We protect our life by eating food as well as maintain our body. Faulty diet is the underlying driver of each illness. A proper knowledge of food can build our body and the inverse annihilates the body.
Dr.Kanchan Chowdhury, MD (Ayu), Assistant Professor, Dept. Of Swasthavritta and Yoga ,FOA, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, India.
Dr.Nilanjan Datta, MD (Ayu), Medical Officer, Dept. Of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. Of Tripura, India.
Charaka monument in the Patanjali campus, India. Was one of the principal contributors to Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle in India.
Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical systems that evolved in the Indian Subcontinent around five thousand years ago. Ayurveda offers broad experiences about sustenance and wellbeing. The concept of wellbeing is characterized as a condition of harmony with one's self (swasthya) yet which is inseparably connected to the universe. Ayurvedic understandings, for example, the Tridosa (three humors) hypothesis, give the connection between the microcosm and the universe that can be connected in everyday practice. Established Ayurveda writings cover a variety of subjects on sustenance running from decent variety of normal sources, their properties in connection to seasons and their particular capacity both in physiological and neurotic states. The epistemic point of view on wellbeing and sustenance in Ayurveda is altogether different from that of biomedicine and present day nourishment. Be that as it may, contemporary information is reevaluating and propelling a few of these ideas in a period of frameworks science, customized drug, and the more extensive setting of a progressively all encompassing change in sciences when all is said in done. Trans-disciplinary research could be imperative not just to push the limits of nourishment and wellbeing sciences yet additionally to give down to earth answers for contemporary wellbeing conditions. This article quickly audits the fundamental of Ayurvedic dietetic principles and attracts regard for the requirement for a more profound commitment with conventional information frameworks of dietary principles. It brings up that entertainment of the philosophies that empowered the all encompassing perspective point about wellbeing in Ayurveda may unwind a portion of the mind boggling associations with Nature.
Food (Ahara), Sleep(Nidra) and celibacy(brhammacharya) are altogether known as three pillars of life in Ayurveda. Among these, food has been given the prime importance. Acharya Kashyapa said that, ‘Food is the best Medicine’. If these three are properly managed, then one can lead a very healthy life. We protect our life by eating food as well as maintain our body. Faulty diet is the underlying driver of each illness. A proper knowledge of food can build our body and the inverse annihilates the body.
Ayurveda has provided immense stress over vegetarian food like fruits, green leafy vegetables, pulses, nuts, milk, curd, butter milk, etc. Non medicated ghee, heavy foods are better to be avoided as your body and stomach related framework needs to work more earnestly to process and absorb each one of those stuffs. These foods can make one’s digestive system weak and makes him/her vulnerable to develop various diseases. As we know that, Grahani (Pancreas) is the most critical organ of the body. It prepares all the important enzymes that are responsible for digestion and assimilation of food. Liver (Yakrit) is also an important organ. It cleans the blood and helps an individual with vitality by the energy it stores within. If our liver is well then we can generally stay sound. Inappropriate eating habits debilitate liver and it in the end prompts sickness and premature death. Ayurveda observe that, milk is better than milk products. If pure milk is not accessible then we may consume coconut milk which is exceedingly nutritious.
Man should always consume proper quantity of food. Because it is the activator of digestive power (Agni). Foods whether easily digestible or non easily digestible both require a specified quantity for digestion. Ayurveda described a huge variety of food, both solid and liquid, their method of preparation and the code and discipline of taking them. Consumption of insufficient quantity of food does not help improvement of strength, growth and vigor, rather it becomes a cause for all diseases especially muscle or neurological disorders (Vata origin). Excess quantity, on the other hand produces quick development of various diseases.
Ayurveda precisely affirm that, it's a little naive to envisage that there is a single "Ideal Diet" that suits for everyone.We have seen various opinions about the nature and amount of food to be consumed by a healthy individual. But Ayurveda has observed that, the ideal amount of food is totally individualized and it depends on digestive capability (Agni). If a person has adequate digestive capacity he/she can consume moderate amount of food and who has lower digestive capacity should take minimum amount of food. According to Ayurvedic principle, our human bodily processes a reflection of the laws of the universe, and the more in equilibrium our lives are with nature, the healthier and happier both in terms of body and mind we are likely to be. Our bodies own the natural processors to process the foodstuff that are closest to nature, such as fresh whole grains and organically-grown fruits and vegetables.
Foods which are not easily digestible, which are unctuous (fatty), sweet, slow and hard such as sugarcane, mangoes, sweet meat ball, sweet dishes etc. should be consumed at the commencement of the meal. Foods of opposite qualities, at the end of the meal and those which are predominantly sour and salt should be taken in the middle of the meal. Untimely food has to be always avoided. Moreover, if the previous food is not digested, next meal should be postponed or skipped. A very important ‘Golden rule’ described in Ayurveda is that, two parts of the stomach (half of its capacity) should be filled with solid food, one part by liquids and the remaining one part should be kept vacant for accommodating air etc.
