How to eat right? Here's your guide to healthy eating habits as per Ayurveda

Karkidaka kanji
Karkidaka kanji, an Ayurvedic rice gruel prepared in a kashayam or a herbal concoction made of various herbs and spices. Photo: iStock/santhosh_varghese

One of the central principles of Ayurveda is that no two people are alike, and no two people have exactly the same nutritional demands. There is no "one-size-fits-all" Ayurvedic diet because of this. The optimum diet is determined by a person's constitution, sometimes referred to as their "dosha type" or "mind-body type", according to Ayurveda. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the three types of doshas.

The doshas are mind-body forces that control all aspects of how our bodies operate, including how our bodies seem, how powerful our digestion is, how our thoughts and words flow.

Eat unprocessed and whole foods

The Ayurvedic diet states that increasing prana is the best way to raise ojas, the source of life force in the body. Foods that are rich in prana come directly from the earth. Their prana is the result of the fusion of the energies of the sun, the water, and the earth. One of the whole foods you can include are almonds. Ayurveda holds almonds in high regard for their nutritional value and ability to balance vata. When used in food preparation, almonds are well known as a rejuvenator, tonic, and nourishing nutraceutical product (functional food). It was also mentioned in many compound medicinal formulations with pharmacological effects in the ancient Indian medical systems. Almonds may be beneficial for 'prameha' conditions. Ayurveda classifies obesity, prediabetes, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome as clinical disorders that together make up the Prameha syndrome. Almonds may be consumed to ease diabetes complications like weakness and frailty.

Representative image: SHutterstock/Dmitry Galaganov

Make dinner as your lightest meal and lunch the heaviest

Your digestive fire is at its peak at midday, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. As a result, according to Ayurveda, you should eat your biggest meal of the day at midday, when your inner fire is blazing and you are more likely to be able to digest and assimilate food. Eat a lighter, well-prepared supper at least three hours prior to going to bed, and aim to get to bed at or before 10 pm. Eating a large, filling meal late at night might tax your body as it goes through its night-time 'rest and repair' cycles.

Herbal teas
Representative image: iStock/simarik

Follow the 70-30 rule

In our society, we have been taught to finish everything on our plate, but according to Ayurvedic wisdom, one should only eat until you are satisfied. That would be about enough when you start to burp! Be careful not to overeat or consume meagre portions that leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied. Always consume between 70-80% of your appetite to allow the food to mix properly and continue to be digested. The 70-30 rule, which states that 70 per cent of your stomach should be filled and 30 per cent should be empty, should always be followed ensure proper digestion.

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