The slogan of the Ayurvedic diet is, “We are what we eat” it is a principle that has been followed religiously by Ayurveda for more than 5, 000-year-old. This branch of ancient medicine theorizes that the root cause of all health problems is diet and nutrition. or recipes are based on nutritional elements value and are based on the characteristic health requirements known as doshas in Ayurveda. It suggests that any complaint from the digestive system should never be ignored.
These days there has been a growing interest in Ayurveda, especially regarding the guidelines to follow daily routine about a healthy meal, some food habits or diet. Experts believe that time have come for some research in the knowledge of Ayurveda that is not yet explored in the texts.
In Ayurveda there are specific preparations for the diet such as Yavagu, Krisara, Manda, Peya, Yusha etc, that are easy to digest and are also used for cure. Such preparations are recommended for sick people after therapeutic procedures where the person needs more nutrition with the lowest digestive load. Below are some of the details on Vedic diet plan & chart.
1. Suka Dhanya Varga (Group of grains): This group is mainly cereals such as Rice sali, Sastika Rice (Oryza sativa), Yava (Barley), Godhuma (wheat).
2. Shamidhanya Varga (Group of legumes): This group consists mainly of lentils (Sabut), Mudga (green chickpeas), Masa (black chickpeas), Rajamasa (beans), Kulattha(chickpeas for horses), Kabuli Chana (chickpeas), Masura (lentils), legumes,(Phalidar paudha), Tila (sesame) etc.
3. Mamsa Varga (Groups of various types of meat): This is classified based on the animals’ habitats in different groups such as Prasaha (who get their food by snatch), Ambucarina (who move on the water), Anupa (the who live on pests), Pratuda (those who eat by killing) these food have different therapeutic pharmacological effects on the body and are used for different problems.
4. Saka Varga (Group of vegetables): The different vegetables are described with their different parts to be used together with their effects on the body and their use in the specific conditions of diseases eg. Ripe fruit of Kusmanda (Benincasa hispida) is sweet, sour, light, diuretic, laxative and relieves all dosas.
5. Phala Varga (Fruit Group): In this group Draksa (Grapes), Karjura (dates), Parusaka (Grewia asiatica), Madhuka (Madhuca indica), Narikela (coconut), Jambu (Syzygium cumini), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Tinduka (Diospyros tomentosa), Dadima (pomegranates), Vrksamla (Garcinia indica) are described with their effects on the body and thus their use is prescribed.
6. Harit Varga (Group of salads): eg Ardraka (Ginger), Jambira (Lemon), Mulaka (Radish), Yavani (Trachyspermum ammi), Dhanyaka (Coriandrum sativum), Palandu(Onion), Lasuna (Garlic) etc are described along with its effects on the Tridosas and the whole body.
7. Madya Varga (Group of liquors in fermentation): Sura is beneficial for the starving, and those who suffer from obstructions in the urine, malabsorption syndrome (grahani) and piles. Relieves Vata and is useful in lactation deficiencies and in anemia. Madira, Jagala, Arista, Sarkara, Pakwasara, Sitarasika, Gauda, Surasava, Madhvasva, Maireya Asava, Madhu, Sura Madhulika, Sauviraka etc. the different types of liquors with different actions and uses.
8. Jala Varga (Grup or of several types of water): The water fundamentally is of a type that is to say the one that falls like rain of the sky.The water when falling of the sky and when it comes in contact with the moon, the air and the Sun is impregnated with the properties of cold, warm, mellow, non-mellow etc. The final properties depend on the place and time. The water of the rains by its nature has these six qualities that is, cold, pure, integral, tasty, clean and bright. The others have other qualities depending on the sources.
9. Gorasa varga (Group of milk and milk products): For ex. Cow milk, buffalo, camel, mare, goat, sheep, female elephant. The human characteristics of these milks in Ayurveda are described. Dadhi (Yogurt), Takra (buttermilk), Ghrita (clarified butter), butter etc. they are milk products with different actions and are use in terms of dosage, the time and the place of living.
10. Ikshu varga (Sugar / Honey Group): eg Sugar cane juice, Guda (Molasses), Khanda (sugar), honey (Madhu) etc., are in this group.
11. Kritanna Varga (Group of dietary preparations): This includes Ayurveda recipes such as Peya, Vilepi, Manda, (liquid porridge); “Sattu” (fried rice flour) etc., with its preparation method and the effect on the body.
