Principles of ayurvedic diet - an introduction
Your ayurvedic diet Is adjusted to your constitution and health
There is no such thing as the “Ayurvedic nutrition”. Your ayurvedic diet is adjusted to your constitution and health. Everyone of us is unique with his own set of physical and mental characteristics and health. So also food is an individual matter.
In Ayurveda we recommend to eat only what you can digest and assimilate. Choose meals and drinks, which are beneficial for your physical and mental health. Check out, which food items gives you energy. More information about ayurvedic diet you will get in my book “absolutety hot and healthy”
Your personal nutrition recommendation in Berlin - very individual and practical
You want to know about your personal needs for nutrition? In my Practice for Ayureda Medicine in Berlin I will give you recommendations for personal ayurvedic diet. You will come to know which food items are beneficial for you and which you better avoid. You will also get guidance and recipes for typical healing dishes.
Your ayurvedic diet: choose your food according to the state of your Doshas
Everything in our universe derives from the five elements, the Mahabhutas. These are earth, water, fire, air and ether, which form our three life energies, the Doshas, named Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These energies control all functions in our organism. They also shape our physical features and mental properties, which are like the properties of the elements they derive from.
All three Doshas are part of our body and and act on the physical and mental level. Only the distribution of the Doshas are different from person to person. That is why every person is unique and food is an individual matter.
The Doshas even determine, which symptoms and diseases we are likely to develop. If one of our Doshas is derailed we also need to adjust our food in a way that brings the Dosha back in balance. It is an important principle of your ayurvedic diet: choose your food according to the state of your Doshas.
Your ayurvedic diet: choose your food according to their properties and effects.
To keep our Doshas in balance, we have to consider the properties of our food items and the effects they have on our Doshas. In principle we select food items, dishes and drinks, which have the opposite properties of the Doshas and a counteracting effect.
For example, Kapha is heavy, solid and cool like earth and water, which ensures structure, growth and stability in body and mind. To balance Kapha we need light and warm food, which is liquid and mashy.
The dynamic Pitta energy is sour, heating and penetrant like the fire and activates the metabolism and is associated with a sharp mind. To counteract Pitta we need to eat food which is sweet, bitter, cooling and watery, like fruits and rice, and dishes with bitter herbs.
The dry, cold and very light Vata energy from air and ether is like the wind and controls movement, flexibility and decay in the body. To balance Vata we should mainly eat warm and nourishing, soft oily food like hot soups, stews and porridge. Your ayurvedic diet: choose your food according to their properties and effects and you will stay very healthy.
Eat according to your current digestion power
Another important principles of ayurvedic diet is to eat according to your current digestion power. Practically this means, to choose food items, dishes and drinks, which you can digest and assimilate. Otherwise sticky, undigested particles will form in your stomach and intestines. They are called Ama in Ayurveda, which damage the intestinal flora and are deposited on the vascular walls and joints. The current digestive power can be seen daily and easy bowl movements with products, which are formed, odorless and leaves no traces.
If you suffer from digestion problems like constipation you should eat soft boiled, warm, liquid and oily dishes rather than dry, solid, hard and sticky food like bread or chocolate. In any case of severe digestion problems, better consult an experienced ayurvedic doctor, who will examine your digestive power and recommend an Ayurvedic diet for you.
Flexibility is needed For proper ayurvedic nutrition
Your ayurvedic is never the same, because your current state of health along with your Doshas are changing due to external factors like a sudden weather change or a mental shock due to bad news. For example, if Vata is increased, because there is suddenly too much cold wind, you need to eat what brings down the windy energy in you. This could be a hot nourishing and grounding soup or stew.
Flexibility is needed for proper ayurvedic nutrition, to change your food on spot according to the current state of your Doshas. This is true Ayurveda: to be in the present moment and react in the right way regarding your food and lifestyle.
Ayurvedic cuisine is global
Don’t think, the ayurvedic cuisine is a typical Indian cuisine. The ayurvedic diet is global and includes traditional and healing dishes and drinks with natural ingredients like snacks, soups or stews from all over the world. The traditional food is adapted to the climatic conditions and living circumstances of the region and also includes meat or fish, which provides energy, for example in cold regions with little sun like in Scandinavia. The digestion system of these people got adapted to these kind of food. This takes many centuries.
According to Ayurveda, we better eat only, what our anchestors have eaten, but only if we can digest it.
Modern ayurvedic food
Ayurvedic food is timeless and adapts to the needs of today. Most people in developed countries don’t have the time to cook fresh food every day. In fact, sometimes we have to compromises and need to pre-cook our food. However, there are food such as pasta and rice that always need to be freshly cooked, while certain stews are even easier to digest, when reheated and eaten the next day.
Also many people don’t have the time to eat regularly or to eat slowly in a quiet place. In this case, it is better to consume only soups, stews or porridge, which are easy to digest. Eating heavy meals late at night is also harmful, because the food is not digested properly, because the digestion enzymes are sleeping. In modern Ayurveda the answer again is to consume only easy to digest food in the evening like boiled vegetables, soup or light curries.
Ayurvedic cuisine- more than just food
Ayurvedic nutrition is not just intake of food, but also very important to maintain and regain health and energy, physically and mentally.
The ayurvedic nutrition is also about eating consciously, enjoying and be grateful for our food. This contributes to better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Ayurvedic cuisine not only offers a taste experience, but is also a source of inspiration for creating a better future. It teaches us to pay attention to our individual needs, to be more conscious, that our food is coming from ethical sources, and to live in harmony with nature.