Factors of Diet and Dietetics

Factors of Diet and Dietetics

 

 

Eight important rules are involved in the intake of a proper diet. These are called Asta Ahara Vidhi Visesayatana (Eight Factors of Diet and Dietetics). All these eight factors are complementary to each other and denote wholesomeness of diet. Their consideration is essential.

• Prakruti – Nature of food substances (Guna / Qualities).

• Karana – Method involved in the processing of

the food substances (processed / cooked).

• Samyoga – Combination of food substances.

• Rasi – Quantity of food substances.

• Desa – Habitat, climate or location

• Kala – Time i.e. and or state of an individual.

• Upayoga samstha – Rules governing the intake of food.

• Upayokta – Wholesomeness of individual who takes it (who is the eater)

These factors give rise to good as well as bad effects and at the same time are helpful to one another. It is essential to know these factors in order to intake the right diet.

 

 

 

Prakruti (Nature of food articles)

Natural qualities are the innate properties of the substances. The presence of qualities like heaviness is the natural property of substances used in our diet or in the preparation of drugs. Heaviness for e.g. is the natural property of black gram, pork etc.

 

Karana (Method of processing)

 

Preparation is the process performed to modify the natural properties of substances. This modification is brought about by

• Dilution,

• Application of heat (vaporization, distillation and sublimation),

• Clarification,

• Emulsification,

• Storing,

• Maturing,

• Flavouring,

• Impregnation,

• Preservation.

Samyoga (Combination)

Combination is the combining together of two or more substances. This chemical combination exhibits special properties which none of the substances ever possessed. The new property thus formed could be useful or in some cases harmful to the body.

Example:

• The combination of honey and ghee honey or ghee taken alone is very good for our system but if they are combined together, they become toxic.

• Similarly, the combination of honey, fish and milk has a toxic effect.

 

Rasi (Quantum)

The rasi (quantum) is the measure of the total mass of each constituent, which helps in determining the effects of the right and wrong doses of our diet. The measure of the entire meal as a whole is the total measurement of the diet. On the other hand measuring of each and every article of diet is called detailed measurement. Similarly measuring the parts separately is also known as detailed measurement.

 

Desa (Habitat/climate)

Habitat is a geographic region. It indicates variations in equalities of substances due to difference in soil, use and climate.

 

Kala (Time)

Time is used in two senses time in the general sense and time in the sense of a stage. Stage is used in relation to disease whereas time in the general sense is used in relation to seasonal wholesomeness.

 

Upayoga samstha (Rules governing the intake of food)

There are certain dietetic rules, which need to be followed by one and all, and these are usually determined by the strength of digestion of a person.

 

Upayoka (Wholesomeness of individual who takes it)

The user is the one who makes use of food and habituation depends upon him.

 

Eating Habits

Most of us intake food without giving much thought to it. We have become so accustomed to the food we eat that we hardly pay attention to its effect on our body.

According to the Ayurvedic texts there are certain rules to be followed regarding the arrangement of food, eating habits, basic cleaning habits etc which a person if follows will lead a long and disease free life.

All these come under upayoga samstha or the rules governing the intake of food. The procedure one constitutes the dietetic rules that are usually determined by the strength of digestion of a person. Apart from that a person should not take food

• Without taking bath, or

• Without putting on any clothes

• Without offering oblations to fire

• Without offering food to Gods

 

Person should take food at a suitable place and time. Face and mouth should be well cleaned and he should eat food that is not used by others, heated only once, not very hot and overcooked. In general, the person should eat food with relish for better results.

Foods that should be consumed considering the digestive capacity and habituation are

• In the beginning of the meal, foods which are either watery or hard to digest, sweet and fatty should be consumed.

• Next you should have those foods which are sour and salty and lastly you should consume foodstuff that are dry, non-fatty, liquid in nature and of other tastes.

