Food is the Best Medicine
When food is ingested in accordance with one’s physiological requirements, it serves as medication. Diet and lifestyle are the primary components of how and whether a disease has a chance to spread. And with your dietary and lifestyle decisions, you can either balance or stimulate your doshas. Doshic imbalances leave you vulnerable to sickness. On the other hand, when you live a balanced, sattvic life, you are better equipped to keep your health.
Ayurvedic recommendations for an Ideal Meal
Adhere to traditional diet patterns:Traditional diet patterns are largely ‘Satmya’ or acceptable, having been developed and refined over a long period of observation and experience. They include foods that are fresh, handcrafted, natural, organic, seasonal, and sourced locally.
Adhere to circadian rhythms: Eating the largest meal during lunch, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when our Agni (metabolism) is at its highest, and the lightest meal before sunset, is optimal for digestion.
Eat mindfully:Avoid watching television, using a mobile device, or using a laptop during mealtimes. Sit in a serene and tranquil environment (ideally in the Indian sukhasan position) and pay close attention to what you eat. Involve all five of your senses. Whatever we see, feel, touch, and taste becomes ingrained in us. All flavours are delectable; cherish them, enjoy them, and be grateful.
Chew your food thoroughly: Digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing aids in the proper mixing of food and saliva. When we gulp or eat hurriedly, we frequently experience digestive problems.
Incorporate all six rasas (tastes): Ayurveda advocates including all the rasa in each meal (sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, and astringent). However, the quantity of each may vary according to season, prakruti, and vikruti.
Portion dimensions: Ayurveda recommends that you fill half of your stomach with solids, one-fourth with liquids, and one-fourth with empty space to accommodate the gases created during digestion.
Water Consumption: Consume no food or liquids if you are not hungry or thirsty. Warm or room temperature water should be consumed. Cold/refrigerated water is detrimental to digestion. Consuming water before meals suppresses appetite, but drinking water after meals promotes Kapha. Consuming water sip by sip in between meals assists in correctly mixing the saliva and aids in digestion.
Avoid Viruddha ahaar (incompatible foods): Consuming meals with diametrically opposed properties, such as cold and hot or sweet and sour, on a frequent basis might result in the creation of ama (endotoxins) and decrease immunity.