Dietary habits are formed through repeated cycle of same thing you do every day or perhaps every time you eat! Diet, Sleep, and your Activity which includes both mental and physical activity form the three pillars of Ayurvedic way of healthy life.
Food through your diet makes direct contact with your internal organs and impacts both your body and mind. While it is important to eat healthy and wholesome foods, it is even more important to follow the Ayurvedic regime or dietary habits towards eating.
Ayurvedic Dietary Habits increase bioavailability of nutrients
You may have heard or experienced that “too much of a good thing is also bad”. This is exactly what Ayurveda takes into account. In Ayurveda, a lot of importance is given to different attributes of the foods and different aspects of food consumption to make the whole process of eating foods as nourishing and life giving.
Ayurvedic dietary habits allows for maximum bioavailability of the nutrients present in the food. This is what is termed as life receiving or absorbing “prana” from the food.
Ayurveda describes six Rasa or tastes of food. Including all tastes in your diet provides with the optimum carriers and matter for the micronutrients to be fully absorbed in your gastro-intestinal tract.
Eating foods according to your body type or Prakruti allows one to stay healthy and prevents all inflammatory or allergic reactions.
Strength of your Agni decides your health!
Ayurveda emphasises on Digestive Fire or “Agni”. It is the key to your health and well being. A strong digestive fire allows one to properly assimilate food, absorb the nutrients, nourish the body, and maintain strength without any health disorders.
On the other hand, Poor Agni leads to build up toxins in body channels, clogs body systems and overloads body organs, triggering various autoimmune responses, circulatory, and nervous disorders.
Consumption of right kind and quantity of foods at the right time allows one to stay nourished, strong, and healthy.
Ayurvedic Dietary Habits slow down Aging and free radical damage
Your dietary habits are the key your well being.
In this post, we are listing the ten golden dietary habits to healthful eating. These include but not limited to the quantity of food, right combinations, your hunger levels, your thoughts and set-up when you eat food.
Following these rules will keep most of the health issues that originate due to poor digestion, slow metabolism, allergies, and immunity related problems at the bay.
1. Overeating or Eating beyond one’s capacity
Overeating overloads your organs and body systems. Extra food slows down digestive fire and weakens the digestive system, ultimately leading to weight gain.
Did you know that stomach is like a balloon. It expands when you put in extra food on daily basis and looses its capacity to send the feedback signal, “I am full” to the brain. Hence, you will end up increasing your diet and overloading the digestive system.
On the other hand, the organs that lie below the stomach, such as liver and pancreas, end up storing all of this extra food as fats on themselves and different body organs. This is the reason, why you will gain weight through fats, even when you were not really consuming fats but only overeating!
Children in particular do not really know how to distinguish that they are full. They demand more food, specially when sitting in front of the TV, and it gets stored on their bellies and creates all Kapha health problems.
It is always better to control yours and your children’s portion sizes to avoid unnecessary weight and health problems. A golden rule to eat optimally is to fill the stomach one-third full of food, one-third full of liquid, and to leave one-third empty for optimal digestion.
2. Eating without real hunger
Hunger indicates that your body is ready to digest and assimilate food. If your body isn’t asking for food, Do not eat. It is mostly related to stressful eating or social eating.
3. Emotional eating or Stress induced Eating
Control your desires as emotional eating always prompts you towards the most unhealthiest foods. In fact your brain is not in a position to judge when you should stop and hence you end up overeating.
4. Drinking fruit juice or excess water or no water during a meal
Too much water/liquid dilutes your stomach acid and poorly affects your stomach’s capability to breakdown the food items. Too less liquid creates blockage and constipation. Best is to have few sips of warm water throughout your meal.
5. Drinking chilled water or drinks at any time
Chilled water badly affects digestive fire and creates all Kapha related disorders. Cold water blocks channels, increases the density of your blood plasma, and builds toxins.
6. Eating when constipated or emotionally disturbed
Stay away from food as such because your body cannot digest it. Constipation and Emotional Disturbance both indicate poor Agni, which is a sign of compromised digestive system. If you consume heavy food, you will end up further clogging your GI tract. Warm water along with digestive herbs and spices such as Ginger, Ajwain (carom seeds), Lemon Grass, Cumin, and Fennel is the best in this situation.
7. Eating before 7 A M or after early evening
Late night meals create most of the Pitta (indigestion or acidity), Vata (constipation), and Kapha (weight gain, Diabetes) related disorders. Read here on Circadian Rhythm and how your body functions along the day.
8. Eating too much heavy food or too little light food
Too heavy food such as hard cheese, paneer, fried, and dense foods load our digestive system and detox organs. Too light foods such as popcorn, puffed rice, and crackers etc. lead to constipation and Vata disorders.
9. Excessive Snacking in between meals
Fruits are generally fine and recommended. However, fruits should not be consumed along with, immediately before food, or after food. Also, fruits should not be consumed in the evening.
A golden rule for fruit consumption is: fruits should be eaten at least one hour before or after the meals, and not in the evening.
Snacks could also be few nuts, specially for Pitta constitution who get too hungry too early. Natural juices or smoothies may go as well. According to Ayurvedic dietary habits, fried and heavy snacks between meals should not be consumed.
10. Eating incompatible food combinations, such as fruit with a meal
This is one of the primary reasons for toxin build up. So, even if you are eating the healthiest foods, if the combination is not right, it will cause harm to your body. Read here on incompatible foods.