Those who have poor digestive capacity should consume liquid and warm foods in the beginning. Then it becomes easier to digest the other foods, which are eaten later, in a proper way as the digestive activity gets stimulated by the heat.

 

Arrangement of food on the table

• Bhaksya (eatables) are to be arranged on the right side of the table.

• Peya (drinks) and lehya (lickable items) and foodstuff that require hard chewing are to be placed on the left side.

• Bhojya (staple or the chief food) should be placed in the centre.

Some basic food recipes, which are good for our health and basic constitution, are

Dhana (fried paddy and other grains) is made by frying paddy that is soaked in water.

Benefits

• Stays long in the stomach,

• Is satisfying,

• Hard to digest,

• Cures diseases of the throat, and eye

• Relieves hunger, thirst, exhaustion, vomiting and ulcer.

 

Saktu is flour (like fried corn flour) raw or fried, mixed with water and consumed.

Benefits

• These are easily digestible and are usually taken as a drink,

• It gives strength immediately,

• It is also made into a hard ball known as Saktupindi, which becomes hard to digest,

• Its soft balls are easily digestible.

Notes:- Laja is prepared by frying paddy and prthuka is prepared by boiling paddy for a short while and pounding it with pestle in a mortar.

 

Avalehika is saktu mixed with water and made into a semisolid mass. Flour is likewise made into Saskuli, modaka etc., by different methods.

They should not be eaten

• without drinking water in between

• twice a day

• at nights

• solely i.e. without other kinds of foods

• after meals

• by cutting with teeth

• in excess quantity

Notes: – Many eatables are prepared from flour of rice and other cereals, horse gram, bengal gram and other legumes with addition of spices (sour and fragrant).

 

 

Bhojanottara karma (activities after meals)

After taking the meals, one needs to clean their hands and brush properly inorder to remove the residue of food sticking to the teeth. Gargling the mouth helps in removing the coating, smell and greasiness whereas chewing betel leaves makes the mouth smell pleasant.

Inhaling smoke helps in removing the upward accumulation of kapha and walking about hundred steps helps in stimulating the digestion process.

These activities may seem to be very basic but many-a times we tend to ignore them and will lead to discomfort later in life.

 

 

Dietary Rules (Aharaja Karanani)

In the ancient days, the qualities of each and every food preparation and their effect on the tissues of healthy as well as diseased individuals of various constitutions were studied in detail. Hence we find references of dietary factors as etiological factors, which trigger off, subdue, as well as aggravate many disease processes.

In almost all diseases Ayurveda has advised the avoidance of certain food items, which have a tendency to aggravate the disease and consumption of certain food items that have a beneficial effect on the recovery from the disease.

Intake of food very slowly (vilambit ahar) leads to increase in consumption. Food also becomes cold and hence tends to act like poison, in the process it does not get easily digested.

Food also should not be consumed hurriedly (atidrutam ahar) accompanied by excessive talking, laughter and the person should not engage mind on other things while eating, as all these leads to the food passing into the wrong passage thereby delaying the digestion process. The food in turn does not stay in the alimentary tract for the required time and the person is denied of the experience of good or bad qualities of food.

Thus diet is important for maintenance of health. However, if one does not use his discretion regarding selection of food in relation to place, time, constitution etc. as given below, the same diet can give rise to disease by vitiating the doshas.

• Diet and Place: Eating hot and pungent food in continental climate (Jangala desh) or eating fatty and cold food items in maritime climate would increase pitta and kapha doshas respectively.

• Diet and Season: Eating hot and pungent food in summer or cold food in winter would increase pitta and kapha doshas respectively.

• Quantity and Quality: Eating heavy food items in excess or too less quantity of food of light items would increase kapha and vata doshas respectively.

• New Tastes: Eating food to which one is not habituated would also cause sudden imbalance of doshas.

• Constitution and diet: If a person with vata constitution eats dry food, person with pitta constitution eats hot and pungent food and person with kapha constitution eats fatty and sweet food, in excess it would result in increase of the same dosha in the body.

