Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old holistic health system that originated in India. Ayurvedic medicine is centered around the belief that your health is dependent upon a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. Unlike western medicine, Ayurvedic medicine focuses on maintaining good health rather than just fighting disease.
The Ayruvedic diet is an important part of the Ayruveda system. Ayurveda theorizes that what we eat can affect our emotional and physical well-being. Thus, it is important to eat foods that will bring our bodies back into balance with the universe. Ayurvedic practitioners believe this balance can be achieved by tailoring your diet to your body type or Dosha.
There is little traditional scientific evidence to support the concept of a Dosha or body type specific diet. However, many of the practices and principles of the Ayruvedic diet are useful in promoting healthy eating habits.
Ayurvedic diet tips
Eat fresh foods. Nutrient dense food is unrefined and harvested in season. Select produce that is in season in order to enjoy the best flavors and nutritional quality. It has been well documented that diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables protect us against many diseases including heart disease and cancer.
Cook with spices. Ayurvedic spices, such as turmeric, ginger, cumin and coriander have many evidence-based health benefits. For example, ginger has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain and even treat diabetes.
Eat mindfully. The Ayurvedic rules for eating incorporate the practice of mindful eating. These rules require followers to dine in calm comfortable spaces and to eat with all five senses. Research has shown that mindful eating is an effective weight loss tool.
Make your meals flavorful. The Ayurvedic diet recognizes 6 tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Ayurvedic wisdom claims that not having all 6 tastes in a meal could lead to cravings, or overeating. Research studies on animals have found consuming a large amount of low-caloric food that happens to be flavorful can be just as satisfying as eating a small amount a high-calorie food. Thus including a variety of robust flavors in your meal could increase your satiety.
The Ayurvedic diet may not be as well researched as the Paleo diet or the DASH diet but it may be just as useful in enhancing your health. Consider implementing some of these healthy eating pratices into your diet!
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