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Ayurvedic treatments based on diet । What is an Ayurvedic Diet?

Ayurvedic Treatment Based on Diet

Ayurveda believes that the food that we eat affects not only our physical state but also our emotional and psychological health. 

An Ayurvedic diet does not mean eating only rice and legumes but can be applied to any form of your preferred cuisine. The basic principle is to eat fresh, seasonal and cooked meals. 

Though Ayurveda does not prohibit eating meat, it encourages the vegetarian diet! This form of food contains more fibre, is easier to digest, and more filling. According to Ayurveda, the use of herbs like ginger, garlic and turmeric in the food is also very beneficial to the body and promotes faster healing.

The main factor to be considered in this form of diet is the incorporation of the ‘6 tastes’ or the ‘six qualities’ that help in improving the balance of the doshas. These 6 tastes include:

1. Sweet –

Promotes strength and nourishes all tissues in the body. It is represented by the earth and water elements, hence, it helps in controlling the Vata and Pitta doshas. 

If taken in excess, it aggravates the Kapha dosha. It includes foods like whole grains, sweet fruits honey, rice, pasta, milk, etc.

Ayurvedic treatments based on diet । What is an Ayurvedic Diet?

2. Sour –

Increases digestive power and energy. It is made of the earth and fire elements. It balances the Vata dosha but can aggravate the Kapha and Pitta doshas. Sour foods must be taken in a lesser quantity. 

It includes foods like tomatoes, pickles, tamarind lemons, hard cheese, yoghurt, vinegar, etc.

Ayurvedic treatments based on diet । What is an Ayurvedic Diet?

3. Salty –

Maintains the electrolyte balance in the body. It is made of the water and fire elements. It balances the Vata dosha but aggravates the Pitta and Kapha doshas. 

It includes foods like salt or salty foods, seaweed, tuna, soy sauce, tamari, etc.

Ayurvedic treatments based on diet । What is an Ayurvedic Diet?

4. Pungent – 

Improves the process of digestion and absorption of food. This taste form includes fire and air elements. It balances the Kapha dosha but aggravates the Vata and Pitta doshas. 

It includes foods like garlic, onions, leek, chilli peppers, black pepper, cayenne, ginger, any hot spice, etc.

Ayurvedic treatments based on diet । What is an Ayurvedic Diet?

5. Bitter –

Cleanses the palate and stimulates other tastes. The bitter taste helps in managing the Pitta and Kapha dosha. However, it aggravates the Vata dosha. this taste form includes the ether and air elements. 

Some of the foods which are bitter in taste include leafy greens, bitter gourds, sesame seeds, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, lettuce, etc.

Ayurvedic treatments based on diet । What is an Ayurvedic Diet?

6. Astringent – 

Aids in absorption. These foods are generally dry, cool and heavy in nature. This taste is represented by fire and earth elements, hence, it helps to manage Pitta and Kapha doshas. 

In excess, it aggravates the Vata dosha. It includes foods like pomegranate, beans, Brussel sprouts, lentils, etc.

Ayurvedic treatments based on diet । What is an Ayurvedic Diet?

They have been listed in the order in which they are digested in the body. 

For example, anything sweet is digested first, thus, it is not a good idea to eat sweets or desserts at the end of a meal, but rather eat it at the beginning (An Ayurvedic tip!! This is awesome as desserts are the best part of the meal. Aren't they?!) On the other hand, salads are to be eaten at the end of a meal.

The ayurvedic diet mainly tries to ease the process of digestion along with providing a holistic health benefit. When we include all the 6 tastes in our food, it reduces our cravings during the day. 

Also, eating something astringent at the end of a meal reduces our urge to gorge on sweets (thus it is a great way to shed off those extra pounds by just altering the sequence of the courses!). 

Furthermore, you need to follow an Ayurvedic diet depending on your doshas, and once you have established the right balance for your energies, you have indirectly opened the doors for good health!

Benefits of Ayurvedic Diet

  • Cures all ailments: Ayurveda states, that in order to heal the body, one is required to make changes in the food that we intake. This dietary change can do wonders to your health and also help cure a large number of diseases.
  • Increasing your life span: The Ayurvedic diet, that contains all the 6 tastes, helps in balancing the bio-energies in the body. It also helps in repairing the wear and tear of the body, increases regeneration of dead cells and improves the overall health of an individual.
  • Healthy weight: This diet helps an individual attain his/her ideal weight in an organized manner. It encourages people to eat foods based on their prakruti or body constitution, which indirectly leads to health and happiness.
  • Increase in energy levels and reduces toxins: Ayurveda believes that the digestive system is the main source of energy (called as Agni or digestive fire). If this Agni is strong and robust, we are able to digest whatever we eat. On the other hand, a weak Agni leads to indigestion and indirectly causes the formation of a lot of toxic waste (called Ama). This toxic waste is accumulated in the body and is the main source of diseases. The Ayurvedic diet strives to strengthen the Agni and improves the energy levels of the body.
  • Improves the functioning of the body: An Ayurvedic diet encourages you to eat foods that suit your doshas. Thus, you eat only what is required by the body, and avoid over-eating. This leads to better functioning of the body and improves the processes like digestion, blood circulation, basic metabolism etc. Indirectly, we become stress-free and are more at peace with ourselves. 
Ayurveda thus states that a diet based on one’s prakruti and that balances all the doshas is very beneficial to help the person regain health and vitality. 

Following your own personal Ayurvedic diet, which is based on your dosha, is not as difficult as it may seem, because, for every unhealthy food that we consume, there are many beneficial alternatives for you. It is important to remember, that a person is determined based on what he eats!

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