Ayurvedic medicine has existed for literally thousands of years. If you’re not familiar with it, Ayurveda medicine is a whole-body, holistic practice that encourages a balance between body and mind.
Ayurveda uses diet, yogic breathing, and herbal treatments to accomplish a healthy, balanced body. This Hindu-derived practice enforces the idea that all diseases are caused by an imbalance in the physical body and stress in a person’s consciousness.
The Ayurvedic diet promotes better physical, mental, and spiritual health. And unlike many other diets, the Ayurvedic diet gives personalized recommendations on what the best foods are to eat for your body type.
That’s not to say there are any bad foods. It just means there are some foods that meet your body’s needs better than others!
And we’re going to talk about it all here!
If you read this and want more guidance or information on how to integrate Ayurvedic medicine and eating into your life, check out my class on MyYogaTeacher, Ayurvedic Concept of Diet! We’d love to have you, and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about this lifestyle.
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The basis for Ayurvedic medicine is that there are five elements that make up the universe — air, water, space, fire, and earth.
These elements create different forms of energy called doshas, and each dosha has its own unique responsibilities within the body. There are three of them:
The Ayurvedic diet is a component of Ayurvedic medicine that teaches you to eat the foods that promote balance between all of your doshas.
In doing so, you not only eat the foods that are best for your body specifically, but you also create and maintain a healthier mind, body and spirit.
While some may feel like eating according to Ayurvedic diet guidelines seems somewhat restrictive, the opposite is really true.
No food is a bad food.
But some foods are better for you than others and are perfect for your dosha, or body type.
Here are some of the main characteristics of each dosha so you can get an idea of which one matches you the best!
Pitta Dosha (Fire energy)
Good leadership skills
May suffer from indigestion
May have high blood pressure
Governed by emotions
Vata Dosha (Wind energy)
Thin, light frame
Short term memory issues
Kapha Dosha (Water Energy)
Have weight issues
Prone to diabetes
Your dosha determines which foods you should eat to promote inner balance. For instance, here are some Ayurvedic diet food recommendations to go with your dosha:
> Pitta: Wheat, white rice, oats, barley. Fruits like grapes, mango, pineapple, oranges, melon, coconut, avocado, and plums help balance the Pitta dosha. Stay away from sour foods, salty, or pungent foods like garlic and onions.
> Vata: Hot stews and soups are great for balancing the Vata dosha. Also, eating moist foods like yogurt, melon, berries, zucchini, squash. Seeds and nuts, ghee, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon are also great!
> Kapha: Spicy, acidic, filling foods and most fruits and vegetables are good for keeping Kapha bodies in balance. Also unprocessed meats, grains, eggs, and low fat cheeses. Kaphas should avoid heavy foods like oils, fats, nuts, and seeds.
I really want to stress that this way of eating is not about restriction. It’s about eating for your body type!
Which means there are tons of options and opportunities for you to eat and be full. We’re not about being hungry here at MYT!
Besides helping you feel and be your healthiest, most amazing self, there are lots of science-backed benefits of participating in an Ayurvedic eating plan or adopting the entire Ayurvedic holistic wellness lifestyle.
Because the Ayurvedic lifestyle promotes the consumption of whole foods and the reduction or complete elimination of processed foods, there is a huge component of eating in this way that addresses disease prevention.
Studies show that eating processed foods and foods high in refined sugar or high levels of salt are associated with inflammation, chronic and acute diseases, higher risk for cancer, and even death.
Eating whole foods high in fiber, vitamins and minerals can prevent and, in some cases, even reverse disease.
Seeing as the Ayurvedic diet focuses on nutrient-rich foods, studies show that eating for your dosha (particularly pitta or kapha) assists with weight loss. It can also help stave off cravings and prevent overeating.
Mindful eating is a huge part of Ayurvedic medicine. This means people who adopt this lifestyle eat more conscientiously and become more aware of their body’s needs. Mindful eating helps people with issues like emotional or stress eating.
Another benefit to mindful eating is enhanced self-control and the development of a healthier relationship with food.
We’ve discussed some of the health benefits of Ayurvedic eating, but I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t talk about how this lifestyle affects your gut!
If you don’t know how your gut biome affects your mental, physical, and even emotional health, join my class and let’s talk about it! Your gut biome is the primary location for healthy bacteria, immune function and even the primary source of the feel good chemicals that our body and brains crave!
Because an Ayurvedic diet improves your gut health, you also get:
Better metabolic processes
Improved fertility and sexual health
All while still eating foods you love!
While the Ayurvedic diet is customized for each dosha, this doesn’t mean you will never eat some of the foods that may be listed for you to avoid. It simply means you may want to limit those foods and eat more of the foods that help harmonize your body, mind, and spirit!
The goal of my class, Ayurvedic Concept of Diet, is to help you discover the right combination of foods to eat for your body. You’ll learn all about Ahara, the best way to prepare and serve certain dishes, and the proper time to eat various foods. I invite you to join us on this Ayurvedic eating journey!
MyYogaTeacher is a great platform to learn about many different forms of yoga. There are many expert and highly experienced yoga instructors from the birthplace of yoga, India, who really care about their students’ health and well-being! Whether you’re brand new to yoga or consider yourself an advanced yogi, there’s a class that’s a perfect fit for you! Get your 2-week free trial here and try it out!
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