This vast field of medical science concentrates more on the general well being or the health of a human instead of just treating a particular diseases and they do it more by following a healthy and nutritious food habit.Ayurveda stresses on the mind body relationship for perfect living and it also states specific recommendations to each individual on lifestyle, diet, exercise and yoga, herbal therapy, and even spiritual practices. The Ayurvedic food is considered to be a source of refreshing energy for both the mind and the soul rather than simply the substitute of protiens, vitamins and other essential minerals.
Ayurvedic diet is considered to be the key factor in this field of healing science.Ayurvedic diet varies for each individual for it is based on various factors like age, gender, the doshic tendencies, the strength of body tissues and digestive fires and the level of ama (toxins) in their body. Though the approach of Ayurvedic diet is holistic there are certain basic rules to be followed when it comes to consumption of food. But however daily food intake should be according to health status or diseased state, amount of labour put in and energy expended, capacity to digest,age,sex,region,economic viability and availibility.Proportion of essential food items can be raised or tapered in view of a patient's health requirement. Thus Ayurveda promises many disorders can be easily cured by sheer modifications in dietary pattern.
In Ayurveda following an Ayurvedic diet is supposed to be very vital for it is very essential for important activities like digestion and metabolism to be carried out. Eating of raw food is not considered healthy in Ayurveda.This field of Ayurvedic science has classified food into three categories namely
The Satvic food which is considered to be high in developing immunity is supposed to be very easily digests gives a balanced ratio of mind and body. The Satvic food mainly includes milk, milk products, fruits, most fresh vegetable except garlic, onion, scallions, and chives. The other items in the list of Satvic diet includes cereals like lentils, sprouts and natural sweeteners like jaggery, honey along with natural oils like ghee, butter and vegetable oils. It takes the category of moderately cooked food with common ingredients like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, aniseed and cardamom. According to Ayurveda people who go on more for a Satvic food is considered to possess spiritual quality and are more focused with clear mind.
Ayurveda states that people who like the Rajasic food is supposed to be very active and energetic in nature and are more interested in power, prestige, position and prosperity but however not obsessed with it. These heavy to digest food mainly includes non-vegetarian food like meat, fish eggs, chicken, all whole pulses and dals.These foods are very spicy and salty and the cooking involves ingredients like chilies, pepper, vegetables, onions and garlic.
This mainly includes the modern day short eats and those that are unnatural, overcooked, stale and processed. According to Ayurveda people who are more interested in Tamasic food is supposed to be very slow and stagnant in nature. They are characterized by intense mood swings, insecurities, desires, cravings and are unable to deal with others in a balanced manner and are very self centered. They are more prone for diseases like cancer, heart problem, diabetes, arthritis, chronic fatigue etc. Such people never have a control over their appetite and go on endless eating. The Tamasic food mainly includes all that are unnatural, overcooked, stale and processed. All foods made from refined flour, pastries, pizzas, burgers, chocolates, soft drinks, stimulants like tea, coffee, tobacco, intoxicants like alcohol and wines fall under the Tamasic category. Even canned and preserved foods like jams, jellies, pickles and fermented food come under this group. Fried foods, sweets made from sugar, ice creams, pudding and most modern day junk foods, spicy, salty, sweet, and fatty foods are also included in this list.
According to Ayurveda there are six types of tastes- Madhur (Sweet), Amla (Acidic), Lavana (Salty), Katu (Bitter), Tikta (Pungent) and Kashaya (Astringent). These six have different impact on different Doshas. The first three Sweet, Acidic and Salty pacify Vata and have soothing effect on body; last three Bitter, Pungent and Astringent pacify Kapha Dosha and open the blocked channels of the body. Sweet, pungent and astringent is good for Pitta and have cooling effect on the body.
Apricots, Avocado, Bananas, Berries, Dates, Fresh Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Lemons, Mango, Melon, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pineapple, Plums, Strawberries. Sweet fruits are balancing. No dried fruits.
Apples, Avocado, Berries, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Mango, Melons, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Pomegranate, Prunes, Raisins, Watermelon. Sweet fruits are balancing. Sour fruits are aggravating.
Apples, Apricots, Berries, Cherries, Cranberries, Dried Figs, Mango, Peaches, Pears, Pomegranate, Prunes, Raisins. Sweet fruits such as bananas and dates are aggravating, as are sour fruits such as lemons, sour oranges and grapefruit.