• Diet and digestive power: If a person with weak digestive power eats heavy food items, it leads to formation of ama (impaired functioning of body heat).

• Diet and srotorodha (obstruction of the body channels): Diet, which increases doshas and simultaneously damage tissues, leads to obstruction of the body channels.

• Dietetic incompatibilities: Like for e.g. eating a combination of milk and fish will result in increased amount of doshas in the body.

• Eating raw food items: Raw food items, which are difficult to digest such as green leafy vegetables, would increase vata dosha in the body.

• Psychological incompatibility: One should not eat food items, which one does not like.

• Stale food: One should not eat fermented and putrefied food or food which is not freshly prepared.

• Time: Eating food at irregular hours or eating food when not hungry makes a person prone to disease.

If the diet is consumed taking into consideration the above factors, one can lead a healthy and disease-free life.

 

 

 

Importance of Taste

Rasa primarily depends upon the six different tastes, which are inherent in substances that tend to diminish or increase the deranged doshas and the fundamental principle of the body as also to bring about a normal equilibrium amongst them.

The particular sense object that is perceived by the tongue is called rasa. It can also be defined as that Guna which can be perceived only by the Rasna-Indriyas. According to each and every individual the rasas can be evaluated by classifying them into six different types.

• Madhur (Sweet)

E.g.. sugar, banana, jackfruit, sugarcane, honey, jaggery, fruits etc,. Generally food is sweet in taste, neutral in energy, and sweet in its post-digestive effect. It nourishes and maintains humors, dhatus, and malas (wastes).

• Amla (Sour)

E.g.- amla, tamarind, buttermilk, curds, mango(unripe), sour fruits and pickled vegetables etc. All tissues are nourished by sour tastes except reproductive tissues.

• Lavana(Salty)

E.g. – All salts and sea food. Salts help in strengthening all tissues but when used in excess it depletes the tissues.

• Katu (Pungent)

E.g. – Sunthi (dried ginger), maricha (black pepper), pippali (long pepper), hing (asafoetida) etc. Spices and spicy vegetables do not offer much nutrition but they stimulate digestion.

• Tikta (Bitter)

E.g. – Neem, karela (bitter gourd), chandan (sandalwood), manjistha (Indian meddar), marigold, Adulsa (Malabar nut), Vekhanda etc. Such vegetables offer little nourishment but they are useful in cleansing the digestive organs, and help in digestion, if taken before meals.

• Kashaya (Astringent)

Eg – Kulath (horse gram), Harda, ashoka, babbul (acacia tree), teak, jambul (black berry), etc. They help in providing minerals but do not build tissue.

Each of the six tastes also produces effects on each of the internal organs. They have the capacity to adversely affect certain organs in the body, when found in excess.

 

 

 

The preferential use of rasa in diet

Rasas are extremely important in our diet and the diet should primarily consist of all the six rasas. In medicine, the Virya (potency) is predominant whereas in diet, rasa is predominant. Consumption of a particular rasa in large quantities in particular seasons has also been advised.

 

It has been instructed that madhur rasa (madhur dravyam not only constitutes sweet items like sugar, jaggery but also other food items like wheat, rice, maize etc.) should be consumed first, amla and lavana rasa should be consumed in the middle of the meal and tikta, katu and kashaya rasa should be consumed at the end. There is some ideological basis for this.

• When a person is hungry, the stomach is empty. Empty stomach causes an increase in vata dosha. To pacify this vata dosha, madhur rasa should be eaten first.

• Apart from this, kaphavruddhi is required to moisten the ingested food. This is accomplished by the madhur rasa.

• Since dravyas, having madhur rasa are difficult to digest, it is advisable to eat these dravyas first.

• After this, it is correct to use amla and lavana rasa. The reason for this is not to pacify the remaining vata but also to aid digestion by improving the agni.

