Power of Food in Ayurveda

Busy world chasing fames and money Every efforts to have daily meals,but Forgetting their inner core of energy Filling tummies with something Just to satisfy hunger and taste buds Ending with medicines as food Forgetting food which has power of a medicine!

What Ayurveda has to tell about food is that- “If food is right ,medicine is not needed And if food is not right ,no medicine will work”! Food is considered among the three pillars of life(Traya Upasthambha-Food,sleep,Celibacy)and among the three, food which fills our stomach decides our health and disease.

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, focus on Nourishing Body and Mind and as well as emphasizes the deep connection between diet, lifestyle, and overall well-being. Its core element is swasthasya swasthya rakshanam Aaturasya Vikara Prasamanam,where ayurveda focuses on importance of food in maintaining health as well as curing the diseasesd one to promote their health,along with their lifestyle activities.

Here's a glimpse into this unique approach: Criteria for proper food selection depends on- Rasa(Taste-sweet,Sour,Salty,Pungent,Bitter,Astringent),Guna(Qualities-Heavy,light,hot,cold. Etc..),Veerya(Potency-hot or cold),Vipaka(Final taste formed after digestion),Prabhava(Its action),Kala(Time of intake,collection etc),Desha(Place- of its origin and place where one live),Rashi-Quantity and frequency intake,Samyoga(Combination with other food),Samskara-Mode of preparation,Form of food-Liquid,Paste etc.

Individualized Diets are one of the prominent area which needs to be followed. Unlike a one-size-fits-all approach, Ayurveda promotes understanding your body type (dosha) – Vata, Pitta, or Kapha,whether its in balance or not. Each dosha has specific dietary recommendations to maintain the balance. Ayurveda always ensure Seasonal Harmony and emphasizes seasonal eating. Consuming fruits and vegetables that are in season ensures optimal nutrient absorption and supports the body's natural adjustments throughout the year.

Maintaining a healthy digestive fire (Agni) is crucial. “Rogah sarve api Manda agninam upajayate”- where improper digestive fire is the reason to all pathological changes in the body. Practices like mindful eating, proper food combinations, and avoiding processed and refined foods are encouraged to optimize digestion and nutrient utilization.

Diets nourishing the Mind: It emphasizes the importance of attaining satvik(Calm nature),Rajasik(Aggressive qualities),Tamasik(lazy,lethargic)characters through foods where, satvik foods include-freshly prepared,where one feels satisfied and improves health and quality of life,Rajasik foods like Sour,Pungent,salty and spicy foods aggravating Pitta,Tamasik foods like-Foods prepared 3 hours before which is refrigerated and highly processed ones.

Consultations with Vaidyas (Ayurvedic practitioners) can provide personalized dietary plans based on your dosha and health concerns. Integrating Ayurvedic nutritional principles into daily life can empower individuals to make informed food choices. By understanding the connections between diet and health, we can cultivate a holistic approach to well-being, just as Ayurveda has advocated for centuries.

Shortly,“Cheeyate Annadibhii iti kaayah”-a living body is formed by food! In simple words, “We are what we eat”. So give time to focus on what you fill your tummy with, so that your doshas are in balance and you dosen’t have an unbalanced life!

Dr. Saranya Devi
Resident Medical Officer
Saigram ayurveda hospital and research institute

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