Ayurveda is the “knowledge of life” and describes different methods to gain and maintain health. Read more about Ayurveda and its origins here.
What is Ayurvedic diet?
What we eat and how we prepare it has a direct influence on our physical and emotional well-being. There is not one Ayurvedic diet, but different Ayurvedic diets that are adapted to the season, the region, the culture and the constitution type (Dosha). There are three different doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). Find out what doshas are and what dosha you are. Human needs differ very much. Type-appropriate diet is the basis of Ayurveda.
Why is Ayurvedic diet awesome?
♥ Individually tailored diet
♥ Ayurvedic diet takes the season and the times of the day into account.
♥ Tasty and delicious meals
♥ Most recipes are time-saving and easy to prepare.
♥ Good for your health: There are suitable cures for rejuvenation and healing process.
The golden rules of the Ayurvedic diet
The Ayurvedic diet is tailored to the constitution type. But some rules apply equally to all doshas:
1. The right amount
Both too much and too little food can disturb the digestion. The stomach should only be filled to 2/3, so that the digestion works well. If we feel “full” that was already too much food.
2. Do not drink along with meals
As liquids quench the digestive fire, you should not drink 1 hour before and after your meal. Exceptions are digestive teas like ginger tea. If you have the feeling that you need something to “swallow” your food, you probably chew too little.
3. Pay attention to your preferences
Our body knows exactly what it needs, so we should pay attention to our preferences and desires. However, the message may be hidden. Cravings on chips can indicate a lack of sodium, vitamin D, vitamin B1 or vitamin B6. Another example is that our body craves chocolate if we have a shortage of zinc.
4. Regular meals without snacks
We should keep four hours without eating between meals. Before the next meal, you should feel hungry. The breakfast should be nutritious but light as the digestion is still sluggish. According to Ayurveda, lunch should be the main meal. At this time the digestive fire is strongest. The dinner should be warm and light and be taken about three hours before going to bed.
5. Eat High Quality
Pure food prepared with love provides the best energy. Make sure that the food is as untreated as possible. Choose your food according to your region and the season.
6. Eat in a pleasant atmosphere
The best organic food becomes poison when swallowed in a stressful situation. Not only what we eat matters, but how we eat it. Take your time and eat consciously and in a quiet environment.
7. The combination matters
In Ayurveda, wrong combinations are considered to be one of the main causes of skin diseases. Milk should never be eaten with salty or sour food (leafy vegetables, meat), milk is very compatible with honey, ghee, ginger, rice or barley. Fresh fruits should not be combined with cooked food. Sour fruits are not compatible with yoghurt or cheese.
8. All flavors
A well-balanced meal should contain all six flavors in the following order: sweet, sour, salty, hot, bitter, astringent. This corresponds with the digestion phases and supports them.
In the morning you should drink a glass of warm water to stimulate digestion. With a few drops of lemon juice, the water becomes basic.
10. Eat only when you are hungry
On some days when you are not physically active, it can take up to six hours to get hungry after eating. Do not just eat the meal because it’s “time to eat”. You should feel hungry.
Ayurvedic diet adapted to the doshas
The constitution type or dosha controls bodily processes. Our food should therefore be adapted to our Dosha. Click here to read more about doshas and how to find and balance your dosha.
Ayurvedic diet for Vata
In Vata people, the elements of air and space dominate. Mostly Vata are petite to lanky, have dry skin and a very restless mind. They are creative, but also moody.
To balance Vata, the food should be heavy and well cooked. Raw food is not suitable as it would only increase the elements of air and space. Warming spices (cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cloves) balance Vata.
Ayurvedic diet for Pitta
Pitta is determined by the elements fire and water. Pitta people are athletically built. They have a fast digestion and are ambitious but can also be jealous and dominating.
Pitta, the fire in us, is especially balanced by cooling foods: cucumber, melon, apple, broccoli, potatoes, zucchini, amaranth, buttermilk, and warm drinks (body produces heat to warm up cool drinks – increases pitta). Pitta people should avoid acidic foods such as coffee, alcohol, tomatoes, spinach and garlic.
Ayurvedic diet for Kapha
The elements earth and water dominate in Kapha-People. They mostly have a strong and heavy body and thick hair. Kapha are calm and well-balanced people with good stamina.
Kapha is balanced by warm and light food, which should be spicy, bitter and astringent in taste. In general, Kapha people should eat small portions.
More details on how to balance your dosha you can find here.
What do you eat? Would you try the ayurvedic diet?
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