The concept of Ayurveda includes therapeutic measures such as yoga and meditation, as well as a specific diet. The goal is to lead a life in physical and mental balance. We’ll tell you which foods are believed to promote health and which are not, based on the healing arts.
What does Ayurveda mean?
Ayurveda is a term often used in the fields of nutrition and wellness, although many do not know what it really means. Ayurveda is the name of a healing art originating in India. There, as in some other Asian countries, Ayurveda is scientifically recognized. In Europe, the healing arts are used primarily for relaxation and recreation.
The word Ayurveda has its origin in ancient Indian Sanskrit, where it describes the “knowledge of life”. Consequently, the healing arts have a holistic approach. Body, soul, senses, spirit: everything is related for the followers of Ayurveda. Therefore, the core treatment methods include massage and yoga. They are offered as part of trips such as Sri Lanka holidays, but many Western spas also offer Ayurvedic treatments in their program. In these cures, a test is first used to determine which type of Ayurveda you are. A distinction is made between Vata, Pitta and Kapha: these so-called doshas are assigned different properties. According to them, during the cure different methods of treatment are carried out. However, an important part of the art of healing is the diet based on Ayurvedic principles.
The principles of Ayurvedic nutrition
A healthy diet in the Ayurveda sense follows a number of guiding principles. You should not fast, but eat only when you are very hungry and have finished digesting your last meal. You should eat while resting, not standing up, and theoretically the food should fit in both hands. Ayurveda’s nutritional plan foresees that each meal contains sweet, salty, acidic, spicy, bitter and astringent foods. You can try the result using our Kitchari recipe, for example. You should only drink when you are thirsty, the recommended drinks are tea and hot boiled water. Therefore, it is not surprising that Ayurvedic nutrition is often used for weight loss.
Ayurveda cooking class
There are three kinds of food in Ayurvedic nutrition: sattva guna, tamo guna, and rajo guna. Ayurvedic recipes like buckwheat with berries contain many foods classified as sattva guna. These include fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy products. They are said to prolong life and improve the general attitude towards life. A typical food in the sattva guna category is also ghee. The fat is quite similar to butter but comes in different flavors. The Rajo-Guna class includes foods such as onions, chili peppers, and garlic, which stimulate the body and mind and, at worst, promote aggressive behavior. Ayurvedic recipes especially avoid foods called tamo-guna. They are meat and fish. These foods are believed to drain the body of energy and cause illness. All of this follows Ayurvedic teachings only and is not based on scientific facts. By the way, the yoga diet also divides food into classes and is based on the Ayurvedic diet.
Spices in Ayurveda
Spices are an important part of the Ayurvedic diet. Salt is not used in Ayurveda, but aromatic spices such as saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric and coriander are used. All are attributed various positive effects on the body. Cardamom, for example, is believed to strengthen the heart and promote memory. Herbs like ginger and anise are also frequently used in Ayurvedic nutrition. There are various dietary supplements that are blended according to Ayurvedic teachings of herbs and spices beneficial to health.