Properties of a Ayurveda meal, herbs and Spice
Ayurveda meal is a balanced diet depending on one’s body constitution. It depends on the taste of the food and the strength of one’s digestion power (Agni). According to Ayurveda science food (Ahara) is anything that we take in to nourish our body and mind. It has mentioned lot of importance of a food (Ahara) in Ayurveda.
- 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 Dhatu 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 mind. Food is called as “Poornabrahma”.
- Food energizing the mind. It is Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic gunas (properties) depend on the food we consume.
- Let your food be your medicine. Our health depends solely on the food us 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.
- I t is said that no disease can be cured unless supplemented by the right diet. About 90% of the disease can be prevented by right diet alone.
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
- Digest food
- Nourishes the doshas
- Balanced vata creates energy
- Balanced pitta creates radiance
- Balance kapha creates strength
- Nourishes Body tissues and improve immunity
- Clears mind, thoughts and ideas
- Maintains life force
Undigested food is called Ama. When Agni is Manda (Moderate), Vishama (irregular) or even Theekshana (sharp), Ama may be created.
Due to Ama
- Gas, constipation
- Bad taste in mouth
- White coated tongue
- Excessive saliva in mouth
- Fatigue, blocked channels
To prevent Ama
- Avoid over eating and/or eating heavy foods in large quantities.
- Avoid Tamasic food ex- leftovers, processed, canned food, fast food or food with additives and coloring
- Avoid ice cold water, drinks and cold food.
- Make lunch your main meal and eat a light breakfast and dinner.
- Eat heavy foods in smaller quantities and light foods more.
- Calm the mind before eating.
Shaadrasatmaka ahara / The six tastes
Taste is the sense and tongue is the sense organ. As soon as the tongue comes into contact with food, the taste is perceived.
- Madhura / Sweet
- Amla / Sour
- Lavana / Salty
- Katu / Pungent.
- Kashaya / astringent
- Tikta / Bitter
To maintain Dosha balance and for proper functioning of the body all 6 tastes need to be consumed (in certain proportion)
Taste and the Doshas:
Kapha is aggravated by Sweet, Sour and Salty
Kapha is decreased by Pungent, Bitter and Astringent
Pitta is aggravated by Pungent, Sour and Salty
Pitta is decreased by Bitter, Sweet and Astringent
Vata is aggravated by Bitter, Astringent and Pungent
Vata is decreased by Sweet, Salty and Sour
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.
We offer you:
Best food according to your body
Fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits
Freshly cooked and warm food.
Proper combination of all which is included.
Providing of Herbal Teas – depends on the body constitution, the diseases and seasons.
Spice up your life Spices are natural food additives. Their main function is to aid digestion. Ayurvedic cooking is unique in the sense it incorporates right spice (and all 6 tastes) in the food whileit is cooking. It enhances taste, becomes satisfying, nurturing and more importantly it improves digestion. Spice also have lot of medicinal qualities, thereby proving the saying Let your food be your medicine.
Black Pepper is considered an important healing spice in Ayurveda. It has cleansing and antioxidant properties, and it is a bioavailability enhancer-it helps transport the benefits of other herbs to the different parts of the body. It helps the free flow of oxygen to the brain, helps enhance digestion and circulation stimulates, the appetite, and helps maintain respiratory system health and the health of the joints. It is warming spice and contributes the pungent taste. It is excellent for pacifying Kapha, helps pacify Vata and increases Pitta. Ayurvedic cooking, black pepper corns as well as ground or cracked black pepper are common. Pepper combines well with almost every other spice or herb.
Mustard seeds are warming and impart the pungent taste according to ayurveda. They are balancing for Kapha and Vata, but increases the Pitta dosha. In ayurveda brown mustard seeds are considered digestive and good for alleviating stomach discomfort such as gas cramps. Combine well with the other herbs and spices.
Cardamom is a warming spice. It contributes the sweet and pungent tastes. It has a sharp flavor. Cardamom is good for balancing all three Doshas. Cardamom is considered an excellent digestive, especially beneficial in reducing bloating and intestinal gas. It is excellent for balancing Kapha, particularly in the stomach and the lungs. It is also useful for pacifying Vata.
Cinnamon is often used in Ayurvedic herbal preparations to enhance the bio availability of other herbs. It is a warming spice and contributes the sweet, Pungent and bitter tastes. It is excellent for pacifying Kapha and good for balancing Vata also. Cinnamon is used to balance the digestion and to pacify stomach disorders.
Clove is dried unopened flower bud from an evergreen tree. Clove are considered to enhance circulation, digestion and metabolism and help counter stomach disorders such as gas, bloating and nausea.
Coriander seeds are highly appreciated as a Tridoshic spice. It is a cooling spice and contributes the sweet and astringent tastes. It is good for digestion, whet appetite, helps combat allergies and also helps purify the blood.
Cumin is balancing all three Doshas. It is supposed to aid digestion and help flush toxins out of the body.
Ginger is a warming spice, contributing the pungent taste. It helps pacify Vata and Kapha and increase Pitta. It is useful in aiding digestion, enhancing appetite, pacifying stomach disorders and maintaining joint health and respiratory system health. Garlic contributes the pungent taste which increases Pitta and lower Vata and Kapha. The use of garlic in lowering cholesterol is well known. It is use to reduce swelling and pain. Garlic treated oil is useful in earache. It helps in congestion, cough and asthma. In the post partum stage garlic helps to lower Vata aggravation and many aches and pains.
Fennel is cooling spic, contributing mainly the sweet taste with an undertone of the bitter taste. This is extremely good for digestion. It acts as a general tone for the digestive system, and particularly good for enhancing Agni, the digestive fire, without aggravating Pitta.
Fenugreek is excellent for pacifying Kapha, and in smaller quantities for Vata, but it increases Pitta. It is a warming spice, and contributes the bitter, pungent, and sweet taste. It is used to enhance digestion and prevent stomach disorders. It is also good for the skin and hair.
Turmeric contains the flavanoid curcumin, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is all-around wonder spice is said to help detoxify the liver, balance cholesterol levels, fight allergies, stimulate digestion, boost immunity and enhance the complexion. It is also an antioxidant. It is a heating spice, contributing bitter, pungent and astringent taste.