Written by a guest columnist
Changing your habits is hard, especially when it concerns food. Sometimes you may struggle with what your body needs and it’s a normal process. To set an appropriate style of healthy food, you can try and listen to the commandments of health. In this process, the yoga and Ayurveda food principles come at their best.
Ayurveda is a large-scale system of Indian traditional medicine, the principles of which were formulated in the 8th century B.C. Ayurveda is widely practiced in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and recently it has become popular in the Western world. Ayurveda gives instructions not only for treating patients but also for building a systematic lifestyle while relying on a special philosophical system. Thus, Ayurveda believes that everything in the world consists of five elements: air (Vayu), fire (Tejas), water (Jala, ap), earth (Prithvi), and space (akasha).
There is a significant difference between the nutritional recommendations of Ayurveda and yoga. If a person is a patient in Ayurveda and is, most likely, passive, it implies doing all the manipulations under the supervision of a specialist to reach maximum efficiency and harmony. In yoga, everything is a bit different. A person exposes their body to serious influence through exercises trying to achieve the harmony of mind and body.
Ayurvedic medicine traditions allow you to eat meat, which yogis usually don’t do for ethical reasons. Yogis don’t eat meat because they observe ahimsa – a non-violent existence principle concerning themselves and the world around them. Meat makes the body more rigid and creates difficulties in the daily practice of pranayama. Meat is digested for a long time and acidifies the blood, and the breath-holdings used in pranayama are also “acidified”. Therefore, “alkalizing” fresh milk and sweet fruits are the mainstays in the diet. If we talk about the subtle plane, it is believed that the emotions of the animal you consume can somehow affect your condition as a person, which people involved in meditation don’t need at all.
Basics and Principles of Yogic-Ayurvedic medicine Nutrition
It is difficult to follow all the recommendations on yogic-ayurvedic nutrition: there are many of them, they may seem unusual and you need to get used to them. Moreover, at least part of the rules you can make out of the basis of your diet, and add some of the recipes to your cookbook.
Yoga cooking is a whole world where the main role is played by healthy nutrition. According to the followers of yoga, food should benefit the body, fill it with energy, invigorate it, and enrich your feelings and sensations with new colors. It will ultimately, bring joy and spiritual harmony. Therefore, yogis use only healthy and “pure” products with many spices. The whole point is in balance, the right combination, and a conscious approach to the choice of food products. Yoga cuisine is based on the experience of Ayurveda, therefore, in yoga cuisine, there are a lot of products that have the most favorable effect on human health. In most cases, these are vegetarian dishes, since meat, if not a “clean” product, is recommended to be consumed no more than once a week. It is better to replace it with soy substitutes.
The nutritional recommendations of yogis are quite simple, so they’re not difficult to follow: eat as many vegetables as possible (carrots and lettuce), fruits (oranges, apples), nuts (for example dates), don’t mix meat dishes with starches (for example, potatoes ). To eat bread from wholemeal flour with bran and seeds, be sure to add milk and cheese to the diet (mainly soft white – soy, goat).
If you continue to eat animals, fish, birds, and other living beings while practicing yoga, you probably haven’t realized what compassion, the law of karma and reincarnation, is. From the medical point of view, yogis consider vegetarian food as more wholesome and clean, less polluting for the human body than the food of animal origin.
In ayurveda the basic body constitution or dosha plays important role when you choose individual diet. If you have vata or pitta dosha , It is good to eat health oils like olive oil . But for kapha dosha oils should be minimized.
Yogis believe that there are five types of drugs in the world that are prohibited for consumption when practicing yoga, namely:
drugs in the literal sense of the word (opium, hashish, marijuana, etc.);
coffee and tea.
All of them disrupt the liver, overexcite the nervous system, act on the psyche, and have a detrimental effect on human health.
You should also not eat large quantities of raw onions and garlic. These are very good medicinal plants and are part of many recipes found in Ayurveda, mixed with other plants or juices. But you should not use them in your daily menu, as they excite the nervous system, and also irritate the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract.
Salt. It’s not recommended to use it in large quantities, as it harms the cardiovascular system, destroys vitamins when cooking vegetables, and harms the body’s metabolism.
You can’t eat too hot and too cold food, and even more so alternate hot and cold dishes. Firstly, it adversely affects tooth enamel, and secondly, it causes various diseases of the digestive system.
Nutrition recommendations for yoga or Ayurveda or fitness or acupuncture practices: it is advisable to focus on the use of fruit and vegetable foods, as it is believed that plant foods are natural human food. Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, drink vegetable and fruit juices, and don’t forget dried fruit, herbs, berries, nuts, honey, and legumes. Try to cook food for as little as possible. If you subject vegetable products to long-term heat treatment, this will lead to biological depreciation of the food.
Most likely, many noticed that in the morning they are not hungry, but people accustomed themselves to eating breakfast. It is necessary when you have a feeling of hunger, a desire to eat. And if there is no such desire, then it is better to skip a meal or eat when you want to. Remember that we eat to live, and not live to eat.
Numerous studies confirm the fact that vegetarianism is a healthy diet that has only a positive effect on human health. The undoubted advantage of this food system is the complete absence of any restrictions on the use of healthy plant foods. Plant nutrition is a way of life that absolutely everyone who wants to live a long and happy life needs to lead. Living nutrition with plant foods is necessary for everyone, from children to the elderly.
By a guest writer
Additional anecdote by Kari Nokela – not directly related the text above.
The use of Finnish SPICES is generally too low. The norm for a work lunch is loaded with kapha-enhancing ingredients such as rice and pasta. In the case of potatoes, the situation is unclear to me, but at least it is not a health food. Otherwise, that too would add kapha, but it has a lightness feature that leads in the other direction. So spices: That standard lunch is really heavy when it comes with the norm meat too. The main, but not the only, purpose of spices in Ayurveda is to prevent that excessive feature of pregnancy. Why? Well a heavy meal does not digest properly and indigestible food is absorbed into the bloodstream, becoming harmful to Ama. Why should Finns in particular use more digestive spices? Well, we live in a cold environment, the cold of which in itself slows down the functioning of the stomach, and in general, the cold increases the kapha, which is always detrimental to digestion.
Kari Nokela and health blogs