Our diet is an essential factor for the formation of our body. It is clearly mentioned in 'Charak Samhita' that consuming improper diet in improper way is the main cause of 'Disease'.
According to 'Charak ,"An appropriate and suitable diet in a disease is equivalent to hundred drugs and any quantity of drug hardly compares to good results in disease without following proper dietetic regimen"
When diet is correct medicine is of no need."
[Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb]
Ayurvedic classics have mentioned following principles for living full span of life with perfect health.
Diet should be regulated taking into account the 'Desha'(territory), 'Kala' (Season as well as time of the day) etc. On should be in a habit of taking all six 'Rasa' (tastes) in order to prevent nutritional deficiency disorders.
Time of consuming food : A person should take meal only when he feels hungry. Lunch should be taken early between 12 and 1P.M. this coincides with the peak Pitta period, Pitta is responsible for the digestion. Ayurveda recommends that the lunch should be the largest meal of the day. The supper should be lesser and lighter than lunch
Quantity of food : Generally half of the capacity of stomach should be filled with solids, ¼ th with liquids and rest kept empty for the free movements of body humors.
Sequence of consuming food :Madhur (sweet) rasa food like fruits are advisable to take in the bigining of meal, food with Amla and Lavana (sour and salty) rasa in the middle and Katu,Tikta,Kashay (bitter ,astringent and pungent) foods should be taken at the end of meal
Method of consuming food :
* Wash the face hands and feet before meal. Dine in an isolated neat and clean place in pleasant environment with the affectionate persons in sitting position.
* Eat only food prepared by loving hands in a loving way. This increases the vitality giving quality of the food.
* Food should be taken after complete digestion of previous one.
* Chew your food until it is an even consistency before swallowing.
* Hard items should be consumed in the beginning followed by soft and liquids subsequently.
* Few sips of water is advised now and then while taking meal.
* Heavy substances are contraindicated after meals and should be avoided
* Do not drink cold drinks just prior to or while eating, also don't drink large quantities of liquid during meals. This weakens digestion.
* Consumption of excessive hot food leads to weakness. Cold and dry food leads to delayed digestion. Intake of food prepared by giving extra
* Heat leads to 'Glani'. Hence consumption of such food should be avoided
Incompatible Food (Viruddha ahara)
- Milk followed by fruits and vice versa.
- Soar substance along with milk.
- Milk with salt, horse gram, green gram & cow gram
- Wheat preparations in gingelly oil(Tila taila)
- Hot drinks after alcohol, curd or honey.
- Cold and hot substances together
- Banana with curd and butter milk
- Chicken with curd
- Ghee kept in bronze vessel
- Radish with jaggery
- Fish with jaggery or sugar
- Jingelly seeds with kanjika.
Use of incompatible food leads to skin disorders, Gastro intestinal .Disorders , anaemia, leucoderma hyperacidity impotence etc. hence should be avoided.
General Rules about food consumption :
How you eat your food is even more important than what you eat. Even foods, which normally cause greater imbalance, will be digested reasonable well if the proper rules are followed. Likewise, if you eat the correct foods in the wrong way, your digestion will be compromised and gas, indigestion and the formation of toxins will follow. If you follow these food habits and choose the correct foods then your digestion will be maximized and you will experience optimal digestion.
Here are some Important Do's and Don't s -
- Do not eat while being distracted by television, excessive conversation or reading. Keep the mind present and pay full attention.
- Don't eat fruits immediately - Immediately eating fruits after meals will cause stomach to be bloated with air. Therefore take fruit one to two hours after meal or one hour before meal.
- Walk a while(100 steps) after meal to help digestion
- No travelling, exercise or sexual intercourse within one hour after meal.
- Avoid meals when thirsty and water while hungry.
- Avoid meals after exertion
- Avoid meals when you are having no appetite.
- Don't suppress the appetite as it leads to body pain, anorexia, lassitude, vertigo and general debility
- Don't suppress the thirst as it leads to general debility, giddiness and heart diseases.
Consumption of the fresh, acceptable, easily available and compatible food with various nutrients is a key to lead a healthy life.
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