The Ayurveda diet has its share of supporters and critics. Supporters of the diet are saying that it’s one of the best and beneficial diets you should follow. On the other hand, critics are saying that this is nothing but a fad.
Contrary to what critics might think, following an Ayurvedic diet doesn’t mean eating only rice, vegetables, and legumes. The principles of a basic Ayurveda diet can be applied to any cuisine, be it Mediterranean, Asian, European, or whichever one you prefer.
The Ayurvedic diet is unlike other diets where everyone is supposed to follow a specific formula. This is not a “one size fits all” type of diet.
The Ayurveda diet, while for everyone, can be adjusted accordingly to meet the needs and requirements of the individual.
It’s important that you know that there are different Ayurveda types in each individual. Before you embark on the diet, you ought to know which type you belong to.
How can you know your specific type? There’s an Ayurveda test that you can take online. This test will ask you some very easy questions that will determine what type you are. Alternatively, you can consult with an Ayurvedic specialist.
What Is The Ayurvedic Diet About?
Basically, the Ayurveda diet is operating on the belief that our body and mind require very specific foods in order to be at our best health.
The first step towards eating for your Ayurvedic constitution is to find out what your Ayurvedic body type is, also known as dosha.
Your Ayurvedic Body Type
Once you have determined your Ayurvedic body type, there are some general rules that you have to follow.
You can balance it by learning what foods support you and what foods can further aggravate your dosha.
For example, if your body type is predominantly Vata, you don’t have to make a lot of drastic changes. Just eat foods that are warm and cooked. Also, stick to nutritious foods. It would also be a good practice to eat regularly at around the same time each day.
Here are some foods that you can benefit from:
- Sweet berries
- Small beans
- Dairy products
If you have a predominantly Pitta body type, you should avoid fried foods. It is also beneficial to avoid spicy foods as it aggravates Pitta. Avoid any alcoholic drinks as well.
Here are some foods that you should include in your diet: watermelon, mango, cucumber, avocado, cherries, kale, and arugula.
Lastly, If you have a dominant Kapha, spicy foods should be a staple in your diet. This means that you should stock your pantry with different spices like ginger, cumin, black pepper, and chili. Also include foods that are light and warm. It is beneficial to always drink tea with lemon and dried ginger.
Avoid foods that are heavy with oil. It’s also a good idea to avoid foods packed with processed sugars if you’re a Kapha.
Tips To Follow For The Ayurvedic Diet
If you follow these healthy eating habits and choose the best foods for your dosha, your digestive process will be maximized and you will experience optimal health benefits. Fortunately, the rules are very simple to implement in your day to day schedule. Here are a couple of healthy eating habits for you to follow:
- Wait until the previous meal has been completely digested.
This means that you have to wait until your tank is empty before eating. This is a very important rule in the Ayurveda diet. If you are feeling hungry, drink a glass of water first because you might be thirsty and not hungry.
- Have your meal in a calm environment.
Sit down at the dinner table and turn off all distractions. Eat at the right pace. Make sure you chew properly. This is because the act of chewing is important in the Ayurveda diet as it enhances the rate of digestion.
- Eat until you are satisfied or 3/4 full.
Stop when you feel satisfied. Resist the temptation to grab another bite. If you already feel full, put down the utensils.
- Eat freshly cooked meals.
This can help improve the efficiency of your digestive system. If you are unable to eat freshly cooked meals for your Ayurveda diet, make sure they are warm.
- Avoid foods that are dry.
The meals should be soup-based to alleviate the digestion process. You can use a little bit of oil when cooking.
- Learn food combinations to avoid.
Eating incompatible foods at the same time can lead to a confused digestive system. As an example, avoid eating beans and cheese. In addition, it is not recommended to consume cereal and milk and drinking orange juice in the same meal.
- Make use of all your senses when eating.
You have five senses. Make sure to use them when consuming your meal. Take time to recognize all the textures and flavors in every bite.
- Eat at normal times regularly.
Eat your biggest meals during lunch and the smallest in the evening. Digestion is the strongest around noon when the sun is at its peak. Do not skip breakfast as it is very important.
Complement Your Diet With Exercises And Lifestyle Changes
Like any other diet, it would be hard to succeed if you are not going to complement the Ayurveda diet with the right exercises and lifestyle changes. You need to do the right exercises that compliment your dominant dosha. You are also encouraged to make the recommended lifestyle changes based on your Ayurvedic body type.
You Are What You Eat
The most important principle in the Ayurvedic diet is that your food should always be fresh, seasonal, and as often as possible, local. Fresh doesn’t, however, mean raw. The best are freshly cooked, whole meals.
The Ayurvedic diet is all about improving the efficiency of your digestive system and enhancing its balance. By having an efficient digestive system, you will feel better and actually be healthier.