12. Aharayogi Varga (Group of adjuncts for food): As the name says things that are used as attachments for cooking eg. Oils from different sources such as Tila(sesame), Sarsapa (brassica), Priyala (Buchanania launch). There is nothing fixed and there are no limits on the connection of each attachment to the food.
- Cereals and lentils are recommended to eat when they are one year old. The old one is generally roughage while the new one is heavy.
- The harvest that comes soon is considered lighter.
- Legumes that have shelled and fried are easy to digest.
- The meat of animals that die of a natural death, the famished, the oily, the old, the young, killed from poisoning, who have suffered bites from snakes, tigers, etc. must not be eaten. The meat of animals that do not included in the above mentioned are healthy and promotes volume as well as strengthening the body.
- Meat soup is nutritious and “Hrdya” ( benefit to the heart). It is considered nectar for those who suffer from phyllis, during convalescence, for the starving and for those who have decreased semen and want strengthening and luster.
- Vegetables affected by insects, wind and sun, dry, not seasonal, not cooked with fat and that is not hygiene should be discarded.
- Instructions for the salads are made according to the respective items with the exception of cooking.
- Drinks taken after the meal should have properties that are contrary to the properties of the food but not the dhatus (body tissues).
Substances contrary to deha dhatus (body tissues) behave with virodha (antagonism) to them. This antagonism can exist in terms of properties, combination, processing, place, time, dose, etc. or the natural composition (Antagonists as part of the food that is generally used).
- You should not eat fish with milk. (The combination of the two is Madhura rasa, Madhura Vipaka, Mahabhisyandi (great obstructor of the channels), because of Sita (milk) and usna (fish) ie viruddha virya (antagonist as far as the virya) Due to the conflict in viryas , the blood starts and due to the mahabhisyandi (the obstruction is created in the channels) The drug or whole diet that excites the dosha but does not eliminate it from the body becomes harmful.
- For people in arid zones (Jangala Desa) harsh and sharp substances, for those of swampy areas (anupa desa) the sweet and cold substances are antagonistic for the place.
- If one takes the roughage and cold etc., in the winter and the spicy ones in the summer it is antagonistic for the time.
- Honey and grihita (clarified butter) taken together in equal amounts are antagonistic in doses.
- If a person accustomed to spicy, heat, sweets, or cold things etc., is antagonistic in terms of viability.
- Diet, drugs and behavior similar to dosages in properties but adverse to the practice of the person are antagonistic to dosages.
- When edible foods become poisonous by particular processes such as peacock meat when it attaches to the castor stem it becomes antagonistic in processing.
- Antagonism in wealth (of qualities) exists when there is an immature or over ripe or damaged rasa in a substance.
- There is antagonism in the rules if the food is not taken in a clean and hygienic place.
Antagonistic food or wrong food combining can cause impotence, blindness, erysipelas, ascites, madness, fistula-in-anus, fainting, nacrosis, tympanitis, spasms in the throat, anemia, amavisa, leucoderma, leprosy, grahani roga (Sprue / Malabsorption syndrome), oedema, acidic gastritis, fever, rhinitis, genetic disorders and even death.
There are eight specific factors that must be taken into account before designing the diet for a person in order to obtain the optimal results.
- The nature of food are the fundamental properties of food eg. By their nature the green chickpeas are light as well as the gray partridge (Teetur).
- By processing food the heavy ones become light and vice versa as vrihi that becomes light when it is transformed into slab (dried grains) after frying. On the other hand, roasted chickpea flour becomes heavy when processed to form a cooked bolus.
- Eat different combination of dietary things.
- Eat single amount of the food as well as the food as a whole.
- Eat the food according to that particular place.
- Eat seasonal food.
- The selection of the food must be based on feasibility or non-viability for the user.
- One should eat only after the previous meal has been digested and should be eaten in adequate amounts. In Ayurveda the amount of food varies between people and is determined by their digestive capacity. Importance is also given to the physical form of the food e.g. one must take solids and liquids in the amount of 1/3 rd of each of the total consumption capacity and leave 1/3 rd empty for the correct movement and so that act the tridoshas on that.
- One should eat warm (freshly prepared) and soft food.
- Non-antagonistic combinations must be selected.
- One should ensure the hygiene of the place before eating together with all the favorable adjuncts.
- One should not eat too fast or too slow.
- You should eat with all the concentration and avoid talking or laughing when eating.