Dos and Don’ts of dietary patterns as per ayurveda
- Food is considered to be the life (prana) and hence every individual seeks out food. The virtue attributed to food includes the physical growth and development, appearance, intellect, the voice, physical and mental strength and stamina, finally the very existence. Thus, for both health and disease food is the cause. The gunas (qualities) of these fulfil the required nutrients in the body respectively.
Values of food in Ayurveda have emerged from nature and not from the laboratory. It also has established the principles of processing of food through which the nature of the food can be altered as needed.
- A very unique principle Ayurveda upholds is the viruddha ahara (incompatible foods). The food that vitiates the factors in the body and does not help in expelling the same is termed as viruddha ahara. Consumption of such foods, which are not compatible, will give rise to various diseases.
Ayurveda states that eating incompatible foods causes free radicals in the body.
- Svabhava-nature of food
- Samyoga- combination of different foods
- Samskara- processing
- Matra Quantity
- Kala- time
- Desha- geographical area. Climate of the area is the influencing factor.
- Upayogavyavstha- preserving /serving
- Upabhoktha- the consumer.
- The knowledge of ritu charya (seasonal regimen) is another unique contribution of Ayurveda. Evaluating the effect of each seasonal variation and their effect on the human system leading to alteration in the balance of the doshas and other factors /principles in the body which, if neglected may become the aetiology for the diseases. Hence the adaptation of rithu charya becomes inevitable in order to be healthy.
- Ayurveda had identifies shad rasas (six tastes) and 20 types of qualities in any given food/drug. The foods are broadly grouped as promoting either cold or heat. Each taste is attributed with various benefits and untoward effects on excess consumption also find their reference in the Ayurveda literature.
- Diet according to Prakriti
- VATA BALANCING DIET
Favor warm foods and drinks, unctuous sweet, sour and salty.
Grains - Oats (cooked), Rice, wheat
Dairy -All dairy products
Sweeteners Natural whole cane sugar, molasses, honey
Oils All oils
Fruits Sweet fruits like grapes, cherries, peaches, melons, bananas, avocado, coconut, apricots, dates (apples and pears if cooked)
Vegetables Well-cooked vegetables, beets, carrots asparagus, green beans, zucchini, sweet potatoes, onion (cooked)
Nuts All nuts
Spices Black pepper in small quantity, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, ginger, salt, clove
Reduce: Dry, food, cold/iced foods and drinks, foods having predominantly pungent, bitter or astringent tastes; Barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye, oats; dried fruits, apple, pear, pomegranate, cranberry, persimmon,; raw vegetables. Potato, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peas, (leafy greens are ok if oil added), tomatoes
- PITTA BALANCING DIET
Favor cool foods and drinks, sweet, bitter and astringent taste
Grains- barley, oats (cooked) basmati rice or white rice, wheat
Dairy- butter (unsalted), cottage cheese, ghee, milk
Sweeteners- all sweeteners except molasses and honey
Oils- olive, sunflower
Fruits- sweet fruits, apples, avocado, coconut, figs, grapes (dark), mango, melons, pears, sweet pineapples, raisins
Vegetables- sweet and bitter vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, leafy greens, peas, peppers (green) potatoes, sprouts, zucchini
Nuts- no nuts except coconut
Spices- coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, turmeric, small amounts of black pepper
Reduce hot and spicy foods, sour and salty tastes
Yogurt, cheese, sour cream, cultured buttermilk; almonds and sesame oils; corn, millet, rye, brown rice; sour fruits, plums, persimmons, olives; radish, tomatoes, beets, onion, garlic, spinach; cashews, sesame seeds, peanuts
- KAPHA BALANCING DIET
Favor lighter diet, dry foods, warm foods and drinks with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes
Grains - barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye
Dairy - low fat milk
Oils almond, corn or sunflower in small amounts
Fruits apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, persimmons
Vegetables Radish, asparagus, eggplant, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, potato, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, lettuce, celery, sprouts
Nuts not nuts
Spices all spices except salt
Reduce Unctuous (oily) foods, cold or iced foods and drinks, foods tasting sweet, sour and salty
Wheat, rice or oats;
Cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, cream, butter
Sweet fruits, grapes, bananas, avocado, coconut, dates, figs, pineapple, watermelon