Saturday, 22 July 2017

Ayurveda - Balanced Diet

(via 'Jeevani', by Dr. PLT Girija)

Balanced Diet

Given the wide variety of food substances, we should really know what should be consumed regularly, as part of a balanced diet.

A healthy state of the body is the state in which the various body constituents are in a state of equilibrium. A balanced diet is one which does not upset this equilibrium but helps to maintain it.

In other words, the food we consume should maintain the equilibrium of the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), and that of the seven dhatus (rasa, blood, flesh, fat, bone, bone-marrow and the reproductive dhatu).

Food consumed appropriately gives strength, nourishes the dhatus, sense organs and intellect and bestows a long life.

A balanced daily diet should consist of rice, wheat, yava (Indian barley), meat of animals from arid areas which are easy to digest, tender radish, hareetaki, gooseberry, grapes, green gram, sugar (sarkara or country sugar), ghee, honey, rain-water, milk, pomegranate and rock salt. Among green leafy vegetables, sunishannaka and jeevanti are the best for daily use.

The daily diet should include all the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent). The diet however should be predominantly sweet in taste (e.g., rice, ghee, milk, wheat). Such a diet gives all the nourishment the body requires and prevents disease.

For instance, a diet predominantly sour, salty and pungent causes anaemia. A diet which is predominantly pungent, astringent, spicy and dry (without any fat) gives rise to joint pains and other Vata diseases.

Some of the substances which should not be regularly consumed as part of our food are curd, blackgram, meat of domestic animals such as pig, sheep, cow, buffalo, and fish, sprouted grains, dried
vegetables, raw (uncooked) or matured (not tender) radish, alkaline food, boiled curd and dried meat.

Food should not consist predominantly of vegetables, since vegetables are usually Vata-increasing. Only small quantities of vegetables should be consumed with food. Food should be freshly cooked and warm and not reheated.

There shall always be a few people who can violate many of these rules and still not be affected much. These are people with very strong power of digestion, those who are physically very active,
and young.

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