Artichoke, Asparagus, Beets, Carrots, Cucumber, Green Beans, Leeks, Mustard Greens, Okra, Olives, Onion, Parsnip, Potato, Squash, Watercress, Zucchini. Cooked vegetables are most balancing. Avoid raw vegetables.
Artichoke, asparagus, bell pepper, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, green beans, leafy greens, mushrooms, okra, parsley, parsnip, peas, potatoes, squash, sprouts, zucchini. Sweet and bitter vegetables are balancing.
Asparagus, Beets, Beet Greens, Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans,Horseradish, Leafy Greens, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Spinach, Sprouts, Turnips, Watercress. Raw, pungent and bitter vegetables are balancing. Sweet, juicy vegetables are aggravating.
Amaranth, Oats, Rice, Wheat, Wild Rice
Barley, Cooked Oats, Basmati Rice, White Rice, Wheat, Wheat Bran, Wheat Granola are balancing. Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Oat granola, Quinoa, Brown Rice and Rye are aggravating.
Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Granola, Millet, Oats, Oat Bran, Quinoa, Basmati Rice, Rice Cakes, Rye and Wheat Bran are balancing. Cooked Oats, Brown or White Rice, and Wheat are imbalancing.
Legumes & Nuts
Adzuki beans, Almonds, Black lentils, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Flax, Hazelnuts, Mung beans, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Pumpkin, Red lentils, Sesame, Soy cheese, Soy milk, Sunflower, Tofu, Walnuts
All beans except black and red lentils are balancing, such as adzuki beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, soy beans, split peas and tofu. Coconut, psyllium, pumpkin and sunflower are balancing. Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Chia, Filberts, Flax, Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios and Sesame are aggravating.
Adzuki beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Chickpeas, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Lima Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Red Lentils,Split Peas, White Beans are balancing. Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashew, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Psyllium, Sesame, Black lentils, Mung Beans, KIdney Beans, Lentils, Soy Beans, Tempeh, Walnuts and Tofu are imbalancing.
Beef (occasionally), Chicken or Turkey (white meat), Duck, Eggs, Freshwater Fish, Seafood, Shrimp
Chicken white meat, turkey white meat, egg white, freshwater fish, shrimp (in moderation) are balancing. Beef, egg yolk, duck, lamb, pork, venison and seafood other than shrimp are imbalancing.
Chicken dark meat, Turkey dark meat, eggs are balancing. Beef, Duck, Freshwater Fish, Lamb, Pork, Seafood, Shrimp, and Venison are aggravating.
Herbs,Spices & Condiments
Brown Rice Syrup, Honey, Maple Syrup, Molasses, other sweeteners than White Sugar, Allspice, Almond Extract, Anise, Basil, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Cayenne, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Coconut, Cottage Cheese, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ghee, Ginger, Mustard, Nutmeg, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Spirulina, Tamarind, Tarragon, Thyme, Pickles, Salt, Seaweed, Soy Sauce, Turmeric, Vanilla
Maple Syrup, Fruit Juice Concentrate, Barley Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, and other sweeteners except for honey and molasses,Coconut, Coriander, Cumin, Dill Fennel, Ghee, Mint, Orange Peel, Peppermint, Saffron, Seaweed, Spearmint, Sprouts, Turmeric, Wintergreen are balancing. Chili peppers, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish, Ketchup, Mustard, Lemon, Mayonnaise, Onions, Pickles, Salt, Sesame Seeds, Soy Sauce and Tamari are aggravating.
Allspice, Anise, Basil, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish, Mint, Mustard Seeds, Nutmeg, Onion, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Peppermint, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Star Anise, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric, Wintergreen are balancing.
Buttermilk, Cow's Milk, Cheese, Goat's Milk, Goat Cheese, Yogurt.
Butter (unsalted), Cottage Cheese, Mild Soft Cheeses, Ghee, Cow's Milk, Goats Milk are balancing. Salted butter, Buttermilk, Hard Cheese, Feta Cheese, Sour Cream and Yogurt are aggravating.
Ghee, Goats Milk and Diluted Yogurt (diluted 1:4 yogurt:water) are balancing. Butter, Cheese, Buttermilk, Cow's Milk, Ice Cream, Sour Cream and Yogurt are aggravating.