• Lastly, katu, tikta and kashaya rasa should be taken as these rasa increase the agni along with reducing the kapha which increase after ingestion of food.

 

 

This rule applies in relation to health. But in pathological conditions this idea has to be modified accordingly. For example,

• In anorexia and similar kapha disorders, initially ginger and salt i.e. katu and lavana rasa should be used.

• Of these, katu rasa pacifies the kapha while the lavana rasa moistens food and pacifies vata.

• Similarly, the order of using these rasa can be suitably altered taking into consideration the prakruti (nature of the person), individual preferences and the condition of the doshas.

• At times, when rasa like lavana, amla and katu, which produce burning sensation, are used first, madhur rasa has to be used in the end in order to reduce the offending pitta.

Like for instance, in tropical countries, there is a custom to eat sweet preparations before starting the meal. This is useful in moistening the annavanha srotas (alimentary canal) before ingestion of food. Contrary to this, in cold countries, there is a custom of taking soups of amla and katu rasa.

 

 

There is a definite order even in arranging food items in the dish:

• Staple food like rice and chapatti are kept in the center of the dish.

• On the left side sweet dishes are kept, then sour pickle and lemon.

Lavana rasa is kept in the center (right in front of the eyes) and tikta or katu rasa are placed on the right side of the plate.

 

 

A wholesome diet is essential not only for maintaining health but also for fighting diseases. Intake of proper quantity of food promotes longevity, does not aggravate the doshas, and maintains the digestive capacity. One needs to observe some basic rules along with intake of a wholesome diet:

• Consumption of warm food is essential as it helps in digestion and also with the downward passage of vata.

• Oily food is beneficial as it helps in stimulating the digestion process, gives strength to the body and sense faculties, and improves complexion.

• Food should be consumed only after the digestion of the previous meal, as then it promotes proper digestion, appetite, proper manifestation of the natural urges and promotes longevity of the person.

• Food with contradictory potencies should be avoided.

• Eating food at the right place and the right time helps to reduce emotional strains.

• Eating in a hurry or carelessly results in the food entering the wrong passage and gives rise to consequences that causes serious complications.

• Eating too slowly does not give satisfaction and impairs digestion.

• Food should be eaten with concentration and self-confidence.

• Knowledge of the benefits of food is essential for good health. Apart from this one also needs to follow a disciplined life or at least avoid habits that are bad for one’s health.

 

 

Habits advised for people having vata prakopita

• Massage with til or mustard oil.

• Application of aromatic powder e.g. Sandalwood.

• Bathing with hot water.

• Sleeping during daytime.

• Singing and dancing.

• Evening stroll under moonlight.

• Listening to good things.

• Avoiding stress.

Habits not advisable and hence best avoided are

• Fasting

• Eating in little quantity than sufficient

• Too much of worries, fear and anger

• Excessive coitus

• Excessive talking, singing and traveling

• Purgation restricted.

 

 

Diet of Pitta dominated constitution

A wholesome diet is essential not only for maintaining health but also for fighting diseases. Intake of proper quantity of food promotes longevity, does not aggravate the doshas, and maintains the digestive capacity. One needs to observe some basic rules along with intake of a wholesome diet:

• Consumption of warm food is essential as it helps in digestion and also with the downward passage of vata.

• Oily food is beneficial as it helps in stimulating the digestion process, gives strength to the body and sense faculties, and improves complexion.

• Food should be consumed only after the digestion of the previous meal, as then it promotes proper digestion, appetite, proper manifestation of the natural urges and promotes longevity of the person.

• Food with contradictory potencies should be avoided.

• Eating food at the right place and the right time helps to reduce emotional strains.

• Eating in a hurry or carelessly results in the food entering the wrong passage and gives rise to consequences that causes serious complications.

• Eating too slowly does not give satisfaction and impairs digestion.

• Food should be eaten with concentration and self-confidence.

