taken when you feel the hunger, at least allowing the minimum time for digestion complete.
- The foods you consume must be compatible and must not contradict each other.
- Food eaten in a pleasant ambiance with the essential equipment, can only be enjoyed.
- Food should be consumed with patience.
- Eating food should also not be a horrendously drawn out affair.
- Concentrating on food while eating is a healthy practice.
- Eat food according to your specific constitution.
The Basic Justification of These Principles
The aforesaid principles may seem pretty obvious, but one may find that they, at least, do not obey one of these rules. Among all elements, the optimum amount of food consumption is considered as most significant one to maintain a positive health.
You must be wondering as to why at all do we need to have hot food. What does hot really mean here? It is dealt in two aspects. One is that, cooked food, whether hot or cold, stimulate the digestion procedure. And the other is that it enhances the taste and quality. For instance, raw grains are difficult to digest, whereas cooked grains can be easily processed by the human body. Cooking reduces the microbial load to a considerable amount and also increases the shelf-life of the prepared dish. But, there are instances where raw foods are recommended, especially for those of Pitta and Kapha constitutions. Ayurveda has started emphasizing more on all-raw fruit or juice.
Eating on an empty stomach is the best way to enhance your digestion process. An already full stomach has no space to accommodate the extra food gulped down. At least, a minimum time of 4 hours should be allowed, before you take your next meal.
Food eaten with patience can only be relished. Hurriedly gulping down the meal is not recommended, if you actually wish to maintain a healthy diet.
We know that the human body gets distracted to any and everything. But, while you eat your food, extra care must be taken that you completely indulge in having the food and not concentrate on other stuff. This healthy practice stimulates your digestion system and your body can use most of the assimilated food to give you energy.
Looking back into Ayurvedic medicine, it suggests that we involve cooking as a healing technique and consume just the right amount of delectable food to maintain the best health.