A healthy diet is the crux for healthy living. Ayurveda recommends a healthy approach to meal times to ensure proper digestion and a healthy gut. This is essential to ensure the agni or digestive fire in our body stays healthy and strong. When the agni is weak, the body cannot digest the food it consumes and produces toxins. To balance your agni, it is essential to establish a healthy meal-time routine and eat healthy.
Vijaykumar Karai, Founder & CEO, Ayuruniverse suggests top 10 diet tips based on Ayurveda:
- Eat at the right time: Fix a meal time and stick to it. Start your day with a healthy breakfast and never skip it. Let lunch be your biggest meal, since that is the time the agni is working at its maximum potency. Dinner should be eaten before 8:00 p.m. Late-night meals can interfere with your sleep and releases toxins in the body.
- Sit down to eat: Avoid eating while standing, walking or anywhere else on-the-go. The stomach is in a relaxed posture while sitting and the body in sync with the taste, texture, and smell of the food we are eating, thereby improving digestion.
- Chew well: Remember to savour your meals, taking your own time to chew. Chewing well to break down the food to an even consistency is an extremely essential step to proper digestion.
- Consume warm foods: Ayurveda recommends consuming warm food and drinks at all times. Cold water during meals or in general can extinguish the digestive fire. Even juices are recommended to be consumed at room temperature and without ice.
- Drinking water at meals: Avoid drinking water half an hour before and after your meal. Water consumed at this time can suppress the digestive fire, leading to poor digestion and weight gain. While it is ok to consume water during meals, make sure the water is in room temperature.
- Keep yourself hydrated: It is essential to keep the body hydrated, preferably with warm water or herbal teas, so that the body can flush the toxins/impurities out easily. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks and even ice-water as it is known to slow the digestive enzymes. This can also affect the blood flow thereby obstructingthe body’s ability to carry oxygen and nutrients.
- Eat local, seasonal and fresh food: Always use seasonal produce and consume fresh whole grains and organically-grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Processed foods or foods with artificial preservatives and other chemicals are considered less sattvic than fresh foods, and is best avoided.
- Include all six tastes: Ayurveda recognizes 6 tastes and it is recommended to include all these 6 tastes in one’s diet daily. The 6 tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent – in the order they are digested in one’s body. Including all 6 tastes in your diet daily not only boosts digestion but also leaves one feeling completely satisfied at the end of the meal and avoids cravings during the day.
- Avoid contra-indicated foods: Fish with curd, tomato sauce with milk, citrus fruits with milk are incompatible food pairings and must be avoided. According to Ayurveda, each food has a specific combination of energies with a corresponding effect on the digestive system and the body. Combining foods with different energies can trigger the digestive fire and cause indigestion, gas, bloating and the creation of toxins.Even cooking or processing of certain food leads can lead to destruction of quality of the food is not recommended. For e.g.: heating of curds or honey.
- Leave time for digestion: Make sure you give the body atleast 3 hours for digestion before you go to bed. The body’s metabolism is known to lower during sleep and allowing sufficient time for digestion means you wake up energized and ready for the day.
— Mr. Vijaykumar Karai, Founder & CEO, Ayuruniverse.
AyurUniverse is a first of its kind ‘marketplace’, a online portal where Wellness Centers offering Yoga, Ayurveda, meditation and all other Indian wellness programs can market them to customers world over under one platform.