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Ayurbeda & Diet

Ayurveda considers diet and digestion to be prime factors in good health. There are a variety of guidelines to ensure adequate nutrition as well as assimilation of nutrients.
A diet which consists of a lot of meat, alcohol, caffeine, processed or frozen foods, fried foods, dairy products and white sugar and flour is very toxic to the system. According to Ayurveda, these types of foods produce ama.
Ama is a residue that circulates in the body and creates disease. It can also give you bad breath, constipation, dull skin, dark circles under the eyes, acne, and so on. To avoid producing ama, attention needs to be paid to what you eat, how you eat, and when you eat.

What to eat?

The most important thing is to choose food that is fresh, usually cooked, tasty and easy to digest. It should be seasonal and not excessively spiced. Avoid eating stale, left-over, processed or refined foods.
Fresh, natural foods provide you with a lot of energy, vitamins and minerals, and are low in fat. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and salads should form the basis of your diet. Drink herbal teas, milk, water (with honey, lemon or lime juice), fruit and vegetable juices.
Do not mix too many food items at one meal, and eat foods that complement each other in taste. It is also important to eat according to your constitution. There are specific dietary recommendations based on individual constitution, which can be found in the fact sheet on constitution.

How to eat?

Eat in clean, peaceful and pleasant surroundings, and concentrate fully on the food you are consuming. Chew food thoroughly, and do not rush your meal. Appreciate and respect the value of the food provided. If you feel tired or heavy after a meal, it is a sign of improper eating. Avoid talking, standing or lying down while eating. Don't completely fill your stomach - allow some room for air to circulate and the food to be digested properly.

When to eat?

Avoid eating when you are upset or angry. Eat only when hungry, and leave at least four hours between meals to ensure that food is properly digested. It is best to establish a regular eating routine, with lunch being the largest meal of the day. This is because the power of digestion correlates with the movement of the sun. When the sun is at its peak in the sky (midday), digestion is strongest.
Do not eat heavy foods in the evening, or for two hours before you go to bed. Fasting for one day every two weeks is considered beneficial for the digestive system. On this day, drink only water or juices. Fruit can also be eaten.

 

Vata

Description: Enthusiastic and vivacious, imaginative and creative, thin physique, bony, protruding joints and visible veins, dry skin, light sleep, erratic routine, variable appetite, learns quickly, dislikes cold, loner and non-conformist.

Diet and lifesyle advice: Eat warm, dense, heavy foods, use oil and butter, increase salty, sour and sweet tastes. Avoid light, dry and gas promoting foods, or raw foods. Establish a regular eating and sleeping routine. Avoid excessive traveling, watching TV, computer work, and stimulating activities.

Pitta

Description: Organized, precise and active, sharp intellect, articulate speech, average build, fair skin (freckles or that flushes easily), red or fair hair, irritable, intense, strong appetites, dislikes heat, leader.

Diet and lifesyle advice: Eat cool or warm foods, but avoid very hot and spicy foods. Bitter, sweet and astringent tasting foods are good to include. Reduce use of oils, butters and fats. Exposure to the sun and heat, and excessive exercise should be avoided.

Kapha

Description: Calm and slow, solid and stable, patient, larger build, very good endurance although often lethargic, romantic, regular routines, even disposition, like to belong to a group or community.

Diet and lifesyle advice: Eat warm, light, dry foods. Use a minimum amount of butter, oils and water. Pungent, bitter and astringent foods are good, but avoid sweet and salty foods. Dairy products and fried, heavy foods should be reduced. Avoid sleeping excessively (or during the day), overeating and inactivity.