Ayurveda and Nutrition
A major component of Ayurvedic medicine is its’ focus on nutrition.
Ayurveda has long taught what Western science is only really understanding now – your health will depend on the quality and quantity of nutrients you receive.
Ayurveda teaches that the basis of good health starts with nutrition.
Many imbalances can be corrected with the right food, and major improvements in chronic conditions can be gained through dietary intervention
The food you put into your body will deeply affect how your body functions. In fact, a huge range of contemporary health issues can be treated effectively with a focus on digestive health.
Ayurveda reveals that there is a unique and dynamic relationship between the individual and nutrition.
Rather than adopting a rigid approach to diet, Ayurveda teaches that all foods can be enjoyed in moderation WHEN the person is healthy and balanced.
“Let food be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food”
Instead of focussing on restrictive diets, Ayurveda encourages you to understand which foods work best for your body. This will help you to develop a natural awareness of what you need to stay well.
Over time, you will find that you gravitate more toward those choices that are healthy for you, and become less inclined to crave foods which are processed or create imbalances in the body.
This happens in an organic way, not through adopting a set of beliefs or excessive discipline.
An Individual Approach
The jewel of Ayurveda is its’ recognition that every person is an individual, and every individual has their own path to optimal health.
To understand your unique path, you need to know your constitution or body type.
Knowing your constitution (dosha) will be of benefit all your life as you can adapt your exercise choices, diet and lifestyle to align with your dominant “dosha”or type – leading to good health.
Vata Dosha: The Characteristics of Vata Dominant People
Pitta Dosha: The Characteristics of Pitta Dominant People
Kapha Dosha: The Characteristics of Kapha Dominant People
Managing your digestive health with the help of Ayurveda can be one of the most beneficial and rewarding journeys you can take.
Not only can you hope to improve your digestive function, but you can also expect more energy, better emotional balance and a lifelong change for good that will benefit your overall health.
Most of us can do with some help in balancing our digestive systems and improving elimination. A safe and effective way to do this is by incorporating Triphala into your diet.
Comprised simply of three fruits native to India, taking Triphala powder in addition to following a diet that is best suited to your constitution is one of the best ways to maintain life-long good health
Nutrition Tips For Everyone
No matter what your individual constitution is like, following these simple principles will really help to improve your health
Start your day with Complex Carbohydrates – Starches, whole grains and fruits are excellent as they are low in fat and cholesterol content. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, providing energy for your daily activities.
Carbohydrate rich foods include:
Bran, Barley, Oats, Porridge, Brown rice, Basmati Rice, Whole grain bread
A great breakfast choice is a good untoasted muesli with whole oats, natural yoghurt or rice milk and berries, pomegranate, figs or banana
Make Lunch the main meal of the day.Proteins are needed by the body for muscle growth and energy. Your body can get protein from various sources, and most (if not all) of what you need can actually be obtained from a plant-based diet.
Protein rich foods include:
Beans, Lentils, Green Peas, Nuts, Cashews , Chickpeas, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Free-range meats and eggs
A great lunch choice is a humous bowl with spinach, a handful of nuts or a hard boiled egg and lots of fresh salad vegetables
Eat a smaller meal in the evening but make it nutrient rich. Oils and Fats – You should avoid foods with have saturated fats and trans fats in them. This includes most food you buy ready to eat off the supermarket shelf. Foods with unsaturated fats are best (mostly animal fats).
Oils and fats which are most beneficial include:
Avocados, Sunflower oil, Sesame oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut oil , Cold water fish like mackerel, anchovy, tuna or salmon
Throughout the day, snack on food high in fibre. This is essential to maintain good gut bacteria
At the start of a meal, small amounts of vinegar (a simple tossed salad)improve digestion and help balance gut bacteria. Bitter flavours are great as a pre-digestive, and will work as a prebiotic – as do sour-tasting or fermented foods before or with your meal
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