Eating the Ayurvedic Way
Eating is something we all know how to do and it is a hot topic today with Michelle Obama’s directive to promote healthy eating and reduce the rate of obesity in this country. Ayurveda is a word that many people cannot even pronounce, but it holds guidance and benefit for healthy eating. By way of introduction, Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that offers health on both the body and spirit level. The underlying theory behind Ayurveda is the power of healing from within. When an individual is balanced in body and spirit, nature allows that the body will function vibrantly and has the ability to heal itself. Ayurveda uses terms of nature to describe the basic elements that are used to create the different “doshas” (body types). The five elements are: air, space, fire, water and earth. Each of the elements is represented in all body types, but it is the varying amounts in each individual that gives everyone their unique quality. When we relate to the human being as composed of varying elements of energy, we can determine what substances and behaviors are suited to an individual. For example, a person with a predominately vata dosha will have physical and spiritual qualities that reflect vata’s elemental qualities of space and air. This makes vata individuals quick thinking, thin and fast moving. Ayurveda uses many different lifestyle techniques to balance an individual. One of the most important methods of balance is through eating and digesting food. Food directly nurtures the body and spirit. It gives strength and sustenance so the body can function optimally. When food is not properly digested and absorbed, the body becomes weak through malnutrition and toxic build up. Ayurveda is unusual in that foods are not labeled universally good or bad. A food is judged on how it suits an individual’s body constitution. There are six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. Each taste is composed of two...
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