Ayurveda has mentioned various drinks after food (Anupana) for maintaining health and wellness. An ideal Anupana is that, which has properties opposite of the foods but not incompatible with them. Such an Anupana is always valuable. Anupana invigorates, gives contentment, helps proper movements of food inside, stability of the body parts, and loosens hard masses of foods, their proper liquefaction (moistening) and digestion. For example, cold water is ideal after meals containing/prepared from barley and wheat, also after consuming curd also yoghurt, wine, poison and honey. Warm water is an ideal after food which are starchy, whey, diluted butter milk fragmented gruel are ideal, dishes prepared from vegetables and green pulses, kidney bean and other legumes are very good. Beer is good to make lean persons stout, and honey water to make stout persons lean. Juice of meat is good for the emaciated, wines are ideal after a meal of meat and to those who have poor digestive capacity. Milk is best suited just as nectar to those who are debilitated by disease, who walk long distances, public speaking, sexual intercourse, fasting, exposure to sun and such other tiresome activities and for emaciated, aged and children.
All persons both healthy and sick should avoid speaking, walking long distances, and sleeping immediately after consuming liquids, exposure to sun and fire, travel long in vehicles, swimming and riding on animals soon after consuming food. Also, giving gratefulness to the almighty, according to our Indian Ayurvedic tradition, for the food we take, and sitting in silence during and for a few minutes after the feast is suggested. Ayurveda advocates to cleanse (Panchakarma) our body during every change of seasons, to detox and get rid the body of ama (a type of toxin), is recommended for best possible health.
The ideal time of taking meal is after the elimination of faces and urine, when the mind is clean (devoid of emotion), when all the toxins are moving out towards their natural path, when belching are pure, when hunger manifests well, when the flatus is moving downwards, when the digestive activity is keen, when the sense organs are clear and functioning properly, when the body is light. Foods should be consumed observing the rules and procedures of taking food. That is the ideal time. A person should take food twice a day i.e. in the morning and evening. Consumption of food is contraindicated in between. But if a person feels extremely hungry, he/she may take food even at midnight as according to Ayurveda, hunger is considered one of the non suppressive urges. One should not eat within three hours of taking a meal and should not fast for more than six hours as this will lead to loss of strength. Time of consumption of food will change as per seasonal variation. Curd should not be taken at night as it blocks body’s micro circulation. At night the amount of food should be less. Food which is conductive to a particular disease should be consumed, for example: excess liquids are to be taken in Diarrhea. Intake of sweet and cold food for a person, who is accustomed to pungent and hot food, will be contradictory in conduciveness. But taking ginger and salt before food is always good, as it enhances the digestive fire, improve taste, clears tongue and throat.
Intake of wholesome and unwholesome food together is considered deadly. Also taking large or small meals at irregular interval is better to be avoided. Intake of food before digestion of the food that is consumed earlier produces dangerous effect on health. The spices we need to add in our Indian diet is not only intended to enhance the taste of the food, but to add an additional medicated value to the food stuff we consume.
Ayurveda clearly mentioned the side effects of various incompatible diets (Viruddha Ahara). For example, mixing together and then consuming of Payasa (milk pudding), alcohol (especially Beer) and Kri’sara (rice mass made with green gram) must be avoided. Mixture of equal quantities of Honey , Ghee, Muscle fat(Vasa), oil and water in their combination or two, three or all of them together is incompatible with each other. Meat of bird smeared with ash and sand (as a special method of cooking in a few countries) and if consumed with honey, kills the person quickly. Meat of boar, should not be consumed along with the meat of porcupine. Meat of spotted deer and cock should not be partaken with curd or yoghurt. Uncooked meat along with pitta, radish with paddy, must not be combined. Intake of hot drinks after taking red meat (pork) and intake of cold things after taking Ghee must be avoided. Also preparation of food having bad, rotten odor, undercooked or overcooked and burning are to be avoided in most of the cases. Sour substance with milk is contradictory. Any substance which is not pleasant to taste is to be refrained from. Food materials collected from cremation ground must not be consumed. Food articles which are immature (Apakkwa), over mature (Atipakkwa) or putrefied are considered contradictory. Incompatible foods and drinks taken repeatedly could bring about irritation at a molecular level, troubling the eicosanoid pathway creating more arachidonic acid leading to increased prostaglandin-2 and thromboxane levels in the blood. This irritating effect at cellular level has an profound effect as these are all the basic pathologies that create anorexia, digestive issues, and a number of metabolic problems.
An Ayurvedic Pharmacy
Therapeutic benefits of different dietary recipes have been ornately described in Ayurveda classics, especially for gastroenterological disorders. Ayurvedic diets and lifestyles have been followed by thousands of Indians, and gradually have been succeeded in maintaining their health and preventing various ailments. Most of the burden of life style disorders and metabolic diseases can be managed mostly with diets, life styles and food recipe, thus minimising the morbidity and mortality. Ayurveda does not emphasise on universal diet, but it emphasises personalised died based upon their geographic, climate, digestive status and physical conditions. This is unique about Ayurveda and most important thing is that, these foods are easily available, cheap and can be readily prepared in the kitchen. Ayurvedic instructions to diet, cooking, recipes, are so much important to add nutritional value in a personalised manner. Ayurvedic recipes and dietary directives, which are very simple to follow, if adopted in every household, will prevent most of the diseases and cut down extensive hi tech modern medical expenses in the hospitals. Multiple researches and works to scientifically infer and utilize Ayurvedic concept through the view of modern science and medicine are in swift progress. The reader can contact the author without hesitation if this article found to be useful and further queries will be answered with appreciation.