It’s not hard these days to feel totally over whelmed when looking at improving ones health. In the last few years there has been a real boom in the wellness industry in terms of diets, super foods and ways of eating. The positive side to this is it has brought to people’s attention that perhaps what they have been eating isn’t nourishing them, may be heavily processed or have a negative effect on the environment, for those who may have never thought about what was going on their plate before start to think about what they are putting into their body and realize they need to start making some positive changes.
On the other side it gives rise to confusion, feeling unsure of how to put the pieces of the health puzzle together and leaving some at a loss with where they should go in terms of improving their health.
Ayurveda the time tested science of 5000 years stands steady and gives the answers to those who are feeling confused or not gaining any ground with their health.
In this blog I hope to give you the basic understanding about dietetics from an Ayurvedic point of view a different and beneficial approach to looking at nutrition. Food and eating can be of two things. Something that will please your appetite and fill a gap or keep your mind and body balanced, free from disease and promote longevity, a complete medicine.
First line of treatment Ayurvedic Dietetics
We can eat healthily but still be afflicted by some health issues and are sometimes confused about why this is. Ayurveda gives the answers in a clear and concise way.
Food will become a part of us, our structure in the form of the body’s tissues, our function in the way our nervous system flows and the way our digestion and metabolism operates. Even the way we think, from nature to us, sustaining life from life itself and the science behind this is understanding this unique balance something that has been passed down to us through Ayurveda from teacher to student over thousands of years.
So what is the right food for you? Thinking of only the vitamin, mineral and other nutritional components like fats, protein and carbohydrates of food is of value but only a limited approach.
Food needs, as well as its nutritional value according to Ayurveda:
- Correct cooking and preparation methods and to undergo transformation to make it more compatible for our digestive system or Agni.
- Correct quantity to support digestion
- Cooked with the correct spice
- Cooked with ones age, body constitution, season and imbalance taking into account.
Not only do we want to nourish our bodies, but also we want to assist in the elimination of waste from the body. The process of cooking with spice, changing the quality of the food and adjusting our quantity to our needs for the day assists in this process, by increasing assimilation of nutrients, eliminating of waste from the tissues and neutralizing toxins. Think about it? this has to be a necessity we never feel the same each day, one day we might feel balanced the next day not so much and this is where the importance of Ayurvedic dietetics comes in as its methods are always supporting the role of digestion (Agni)
The outcome when following the basic principals and eating regimes from an Ayurvedic prospective.
- The diet will suit the individuals constitution or body type (vata, pitta, kapha)
- The diet will support brining balance to imbalances
- The diet will suit the age and season
- Support the functions in the body
- Support digestion
- Support the structure of the body
- Nourish the tissues in the proper quantity and at the right time
- Allow for the proper and timely elimination of wastes and toxins or Ama from the body
- Bring balance to the mind
You will find each process of Ayurvedic cooking combines a number of techniques to synergistically enhance the quality and quantity of your food. This includes using specific spices that suit certain ingredients and aid in balancing their qualities, as well as specific cooking methods so that your ingredients becomes more dominant in another taste to nourish the mind and body. All methods of Ayurvedic cooking have been well-constructed and thought out in order to nourish you as a whole.
This is known in Ayurveda as perfect health and a proper nutrition. If we look at the western definition of nutrition although of much benefit to ones health, we will see that it does not touch as deep as what Ayurveda offers on advice for proper nutrition of how, when to eat, how much and what to eat and does the diet support the above factors.
You will find that a proper prescription of an Ayurvedic diet with correct preparation methods will support ones physical and mental health for long term health and include an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, soups, dals, rice dishes and breakfast options that are light simple and easy to digest.
Yours in good health.
Scott Allan – Ayurvedic Practitionar at Yoga Therapy & Ayurveda Wellness Centre Buderim:
Scott Allan is a skilled and clinically experienced practitioner with over 8 years experience. He has trained with Dr Ajit of the Australasian Institute of Ayurvedic Studies and still continues to further his knowledge with Dr Ajit who is also a mentor for Scott. He currently runs the Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda Wellness Centre in Buderim with his wife Kim. Scott offers health consultations, Ayurvedic treatments and much more. For more information on the services Scott offers www.yogaayurvedacentre.com.au