• Knowledge of the benefits of food is essential for good health. Apart from this one also needs to follow a disciplined life or at least avoid habits that are bad for one’s health.

Habits advised for people having pitta prakopita

• Bathing with cold water.

• Roaming in and around seaside.

• Swimming.

• Spending more time in cold weather or living in a cool place.

• Drinking cold water / juice.

• Exercising.

• Applying cold pack, wearing scented flower necklace or pearl necklace.

• Eating tasty purgative medicines like triphala churna, castor oil etc.

• Using mild purgatives.

Habits not advisable and hence best avoided are

• Usage of heater.

• Roaming out during summer season.

• Riding on animals.

• Excessive walking in hot weather.

 

 

 

Diet of Kapha Dominated  Constitution

A wholesome diet is essential not only for maintaining health but also for fighting diseases. Intake of proper quantity of food promotes longevity, does not aggravate the doshas, and maintains the digestive capacity. One needs to observe some basic rules along with intake of a wholesome diet:

• Consumption of warm food is essential as it helps in digestion and also with the downward passage of vata.

• Oily food is beneficial as it helps in stimulating the digestion process, gives strength to the body and sense faculties, and improves complexion.

• Food should be consumed only after the digestion of the previous meal, as then it promotes proper digestion, appetite, proper manifestation of the natural urges and promotes longevity of the person.

• Food with contradictory potencies should be avoided.

• Eating food at the right place and the right time helps to reduce emotional strains.

• Eating in a hurry or carelessly results in the food entering the wrong passage and gives rise to consequences that causes serious complications.

• Eating too slowly does not give satisfaction and impairs digestion.

• Food should be eaten with concentration and self-confidence.

Knowledge of the benefits of food is essential for good health. Apart from this one also needs to follow a disciplined life or atleast avoid habits that are bad for one’s health.

Habits advised for people having kapha constitution are

• Sleeping late in the night

• Following an exercise regime

• Exerting oneself

• Travelling

• Drinking hot water

• Taking bath with hot water

• Taking hot steam bath or inhaling hot steam.

• Fasting

• Intake of less quantity of food.

Habits not advisable and hence best avoided are

• Applying cool things on the body

• Sedentary work

• Not following an exercise regime

• Sleeping during day time

• Using cold water for bath

• Taking bath many times in a day

• Travelling during co

• ld weather

• Overeating

•Eating many times in a day

 

Indigestible Food

The term ama in ordinary parlance means unripe, uncooked, and indigestible. Food products that are incompletely digested and cannot be absorbed, remain in the gastro-intestinal tract and are passed through stools or through vomition. The food, which is partially digested and cannot be absorbed, but cannot be assimilated by the tissues, is termed as ama.

In the context of medicine, however, this term refers to events that follow and factors which arise as a consequence of the impaired functioning of kayagni (body heat). The factors that appear to enter the picture of ama vikaras are related to what is today known as food poisoning. All internal diseases begin with ama’s presence in the body and all diseases caused by the external factors eventually produce ama.

 

 

Symptoms of Ama

• Strotorodh (Obstruction of systems)

• Bala bransha (Loss of strength)

• Gaurav (Heaviness)

• Anil mudhata (vitiation of Vata)

• Alasya (Lethargy)

• Apakti (Indigestion)

• Nishtiva (Continuous Phlegming)

• Mala sanga (Constipation)

• Aruchi (Anorexia)

• Klama (General weakness)

 

 

Causes for origin of Ama

• Jatharagni mandya (decreased secretion of digestive juices)

• Dhatwagni mandya (decreased heat of tissue)

• Dosha samurchana (due to effects of vital catalyst)

• Krumi visha (toxins produced by worms)

• Mala sanchaya (collection of waste matter)

 

 

Etiology of Ama production

• The ingestion of food containing articles, which are incompatible to one another.

• The ingestion of heavy or indigestible articles of food.

• Over-eating.

