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Food in Ayurveda – legumes and cereals

Food in Ayurveda – legumes and cereals
Храните в Аюрведа – варива и зърнени култури

Ayurveda – popular traditional Indian medicine consists of two Sanskrit words AYUR “life” and VEDA “knowledge”. The meaning of this is the Science of Life. This 5,000-year-old healing system from India recommends a vegetarian diet.

The Ayurvedic diet not only nourishes the body, but also restores the balance of the 3 Doshas, ​​which is essential for maintaining health. Depending on the dosha or the physical type of the body, some foods can be useful and others should be are avoided. The same foods can have the opposite effect on another dosha.

The science of Ayurveda teaches that proper diet is the basis of healing. For maximum health and vitality, the ideal diet is one that balances our individual doshas.

An important part of this diet are legumes, such as lentils, beans or peas and they are all mainly seeds of specific plants. There are numerous varieties of legumes grown around the world that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Legumes have been grown for thousands of years.

In many parts of the world, legumes are considered extremely valuable foods because they are good and cheap sources of healthy elements. In general, they are high in good carbohydrates, protein, fiber and relatively low in fat.

Food in Ayurveda - legumes and cereals

Legumes are a staple food in many countries, such as India and the Middle East. Dahl varieties are a type of legume often mentioned in Ayurvedic cooking. According to Ayurveda, legumes help build all seven types of datus (Dhatus – plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerves and reproductive tissue) or especially body tissue, especially muscle, which makes them especially important for people on a vegetarian (or vegan) diet.

In the Ayurvedic diet, legumes are often part of almost every meal of the day. They are also used to make desserts and snacks. The protein in legumes is much healthier than that found in meat products, cheese, eggs and fish.

The only thing is that the protein from legumes requires a lot of effort from the digestive system, so people who are not accustomed to frequent consumption of legumes will benefit from spices that help digestion – cumin seeds , fresh ginger and black pepper. Adding these spices to legume dishes will help reduce any side effects, such as bloating or gas, with which beans are often associated.

It’s best to add beans to your diet gradually, if it’s new to you. With regular intake, your body will adapt to legumes and allow you to digest them better.

Food in Ayurveda - legumes and cereals

There are three main ways to prepare legumes according to Ayurveda:

  • Soak in water overnight and then boil the next day. Spices can be added during cooking or after. Vegetables and cereals can be added during cooking. The beans can then be poured over rice or eaten with bread – like Indian bread grates or pita
  • The beans can be soaked for a few hours, then ground into a paste with a blender to form deep fryers or desserts.
  • Beans can also be ground into flour to make bread, dessert or pudding.

If you plan to include legumes in your daily diet, a pressure cooker will help you speed up the cooking time without pre-soaking. In addition, it achieves an extremely soft texture of the finished dish, which helps for easier digestion.

According to Ayurveda, the universe is governed by 5 elements: EARTH – WATER – FIRE – AIR – ETHER. In our bodies, these elements govern the three Doshas – the physical structure and the mental structure.

The physical structure

  • Cotton wool – Dry skin, weak body, sensitivity to cold
  • Pie – Healthy skin, normal body, sensitivity to heat
  • Coffee – Oily skin, full body, prefers warm climates


Mental structure

  • Cotton wool – Creative, adaptive, can be sensitive
  • Pies – Intelligent, expeditious, with a tendency to emotionality
  • Coffee – Joyful, caring, prone to depression

Food in Ayurveda - legumes and cereals

Legumes and cereals for each dosha

Vata dosha

Legumes and cereals have a high amount of hard-to-digest protein, whose metabolic by-product is nitrogenous waste. Nitrogen is a gas, and all gases increase the imbalance of Vata. Therefore, people with mainly Vata dosha should not eat too much protein.

 They should eat only a small amount of legumes during meals. Mung beans are the best food high in protein, as they are easily digested and do not cause gas. Peanuts cause blood clotting and therefore should not be eaten by people with circulatory problems.


Pita dosha

People with mostly Pita dosha have the best digestive system of the three doshas. Almost all legumes are good for them, except for some lentils. However, over-consumption of legumes can be a problem, as they contain a lot of nitrogenous waste, which causes an imbalance due to their acidity, not only Pita, but also other doshas. Small amounts are best. For people with mostly Pita dosha, the best legumes and grains are chickpeas, soy, mung beans and black lentils.


Coffee dosha

People with Kafa dosha do not need a lot of protein, so they do not need to consume too many legumes or cereals. They should avoid the heaviest legumes such as white beans, soybeans and black lentils. Coffee can take small amounts of well-cooked tofu, but large amounts often cause dosha imbalance. The best options are mung beans, red lentils and pinto beans.

Food in Ayurveda - legumes and cereals

Soaking any legumes for at least an hour before cooking reduces the gases that cause imbalance of the three doshas. If that doesn’t help, put the beans to boil in water for five to ten minutes, then discard the water and soak them in clean water for a few hours.

The best legumes are mung beans, chickpeas, soybeans, red lentils and black lentils. Black lentils have many important minerals but are difficult to digest. Therefore, it should be seasoned with the aforementioned spices for good digestion.

Mung bean (Phaseolus aureous)

This bean is small in appearance with bright green skin and yellow inside. It is well known in both Indian and Chinese cuisine. In Ayurvedic cooking, it is used whole or peeled, in small, yellow beans, called Mung Dahl. These beans do not require pre-soaking and are easy to prepare to a soft consistency in a pressure cooker. They can also be cooked in an ordinary pot, but will take a little longer to cook.

The easiest to digest of all cereals is the mung bean, especially when it is peeled and its yellow inside is revealed. This bean helps to balance the three doshas and is the fastest to prepare. It only takes 20 minutes for this.

Food in Ayurveda - legumes and cereals

Mung beans are one of the most prized foods in Ayurveda. It is Tri-Doshic, which means that it helps to balance the three doshas, ​​especially when prepared with spices suitable for each dosha.

According to modern nutritionists, beans offer 14 grams of protein per cup. It is a good source of dietary fiber, phytoestrogens and vitamin A, C, E, folic acid, thiamine, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper.


Ayurvedic recipe for mung bean soup

This Tri-Doshic and natural detox soup is one of the most powerful soups in Ayurveda. Ancient Indian science explains that mung bean soup acts as a purifier of the liver and gallbladder.

Because this Ayurvedic soup helps detoxify your body, consuming it every day will promote weight loss and the removal of water retention in your body. This soup also helps to correct digestive problems such as low appetite, acidity, indigestion and flatulence, while increasing energy and vitality.

Required ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-green mung beans
  • 5-6 glasses of water
  • 1 tablespoon * Ghee * (oil)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 curry leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1 small handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala powder
  • 1 pot

Food in Ayurveda - legumes and cereals


  • Wash the beans
  • Then add it to the pan with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from sticking
  • Cook over medium heat, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Add another 1 cup of water and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes or until the beans are completely soft
  • Then, remove the bean pot from the hob
  • Heat the oil in a pan until medium hot
  • Then add the cumin seeds
  • When the seeds start to bounce in the pan, add the garlic and wait until it turns light brown
  • Then add the curry leaves, coriander, turmeric and garam masala powder.
  • Mix them quickly
  • Add this spice mixture to the soup and add salt
  • Now let the soup boil for 2 minutes and serve

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