6 Eating Rules To Follow For A Balanced And Healthy Life

The ancient Indian medical practice of Ayurveda places great emphasis on one's food and eating habits as a means to achieve and sustain health. Ayurvedic theory holds that what we put into our bodies has a direct bearing on our emotional and psychological well-being. All aspects of our eating habits, including when, how, and why, are taken into account in this comprehensive approach. Improve your digestion, boost your energy, and take better care of yourself by following some basic dietary guidelines from Ayurveda. 

Rule 1: Always Eat 70 to 80% of Your Appetite 

Ayurveda suggests eating until you are 70 to 80% full. This practice ensures that there is enough space left in the stomach for food to mix properly with digestive juices and be efficiently processed. Overeating can lead to indigestion, bloating, and sluggishness. By leaving some room in your stomach, you allow the digestive system to function optimally, which helps in better nutrient absorption and reduces the risk of gastrointestinal issues. Eating up to 70-80% of your capacity also helps in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing metabolic disorders. 

Rule 2: Lunch Should Be the Heaviest Meal of the Day 

According to Ayurveda, the body's digestive fire, or "Agni," is at its peak during midday, similar to the sun's highest point. This is why lunch should be the heaviest meal of the day. Consuming a substantial and nutritious meal at this time aligns with the body's natural rhythms, ensuring that the food is properly digested, and the nutrients are efficiently absorbed. A heavy lunch provides sustained energy throughout the afternoon and helps prevent the evening cravings that often lead to overeating. It is recommended to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in your lunch. 

Rule 3: Avoid Late Night Dinners 

Eating late at night is discouraged in Ayurveda because the body's natural processes begin to slow down as it prepares for rest. The digestive fire is weakest in the evening, making it difficult to properly digest food consumed at this time. Late night dinners can lead to indigestion, disturbed sleep, and accumulation of toxins in the body. It is best to have dinner at least two to three hours before bedtime, and the meal should be light and easy to digest, such as soups, salads, or steamed vegetables. 

Rule 4: Avoid Reheating Food 

Ayurveda advises against reheating food and consuming leftovers repeatedly. Freshly prepared food retains its nutritional value and is easier for the body to digest. Reheated food, especially when it has been stored in the refrigerator and then warmed up, loses its prana (life force) and becomes harder to digest. Consuming stale or reheated food can lead to the buildup of toxins (ama) in the body, causing digestive problems and other health issues. If you must eat leftovers, it is best to consume them within the same day. 

Rule 5: Fast If There's Indigestion 

Fasting is a common Ayurvedic remedy for indigestion. If you feel that your previous meal hasn't been fully digested and you are experiencing symptoms such as bloating, gas, or heaviness, it is advisable to skip the next meal. Instead, drink warm water with a pinch of dry ginger powder. This helps in stimulating the digestive fire and clears the accumulated toxins. Fasting gives the digestive system a break and allows it to reset, improving its efficiency for future meals.  

Rule 6: Eat All Your Meals Warm 

Ayurveda recommends eating warm meals because they are more soothing and easier to digest. Warm foods stimulate the digestive fire and help in breaking down the food more effectively. Cold and raw foods, on the other hand, can weaken the digestive fire and lead to digestive issues such as gas and bloating. Warm meals are also considered more nourishing and comforting, promoting better health and well-being. Including warm soups, stews, and herbal teas in your diet can enhance your digestive health.