Ayurveda and Indian Cuisine

2 years ago

Ayur is derived from the word ayus meaning span of life in Sanskrit, and Veda means knowledge. Thus Ayurveda is the knowledge concerning the maintenance of long life. With its origins dating around 100 B.C. Ayurveda deals with the origin of medical science, a detailed classification of diseases, all food and drink substances and details of lines of treatment, the use of drugs, dirt and practices for achieving good health. According to Ayurveda, life is a combination of the mind, body and soul. 

Ayurveda has outlined multiple eating practices for good digestion of food. Almost all Ayurveda practices are now being validated by modern research. Eating on the dining table or mostly in front of the television, eating with a spoon and consuming packaged food may appear as the most logical and convenient practice to most of us, but these small changes in our lifestyles have completely altered the health dynamics in the past few decades.

Traditional wisdom about processing of food, its preservation techniques, and their therapeutic effects have been established for many generations in India through Ayurveda. Food systems can deliver numerous biological functions through dietary components in the human body. Indian traditional foods are also recognized as functional foods because of the presence of functional components such as body-healing chemicals, antioxidants, dietary fibers, and probiotics. 

Our ancestors had different foods that were healthy and nutritionally dense. Dating back to Indian civilizations and Indian old literature, every community that lived in India had a clear and separate food belief system. Most of these, however, have been influenced by Aryan beliefs and practices. According to Aryan belief, food was considered as a source of strength and a gift from God.

In Ayurveda, regulation of diet is crucial, since it examines the whole human body as the product of food. Ayurveda illustrates how an individual can recuperate by establishing the connection between elements of life, food, and body. According to ayurvedic concepts, food is responsible for different aspects of an individual including physical, temperamental, and mental states. To stay healthy, maintaining a stable healthy diet routinely is essential. The body absorbs the nutrients as the result of digestion. But Ayurveda states that the food first converts into rasa (plasma), and then followed by successive conversion into blood, muscle, fat, bone marrow, reproductive elements, and body fluids.

Here are some Ayurvedic Eating Practices that can be adopted again for a better lifestyle. 

Mindful eating: Distracted eating and quickly gobbling food is bad for the digestive system and you cannot get the maximum benefits of what you are eating unless you eat slowly by chewing it properly. Eating quickly fails to send signals to the brain and hence the food does not get digested properly.

Eating with hands: When food touches your fingers, signals are sent to the brain and digestive juices are secreted in the gut which enables better digestion of food.

Eating local: Locally grown food is not just good for boosting the economy of the region, but it also promotes soil health as it leads to rotation of crops which is good for the soil and eventually for the quality of the produce. 

Eat Slowly: Do not gobble your food, eat slowly, and chew your food well. This enables better breakdown of food, and also gives time for the digestive enzymes in the mouth.

Eat as per time and season: Seasons and time play a very important role in Ayurveda. To get maximum benefits, it is important to know the right time and season of eating foods which have been classified into warm and cold as based on their nature. 


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