Ayurveda has long emphasised on our daily diet - Ahar, and food - Anna for a long and healthy life. What you eat, how you eat, and when you eat have an equal share of importance when it comes to practicing an Ayurvedic life. More than categorizing any food item good or bad, Ayurveda believes in a logical synchronization between your eating habits and your dosha.
We have curated a list of 10 eating habits that Ayurveda recommends to everyone as the first step to good health:
1 - Ayurveda recommends that each meal should consist of only the amount of food you can hold in your cupped hands. It’s best to feel satisfied, but not full. It is important to leave little room for digestion in our stomach instead of overfilling it. Healthy Agni is what keeps your body and mind in a good shape.
2 - You must fill half your stomach with solid food, a quarter with liquids, and a quarter empty. Overeating results in partially digested food which is responsible for producing Ama, a toxic byproduct that leads to a majority of common diseases.
3 - Your digestive system takes between 4 and 5 hours to complete the process of breaking down your food into enzymes and nutrients. Hence, the best practice to healthy digestion is to not snack between your core meals. Allow your body the time it needs.
4 - There are many ways you can avoid snacking between meals. Have a glass of water or make yourself a cup of herbal tea or infusion. Snacking is mostly driven by habit and emotion, your body doesn’t desire food while it is working on your previous meal.
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5 - Ayurveda also suggests that drinking water right before or after your meal is not a good practice, as it restricts your Agni and slows down the digestive process. However, it’s a good habit to sip a glass of hot water between meals for better digestion. It not only removes the toxic build up of Ama, but also reduces your desire to snack.
6 - Usage of spices in your diet is very important. Cumin, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, ginger are some of the herbs that aid your digestion. Seasonal herbs like mint, fennel seeds consumed properly can also help you maintain a healthy system. You may read our other blogs to know more about the benefits of these herbs.
7 - Another good practice is to include all six tastes in your meals - sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. It ensures that you are consuming a balanced diet which will keep you away from untimely hunger pangs and cravings, as they are a result of imbalance in nutrition and taste.
8 - Our experts suggest that fasting helps you build Agni and get rid of Ama. You may try one day per week fasting or find a schedule that suits your body’s particular needs and lifestyle. Fasting also helps you recover strength. You can begin with mild fasting by eating a few fruit slices, homemade soup as your core meal, or a glass of juice with fruits and vegetables which are easy on your stomach.
9 - It’s extremely important to opt for foods that are right for your Prakriti. While no food is deemed good or bad, it is our physiology that decides the worth of the food we consume. Our seasons are also Dosha centred just like our bodies, and Ayurveda particularly focuses on consuming seasonal food items as they help you achieve tridosha balance. You can also take our Prakriti Quiz to know your body type and the foods you should be having.
Food is medicine when consumed properly, after all!