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An Ayurvedic diet can transform your health by nourishing all levels of your body and resolving the root causes of imbalance. An Ayurvedic diet is not a quick-fix diet, but an enduring lifestyle of eating in accord with nature. The concept of an Ayurvedic diet dates back more than 5,000 years and promotes the balanced relationship with eating that is intrinsic within us. While modern nutrition focuses on the chemical components of food, an Ayurvedic diet looks at food holistically.
Here is a quote from an ancient Ayurvedic text:
The intelligent person should take food that is suitable to him or her, and chosen according to the proper time and quantity.
- Charaka Samhita (ancient Ayurvedic text)
Empowered with the knowledge of your predominant Ayurvedic constitution (dosha), you can establish the essential principles of an Ayurvedic diet.
3 Keys to an Ayurvedic Diet – What, When, & How
What to Eat on an Ayurvedic Diet
Enjoy wholesome, seasonal, organic, freshly prepared meals that utilize herbs and spices to support digestion and assimilation. Enjoy all six tastes – sweet, salt, sour, spicy, astringent and bitter – at each meal. Avoid frozen, leftover and processed foods.
- Vata-types can enjoy warm, well-cooked, oily foods that are moderately spiced, moist and emphasize the sweet, salty and sour tastes. Some ideal foods are soups, stews, and one-pot meals. Avoid dry & crunchy foods like popcorn, ricecakes and pretzels.
- Pitta-types can enjoy sweet, cooling and bitter foods flavored with herbs and non-heating spices like coriander, cilantro, fennel, and dill. Some ideal foods are legumes, fresh dairy basmati rice, squash and cucumber. Avoid excessively spicy or fried foods.
- Kapha-types can enjoy light, warm and spicy meals that are rich in vegetables and beautifully presented. Ideal foods are quinoa pilafs, gingery stirfries, baked vegetables and lentils. Avoid excess sweets, dairy and heavy foods
When to Eat on an Ayurvedic Diet
Enjoy meals at regular intervals aligned with the sun and your body’s circadian cycles. Lunch can be your main meal, as your digestive fire is most robust when the sun is it its zenith. Dinner can be light – such as soup – to allow for restful sleep and a vital morning.
- Breakfast around 8am (after sunrise)
- Lunch around noon (when the sun is high in the sky)
- Dinner by 7pm (before sunset)
How to Eat on an Ayurvedic Diet
Enjoy meals in a relaxed atmosphere. Sit down and eat at a moderate pace – not too fast or slow. Avoid eating on the go, eating while angry or anxious, eating while working or watching TV and eating while standing or walking. Avoid drinking excessive water or any iced drinks during meals.