Food in Ayurveda
Food plays an important role in Ayurveda because it is directly related to your health. Here’s some food for thought—pun intended—about this all-important relationship from our doctors:
- The three pillars of health consist of the right quantity and quality of food, the right amount of sleep and disciplined sexual life.
- Agni—the digestive fire in the body—regulates the intake of food.
- Even wholesome food consumed in an inappropriate amount will not get digested if the individual is in a state of anger, fear, worry or depression.
- Give due attention to the food being served, do not talk, laugh or play with your phone while eating.
- Consume only seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Food that is incorrectly combined (for example milk and fish), has undergone wrong processing, is consumed in a wrong amount or during a wrong time, season or climate is opposite to the homologation. There is a high chance of them reacting and resulting in the formation of endotoxins during the digestive process.
- The appropriate quantity of food for each individual depends on the Agnibala— digestive power—which varies according to the person as well as the nature of the food consumed.
- Food should not be eaten too quickly or too slowly, aim for a medium space.
- Food should be consumed considering one’s constitution, the capacity of digestive power, the season, the time of the day and whether the previously eaten food has been digested or not.
- A well-balanced diet according to Ayurveda should include all of the six tastes—sweet, astringent, sour, salty, pungent and bitter.
Aparna K. BAMS, MD, PhD
Aparna is one of the few specialists worldwide with a PhD in Ayurveda. Born into an Ayurvedic family which operates a traditional Ayurvedic Panchakarma hospital in Kerala, India, she grew up observing her father, the renowned Dr Padmanabhan.