Understanding these concepts will enable you to maximise the health benefits of your diet and lower your chance of contracting ailments
The word "ahara," which refers to food, is one of the most significant parts of life and one of the three pillars of Ayurveda. "Ahara" (food), "nidra" (sleep), and "Brahmacharya" are the three foundations (abstinence). These three pillars foster physical development, growth, and improvement of "Ojas," or bodily vigour.
Some serious illnesses develop in the body as a result of psychological and lifestyle issues brought on by poor nutrition. Unhealthy food has the opposite impact to wholesome food in terms of nourishing your body and mind. This is why maintaining the health of your body, mind, and sensory organs requires a diet that is adequately eaten in accordance with ayurveda principles.
Different categories of eating and drinking, knowledge of wholesome and unwholesome diets, mastering the discipline of eating, and other concepts are all part of the ayurvedic system of medicine's principles of dietetics and nutrition. The eight food-related principles are known as "Ahara Vidhi Visheshayatana." Three of these in particular focus on the portion sizes, the ideal time to eat, and the Ayurvedic justification for meal spacing. Here are some of them:
Raashi - Portion Size
You must be familiar with how digestion works in the body in order to comprehend this idea. If you keep eating after your stomach is full, there won't be enough room for digestion to take place as it normally would. What is therefore the ideal serving size? In Ayurveda, the stomach is divided into four quadrants. In a perfect world, we would eat enough to fill up half of our stomach, save the other quarter for water, and leave the remaining quarter empty. Our mind is sadly not conscious of how much food we eat these days because of all the distractions. We are distracted by the television or our phones when we are eating, so we don't pay attention to whether or not our stomachs are full. Therefore, it's crucial to establish a strong connection with our food as we eat.
Upayoga Samstha – Eating Rules
The Upayoga Samstha refers to dietary regulations. Only when the previous meal has been properly digested, along with a strong desire to eat, should food be consumed. When our bodies are starving, we experience hunger. Indigestion will undoubtedly result from eating when you are not hungry, especially if you do it at night. Avoid engaging in activities like laughing, conversing, and watching television while you're eating. Eating is not recommended when we are stressed, worried, contemplating something, angry, or depressed. Or, to put it another way, eating should be avoided when one's emotions are fragile. Eating shouldn't be done in a rush or too slowly. The standard of the meal must also be taken into account. For instance, food should be warm, flavorful, simple to digest, of good quality, the correct quantity for a person's Agni, and contain all six rasas. There are six tastes, or rasas, according to Ayurveda: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy, and astringent. Every meal should contain each taste, according to Ayurveda. It's best to refrain from consuming any one of the six rasas in excess.
Ayurveda emphasises a set mealtime as well for healthy food digestion and absorption. Maintaining a set time for meals is vital, but so is how the food is prepared. For instance, it is improper to get out of bed at 7 am and get a quick breakfast. We must rise early, practise calming activities like yoga and meditation, and perform our daily rituals. At that point, our body's digestive enzymes begin to function.
According to one's doshas, Ayurveda advocates for customised eating regimens. However, around 7 a.m., we may usually eat a warm, light breakfast like porridge, millet rotis or chapatis, warm oatmeal, rice pudding, an egg, steaming fruit, and so on. The heaviest meal should be lunch, which you should eat between 12:30 and 2 pm. Between breakfast and lunch, if we get hungry, we can have some fruit. However, this should be consumed before 11 am. Fruit juices after lunch at 4 o'clock. Eat dinner at least two hours before going to bed. This indicates that it can be consumed between 6:30 and 8 o'clock but not later. After supper, taking a nice walk is a nice idea before retiring to bed at a reasonable hour.
You should be aware of the process used to prepare the food, concentrate on the flavour as you consume it, feel the consistency, savour the meal, comprehend the advantages you are receiving as you eat it, and more.