ayurvedic nutrition ahara vigyan n.
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Ayurveda Nutrition

Ayurveda Nutrition

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Ayurveda Nutrition

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  1. Ayurvedic Nutrition (AharaVigyan)

  2. Ayurvedic Nutrition:East & West The difference between Conventional and Ayurvedic Nutrition:

  3. Ahara:A Definition • Food • Water • Breath • Information through sense organs • Ahara: Anything we take-in to nourish our body and mind.

  4. Ahara:Importance • Food provides building blocks to create new Dhatus. Dhatus are the reservoir of the energy in different forms. Dhatus are constantly broken down to utilize energy. So replenishing good quality Dhatus is essential. For this, balanced food is important. • In Ayurveda, eating food is considered as a ritual as food not only nourishes the body but also nurtures the soul and the mind. Food is called as ‘Poornabrahma’. • Food energizes the Mind. It’s Sattvic, Rajasic, or Tamasicgunas depend on the food we consume. • Let my food be my medicine. Our health depends solely on the food we intake. Strength, health, and our life depend on Agni. But Agni is also constantly replenished from the food we eat. So to maintain “Sama Agni” eating balanced food is essential. Strength, energy, clarity of mind, radiance of skin, immunity and sharpness of senses depends on the food we eat. Diet is very critical in disease state also. Many times wrong foods become the cause of the disease and the right foods, the treatment of the disease. So in health or in sickness eating right diet is very critical. An important quote from Dr. Coop: “No disease can be cured unless supplemented by the right diet. About 90% of the diseases can be prevented by right diet alone”.

  5. Agni: The Energy of Transformation, Digestion and Metabolism • Agni is the Teja Mahabhuta in the body. • Agni governs our life, strength, health, energy, luster, Ojas and Tejas. • Agni represents the root of healthy life when balanced. If deranged, it causes disease • Agni keeps us alive. If Agni is extinguished, the person dies. Life is constantly changing (Nityaga). Energy is utilized for all of the physiological actions and functions in the body. Tissues are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. They need replenishment from food, water and air. The body does not utilize all foods in the same manner and they need to be transformed into physical form to build new tissues. The energy responsible for this discrimination and transformation is called Agni.

  6. Agni:Functions • Digests food. • Nourishes the Doshas: • Balanced Vata creates energy. • Balanced Pitta creates radiance. • Balanced Kapha creates strength. • Nourishes Dhatus. Creates Ojas, Tejas and Prana (Subtle Doshas). • Clears mind, thoughts and ideas. • Maintains life force. • Separates Sara and Kitta (Mala) with Samana Vayu.

  7. Shadrasatmaka Ahara: The Six Tastes • Rasa • The sensation that the tongue experiences. • Taste is the sense and tongue is the sense organ. As soon as the tongue comes into contact with food, the taste is perceived. • The action of each taste is because of its bhoutic composition. • There are four varieties of taste buds on the tongue, each perceiving sweet, sour, salty or bitter taste. Sweet and salty are perceived at the tip of the tongue, sour on the side and bitter at the back. Pungent taste irritates the mucus membrane and astringent taste pulls the mucus membrane. • To maintain Dosha balance and for proper functioning of the body all 6 tastes need to be consumed (in certain proportion). • Sweet taste builds most of the Dhatus so we should consume sweet foods (grains – not candies) in larger amount. • Tastes are the key factors in the modification of diet.

  8. The Effect of the Tastes on the Body Sweet (Madhura) Increases Kapha, reduces Vata and Pitta, builds and strengthens all of the Dhatus, stimulates salivation, improves circulation, strengthens the heart, acts as a demulcent, expectorant, mild laxative, relieves thirst heartburn and increases milk production. Examples of Sweet Complex carbohydrates, sweet fruits, grains, root vegetables such as potatoes and beets, sugar, honey, milk, cheeses, oils and meats.

  9. The Effect of the Tastes on the Body Sour (Amla) Increases Kapha and Pitta, reduces Vata, stimulates acid secretions, helps digestion, reduces gas, increases circulation, works as an anticoagulant and sharpens the senses. Examples of Sour Yogurt, limes and other sour fruits, alcohol, vinegar and cheese, etc.

