Far from the cliché that too often bundles it in with Indian cuisine, the Ayurvedic diet is based on a set of principles that focus on the individual and his or her particular physical and mental characteristics. Here is a summary of its central principles:
Another way of looking at nutrition and digestion
The principle of Ayurvedic diet is not to put foods together in categories but to concentrate on the way they taste (sweet, salty, astringent, bitter, pungent and sour), their warmth, and their effect on digestion. Every individual’s temperament, constitution and state of health mean they have specific needs, and their nutrition should be adapted to suit them, so as to keep them healthy or get them back on form. It follows that there is no one typical Ayurvedic diet. On the contrary, the way a meal is put together should meet the needs of a particular individual at that particular time.
Take up an Ayurvedic diet
Ayurvedic nutrition is far removed from our western dietary principles and it can be complex for novices to grasp. It’s best to consult a specialist dietician who will be able to identify specific needs. For example, to help digestion and good uptake of foodstuffs, it is considered best to have the main meal at midday, not too eat or drink anything too cold, and to take the time to chew well. Also, avoid nibbling between meals, and eating when you are not hungry. Finally, strong emotions are considered very bad for the digestion.
Seen by some as a real philosophy of life, Ayurvedic nutrition looks at the individual holistically, at that particular time in his or life. Although it looks complex at first sight, it can easily be applied to everyday life by adopting living habits that are perfectly suited to our actual rhythms.