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How do diets in Ayurveda help the body and the mind?

Is there a diet to help us not just lose weight, but also increase our vital energy and life expectancy? The answer is positive and this is the Ayurveda diet. Before sharing details of it with you, we should tell you more about the ancient Indian science.

Ayurveda appeared about 5,000 years ago, so there is nothing surprising that the word translates as “knowledge of life”. Its philosophy arose as a result of the Indian monks’ searches for more effective improvement and preservation of health. Over the millennia, the teaching has survived and evolved so that in the 21st century it can also help us to be better both physically and mentally.

How Does Ayurvedic Diet Work?

Rich dining at Ayurvedic meals | Ayurveda BanskoThe Ayurvedic diet is not ordinary – it offers wisdom that helps to balance our body and mind. So they will work in synchronously, and once they function fully, we will get a bigger flow of energy and we will lose weight more efficiently.

It’s important not just to avoid preservatives, dyes and artificial foods. The consumption of certain seasonal foods and those that will fill the body with a lot of vital energy is of great importance as well. The energy in question makes up the three doshas of the human body – vata, pitta, and kapha. Every person has all three inside them, but usually one or two are dominant. When we determine what their proportion is in our body, we can already prepare for the positive changes that Ayurveda will cause. For this purpose, various tests can be found online, but the best option is to visit an Ayurveda specialist to help you determine. In the following rows we will share what diet is needed depending on the dosha.

Vata dosha

Air - Bata dosha | Ayurveda BanskoVata dosha energy has properties reflecting the elements of air and ether (space). When in sync, we feel enthusiastic, vibrant and creative. In cases where the energy flow is shifted, we experience anxiety and uneasiness which sometimes leads to too much weight loss. Representatives of this dosha often exhibit imbalance, poor digestion and variable appetite. In order to achieve the necessary balance, it is necessary to consume warming foods in a relaxed setting. Nutrition should be regular – in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening.

In order to feed vata dosha, sweet, salty, sour, strengthening and warm food is recommended. When consuming tea or other beverages, it is good to add nutmeg or ginger to stimulate digestion. Among the recommended foods are bread, root vegetables, omelette, brown rice, basmati rice, carrots, avocados, dates, cherries, almonds, basil and fresh fish. “Forbidden” foods are the dry ones, muesli, onions, lettuce, broccoli, dried fruits, raw cranberries, lentils, pork meat and ice cream. When it comes to beverages, beer, hard alcohol and caffeine should be avoided.

Pitta dosha

Fire - Pitta dosha | Ayurveda BanskoPitta dosha is characterized by qualities that reflect the elements of water and fire. Once balanced, we are brave, “sharp” and gesticulating. In the opposite case, however, we go to far with increased exigence and irritability, and this also affects our body, for example, with the appearance of skin problems.

People with this predominant dosha also have an imbalance. When they become particularly irritable and skip eating, their digestion and metabolism increase. Because of this, they can easily be negatively affected by various spicy foods. Here Ayurveda recommends choosing a balancing diet to be refreshing and cooling. It is necessary to avoid foods that taste bitter, sweet or hot, as well as artificial stimulants. Regular meal during the day is a must, and the main meal should be lunch. It is also important to make regular small breaks during the work process. Spicy and hot foods should be avoided as well as seriously restrict the intake of meat, salt, eggs, alcohol and black tea. It is advisable to eat sweet fruits, for example figs or red grapes, but not to consume citrus. Quinoa, curd, mushrooms, okra and parsley also help for the balancing of the dosha. The bread should be free of raising agents. Consumption of a number of heavy foods, such as red meat, yellow hard cheeses, tomatoes, eggplants, mussels and mustard, can be considered forbidden. Spices and salt may also have a negative effect. When it comes to beverages, a freshly squeezed juice is always a good solution. It is also recommended to drink green juices of celery, parsley and wheatgrass, as well as lots of water. Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided.

Kapha dosha

Water - Kapha dosha | Ayurveda BanskoKapha dosha reflects with its qualities the elements of earth and water. Generally, people of this type have more physical options than others. When they are in balance, they are compassionate, loving, and realistic about themselves and the surrounding world. They lack harmony, become obedient and slow, and can also gain weight. Because of their slow metabolism and digestion, they may miss their supper and not feel hungry in the morning.

In order to balance the kapha energy, it is necessary to use the so called “pacifying” diet. It includes foods that are freshly prepared and also rich in fibers. In case of depression, sweets and treats should be avoided, instead one should eat spicy, bitter and tart foods. For breakfast, only a few pieces of fruit can also be taken, but in the evening definitely no heavy foods should be consumed.

Among the “allowed” things are vegetables and especially those that are dark green and leafy. Vegetarian dishes, soups, pears and apples are also an excellent choice. Spicy and hot foods are recommended to balance metabolism and help digestion. Certainly, heavy foods should be avoided – bread, pasta, cake, and the like. Eggs, beef and dairy products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt, etc. may also be considered forbidden. This will help for the good health of the digestive tract. As for beverages, it is recommended to drink plenty of water that helps to purify the body, as well as spicy and hot drinks.

How to achieve detoxification through diet?

Patrapotalasweda pachakkizhi therapy | Ayurveda Clinic BanskoAmong the wisdom of Ayurveda we can also find a special detoxifying diet. It works so that the body cleans itself from the toxins. It is lighter than typical diets for the human digestive system, and it is also easier for the body to adjust to. This becomes possible as it gets more time and energy to perform its regular detoxifying and healing processes.

Also characteristic of this Ayurvedic diet is that the cleansing effect affects the whole body. In summary, it can be divided into two types – a basic one that is common to everyone, and a personalized one that depends on the specifics and needs of the individual. In the second type, the specialist determines the diet depending on the amount of toxins, the affected organs, and the balance of the doshas.

The personality itseld of the person is also important. Especially when the patient suffers from chronic diseases, a specific diet is needed, not a general diet. However, the general diet is accessible and can be kept by everyone, with one exception – diabetics. They need to consult a doctor before starting any diet, no matter what it is. One of Ayurveda’s good things is that the process of detoxification can change slightly, depending on particular personal preferences and conditions. According to a model Ayurvedic diet, during the first three days it is good to eat raw fruits and vegetables that have properties which help the detoxification. Almost every fruit, as well as the corresponding seasonal vegetables, are suitable. The important thing is that they are light to our stomach and to be digested easily. It is also advisable to drink vegetable and fruit juices.

Once these initial days have passed, you can proceed to the consumption of soups and some cooked foods. Such is, for example, khichri – a rich in protein and nourishing all the organs and tissues dish based on lentils and rice. Of course, eating fruit and vegetables and drinking their juices can continue in the meantime. The good thing about this diet is that one does not have to starve. Instead, one receives enough nutrients while the body is effectively freed from the toxins.

It should be noted that drinking plenty of water and doing exercises greatly aids the process in question. A basic rule of the diet is to learn to understand our body. If we feel weak, increased hunger or discomfort, we need to make sure we eat as often as necessary. The frequency of application of a particular diet depends on the amount of toxins that a person has accumulated. It can be once a year, and also more often, and it is best to plan detoxification about every three months.

Whether we want to diet, to lose weight, to dispose of the harmful substances or just to feel better, Ayurveda has the right answer to our needs. If you trust the ancient Indian science, you will have the opportunity not only to achieve the primary effect, but also other “extras” such as improving the health of the whole organism. Through Ayurveda you will find food regimes designed specifically for your individuality. Respecting them will help to find the balance between body and mind – something almost everyone is looking for in their lives.

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