• Ingestion of foods for which one has an aversion or the consumption of foods that are disgusting.

• Ingestion of foods that produce distension of the abdomen.

• Consumption of raw and uncooked foods.

• Eating of foods that are too cold.

• Use of foods that are irritating and capable of causing inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

• Consumption of unclean and contaminated (infected) food

• Eating of fried, dry or dehydrated foodstuff.

• Use of foods soaked in too much of water (possibly for long durations of time).

• Intense emotional stresses such as, grief, rage, worry, fear-complex, etc.

• Hunger and irregular diet-habits.

Apart from this given below are the qualities of foods and the effect they have on our health after their consumption.

 

 

 

QUALITY OF FOOD EFFECT ON OUR HEALTH

VERY DRY • Causes loss of strength and colour.

• Dryness of skin.

• Obstruction in the movement of flatus and faeces.

 

VERY OILY • Increases kapha.

• Excess salivation.

• Feelings of heaviness in heart.

• Laziness.

• Loss of appetite.

 

VERY HOT • Toxicity.

• Excitement.

• Burning sensation.

• Thirst.

• Loss of strength.

• Giddiness.

• Bleeding disorders.

 

VERY COLD • Debility.

• Loss of taste.

• Weak digestive capacity.

• Oppression in chest causing nausea.

• Stasis of food for a long time.

• Horripilation.

 

VERY HARD • Obstruction to urine and faeces.

• Feelings of not being contented.

• Of not spreading to all parts of body.

• Not undergoing quick digestion.

 

FLUID FOODS • Produces running nose.

• Polyurea.

• Cough.

• Opthalmia.

• Destroys digestive power.

 

SWEET FOODS • Diminish digestive capacity.

• Not good for health.

• Does not nourish body.

VERY SALTY • Bad to eyes.

VERY SOUR • Causes premature ageing.

 

 

Powers of Liquids

(Anupana)

Anupana means juices or liquids taken after meals. Liquids that possess the properties opposite to that of the food consumed and that, which does not cause any harm to the person, is the ideal after drink.

Anupana helps in

• toning and invigorating the body,

• giving a feeling of contentment,

• making the food move downwards easily,

• breaking the hard materials of the food, making them soft and moistening them,

• easy digestion and distribution.

 

 

Substances that can be taken as anupana

• Water is best as it is the chief source for all tastes. Hot water should be taken after consuming foods prepared from corn flour and such other ingredients that are hard to digest.

• Milk is best after eating rice that has matured in sixty days for those who are debilitated due to fasting, long walks, excessive speaking, sexual intercourse and excessive exercise, and also for children and the aged.

• Meat soup is best for those who have emaciated due to less consumption of food or other diseases.

• Sour syrups for those who are suffering from disorders of vata.

• Sugar added in water is good for those who are suffering from disorders of pitta.

• Water boiled with triphala mixed with honey is good for curing diseases of kapha and of the eyes and throat.

• Mastu (curd water / whey) or cold water is best after consuming, dahi (curds), kuchika (milk and buttermilk heated together in an earthen pot turns into a semisolid form) and kilata (thickened milk).

• Dhanyamla (sour gruel of cereals), mastu (curd water / whey) or takra (buttermilk) are ideal after eating foods prepared with pulses, vegetables and coarse grains.

• Madya (wines) are good after consuming meat or the syrups of sour fruits, water or fermented drinks prepared in cold processing will be ideal, depending upon the qualities. Madhvasava (wine prepared from honey) is very good after consuming meat of domesticated animals.

Anupana should be avoided by those who are suffering from

• diseases on the parts above the shoulders,

• dyspnoea, cough, excess salivation, hiccup, hoarseness of voice etc.

• injury to the chest and

• those who are of talkative nature or who practice singing,

If these people have an after-drink, it disturbs their stomach, results in congestion of the chest and increases the moisture of the food in the throat causing watery discharge from the tissues.

