AYURVEDIC CONCEPT OF BALANCE DIET ::
According to modern medicine a healthy diet is a diet that helps to maintain or improve overall health. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition, fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients and adequate calories.
It can easily be achieved through a blend of the four basic food groups. The quantities of foods needed to meet the nutrient requirements vary with age, gender, physiological status and physical activity.
In Ayurveda this aim is achieved but concept is very much different because Basic principles of Ayurveda are different from that of modern life style.
AYURVEDIC CONCEPT ::
Ayurveda, considered a natural system of healing wisdom, originated in India more than 5000years ago. Ayurvedic medicine is still practiced widely today in modern India and now also extends its influence worldwide, including the practice of following an Ayurvedic diet.
As one of the oldest medicinal systems in the history, Ayurvedic principles and foods work with the body's innate intelligence in order to promote natural self healing.
Ayurvedic diets are customized depending on someone's specific body type I.e. Constitution,called Prakruti (vatik, pittaj or kaphaj according to dominance of particular DOSHAS)of that individual.
ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA DEFINITION OF HEALTH ::
sama dosha samaagnischa sama dhatu mala kriyaaha
Prasanna atma indriya manaha swastha iti abhidheeyate || " Sushruta Samhita
The above mentioned phrase means:
One is in perfect health when the Three doshas (vata, pitta and Kapha) Digestive fire (digestion,
assimilation and metabolism) all the body tissues & components (Dhatus) (the entire physical body) all
the excretory functions (the physiological functions of urination and defecation) are in perfect order
with a pleasantly disposed and contented mind, senses and spirit.
Thus in Ayurvedic medicine, health is defined as a state of equilibrium with one’s self (svasthya) and is also closely linked to one’s environment. Following nutrient-dense, personalized diet is very important in Ayurvedic medicine.
AYURVEDIC BODY TYPES ::
According to the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health - “Ayurvedic medicine has several key foundations that pertain to health and disease. These concepts have to do with universal interconnectedness, the body’s constitution (prakriti), and the life forces (doshas).”
In Ayurveda, the three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. The doshas correspond to different body types, tendencies, personality traits and nutritional needs. Each dosha is made up of five basic elements — ether (the upper regions of space), air, fire, water and earth — and each person has a unique combination of the three doshas that determines his or her physical and psychological characteristics. The goal of Ayurvedic practices, including following an appropriate Ayurvedic diet, is to prevent imbalances in the doshas. Imbalances can be due to any combination of an unhealthy lifestyle, nutrient deficiencies, too much or too little physical activity, chronic stress, seasonal fluctuations and toxin exposure.
With the help of Ayurveda we can really give special attention to what we are taking in and in what combination to improve our life. Different foods have different therapeutic effects and If taken for the right dosha they can work amazingly well on our overall well being.
AYURVEDIC THEORY OF YSHAT RASAS ::
In Ayurveda six Rasas(Basic tastes)are described,namely -
Ayurveda describes the basic tastes as rasa and each has a different influence on the way we feel and also how much energy we have. Most foods have more than 1 taste. But a balanced diet includes all 6 rasas in a meal. We can tailor each meal to balance our specific dosha imbalances and then they can be further modified to take corrective measures.
There are positive and negative impacts of each of the 6 rasas.
MADHUR :It has soothing and calming properties.It's soothing effect balances Vata dosha and
Cooling property balances pitta dosha. If madhur Rasa is taken in excess this can imbalance kapha, creating heaviness and slowing digestion.
Madhur rasa foods includes: sugar and honey based foods, butter, milk, sesame seeds, fruit and vegetables with naturally sweet taste (banana, sweet potato), carbohydrates such as oats, rice and wheat bread.
LAVAN :This rasa is responsible for Enhancing the digestion. It's warming quality balances vata but, taken in excess, they can disturb kapha and pitta, leading to water retention and inflammation.
Lavan rasa pradhan food includes: dried or salted pickles, snack foods, any soya or salted chilli sauce.
AMLA : It Stimulates digestion. It's warming quality balances vata but , taken in excess, they will disturb kapha and pitta, increasing body weight and skin sensitivity.
Amla Rasa pradhan food includes: yogurt, buttermilk, pineapple, raw tomato, lemon, fermented foods, vinegar, chilli and pickles.
TEEKSHANA : It De-congests the body, increasing digestion.It's drying and heating properties balance kapha but, taken in excess, these food can disturb pitta and vata by creating excess heat and dryness inside the body.
Teekshana Rasa pradhan food includes: mustard, raw onion, pickles, hot spices like chilli, peppers, caraway seeds and black pepper.
KATU : It Creates lightness and clarity.It balance kapha and pitta but , taken in excess, they aggravate vata, including dryness in the skin.
Katu Rasa pradhan food includes: Karela(Bitter gourd) , aloe vera, dark green vegetables like spinach and mustard greens.
KASHAYA : It Creates lightness . It's cooling properties balances pitta and their drawing properties balances kapha, but taken in excess, these foods can disturb vata, leading to dryness and flatulence.
Kashaya rasa pradhan food includes: pomegranate, cabbage, lemon, apple etc.
PROPER WAY OF TAKING DIFFERENT RASAS :
For a meal to be balance, we need to pay attention to the order in which we experience the 6 tastes.These are best digested if taken in a particular order based on doshas.
Madhur and lavan rasa are digested in the stomach, the first part of our gastrointestinal tract, by the kapha dosha. So it should be eaten first.
Amla rasa are digested in the small intestine by the pitta dosha. So they should be next.
Katu,Tikta and Kashaya rasa are digested in the colon by the vata dosha and should be eaten last.
One should pick foods according to this order and according to his doshas to balances the imbalances.
Thus Ayurvedic diets are based on medicinal practices that promote "holistic "balance in the physical body and mind in order to manage or treat various health problems.
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