  10. The Effect of the Tastes on the Body Salty (Lavana) Increases Kapha and Pitta and reduces Vata, makes food tasty, strengthens Agni (Deepana), improves digestion (Pachana), maintains electrolyte balance in the body, acts as a laxative, sedative, is calming to the nerves and Vata, relieves spasms. Salt baths remove toxins from the body, make the Dhatus flabby due to water retention, increase thirst and salivation and vitiate the blood. Examples of Salty All salts: Rock, sea, gypsum and black salts.

  11. The Effect of the Tastes on the Body Pungent (Katu) Improves metabolism, helps digestion and absorption, reduces congestion, improves circulation, relieves pain and muscle tension, anticoagulant, cleanses mouth, raises body temperature, kills worms, promotes sweating. Examples of Pungent Jalapenos, ginger, black pepper, pippali, cloves, cayenne pepper, garlic and wasabi (horse radish).

  12. The Effect of the Tastes on the Body Astringent (Kashaya) Constricts blood vessels, stops bleeding and flow, promotes healing, antidiuretic, antibiotic, antibacterial, haemostatic, constipating. Examples of Astringent Alum, the peel of a fruit, unripe banana, pomegranate peel, turmeric, golden seal, leafy green vegetables, blueberries, cranberries and beans, etc.

  13. The Effect of the Tastes on the Body Bitter (Tikta) Purifies blood, detoxifies body, antibiotic, antiseptic, antihelmentic, antipyretic, reduces body temperature and depletes the tissues (especially reproductive tissue); liver tonic. Examples of Bitter Leafy vegetables, Neem, aloe, golden seal, fenugreek, black tea, myrrh and bitter melon.

  14. The Effect of the Tastes on the Mind & Emotions Tastes affect not only our body but our mind also. As they have an effect on our emotions, it is important not to overindulge.

  15. The Effect of Too Little Taste

  16. Food Guidelines Along with what we eat, where we eat, how we eat, when we eat make all the difference in our health. This thought is unique in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic eating is not generalized. It is “person” specific. • Eat according to your Age and Body constitution • Eat fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruit • Eat freshly cooked and warm food. It strengthens Agni, digests food better, reduces excess Kapha and Vata • Eat food, which has enough oil, and is moist enough (not fried). It tastes better, helps Agni, Builds Dhatus, and increases strength. • Do not eat food with wrong combination. E.g. Honey and ghee when combined in equal quantities is poisonous. Mixing sour fruits and milk curdles the milk.

  17. Food Guidelines: Eating • Eat enough quantity considering the state of Agni, and Doshas. • Eat three meals a day. • Eat after previous food is digested. • Set specific time and place. • Eat with proper frame of mind (a happy mood). • Create a pleasant environment (flowers, music, incense). • Wash hands thoroughly. • Feed somebody before you eat. • Bless your food before eating. • Do not eat very slow or very fast. Take your time and chew your food longer (each bite 32 times, according to Ayurveda). Food starts digesting in the mouth by Bodhaka Kapha. We enjoy the taste of the food while it is in the mouth. It reduces the amount of food we eat. • Do not eat on the run or while watching TV. Concentrate on the food and eat.

  18. Food Guidelines: Eating Quantity of Food • Consider the age, constitution, season, balance/ imbalance of Doshas, exercise, type of food. • The rule of thumb: eat food to ½ your capacity. Drink water to ¼ of your capacity and leave room for ¼ of your capacity, for the food to move in the stomach for digestion. • Eat heavy and sweet foods in less quantity. Eat light food to fill your stomach. • The signs of right quantity of food are: • Feeling satisfied • Not feeling heavy • Should be able to breathe, talk and walk easily • Indriyas become sharp

  19. The realm of Ayurveda has no boundaries…… Drinking Water • 70 % of our body is made up of water. To replenish water loss is very important. So everybody should drink water • If we drink before the meal, the Agni becomes weak (diluted), fills the stomach with water so the person becomes weak. • If we drink water right after a meal, it creates more Kapha, causing weight gain. It is considered as a poison. • Sipping water during the meal is ideal. It helps digestion, absorption, and Dhatu building. Drinking a little water during meals and when you are thirsty is the most ideal way to drink. The quantity of water varies depending on Constitution. • Dr. JayarajanKodikannath • Academy Director • Kerala Ayurveda Academy (USA) • Thank You