 

 

 

Incompatible Food

Virudha ahar (Antagonistic food material)

Simply, Ahara that which vitiates dosha and which is antagonist to the dhatu in the body is known as viruddha ahara.

To keep a balanced mind in a balanced body, good food is of utmost importance. Incompatible foods are considered similar to poison and artificial poisoning. These type of incompatible foods are called virudha-ahar. By combining different types of food one can turn healthy foods to unhealthy ones and unhealthy foods to healthy ones.

Anything that causes aggravation of the doshas but does not expel them out of the body causes Viruddha (incompatibility) and so they remain antagonistic to the dhatus.

Many times incompatible food do not produce diseases in those who are habituated to exercise (physical activity) and fatty foods, who have a strong digestive power and also who have become accustomed (by long use) to the food and the food which have been consumed in small quantities.

Bad foods, which have become accustomed to the body, should be discontinued in the proportion of a quarter (one-fourth of the accustomed quantity) and wholesome food should be taken instead, slowly increasing by one, two or three periods of taking food.

 

The use of incompatible foods produce

• Skin Diseases

• Boils

• Swelling

• Toxicity

• Abscess

• Tumours of the abdomen

• Tuberculosis

• Loss of vigour, strength, memory, sense perceptions and intellect

• Fever

• Haemorrhagic diseases

• Sometimes even death.

 

 

Treatment

Purificatory therapies should be adopted quickly for person suffering from the above mentioned diseases or in persons who are unfit for it. Palliative measures should be administered by the use of substances which have qualities opposite of those used earlier or even of those which are of similar properties, keeping in mind the condition of the body.

Types of dietetic incompatibility

• Incompatibility by combination.

• Incompatibility by quantity.

• Incompatibility of taste, potency and post digestive state of food.

• Some examples related to the incompatibility of dietetic articles.

• Other factors leading to unwholesome diet.

 

 

 

Unhealthy diet

There are four types of unhealthy diet

One should not practice these types, as they cause varied disorders in the body.

• Samshana -Mixing of healthy and unhealthy foods together is Samshana.

• Adhyashana – Over eating i.e. intake of food before the previous meal has been digested is called adhyashana.

• Amatrashana – When food is taken in either larger proportions or totally lesser proportions is called amatrashana.

Vishmashana -Taking food too early or too late than the scheduled time is called vishmashan.

 

 

 

Food items that should not be used or consumed are

• Persons should not eat aukula (unripe corns present in the ears, fried or burnt over fire), abhyosa (unripe barley fried or burnt over fire), prthuka (parboiled paddy fried and flattened) and eatables prepared with rice flour after meals but if very much tempted or desired he can take very little of it.

• Foods that are prepared from vegetables or grains of worst quality,

• Foods having predominance of pungent, sour, astringent and salty taste,

• Eating foods of only one taste only,

• Foods which are hard to digest and which are dry should be avoided.

• All those that are mentioned as the causes in disease i.e. those, which bring about an increase of all the doshas,

• Foods that are atyabhisyandi (cause severe obstruction of tissue pores by more fluid secretion) and those which lead to constipation,

• Which cause burning sensation during digestion, those not easily digestible, those causing dryness inside, should not be eaten.

 

 

 

Kilata (inspissated milk), dadhikurcika (inspissated buttermilk), fish, dry or uncooked radish, alkaline foods, flours, germinated grains should not be used as food.

 

 

 

SATMYA – Accustomed Food

 

The food that the body gets accustomed to due to regular consumption, gives comfort to the body and at the same time maintains the health of normal tissues, and makes abnormal one normal, such food is considered as good or ‘SATMYA’

Satmya is related to the constitution of the body, age, habitat, season, doshas, diseases etc. For example in regions where rice is the staple food, the people living there would have got accustomed to eating rice since childhood and this does not give any discomfort to the people. Thus rice is satmya for the people of that region. The same rice will not be satmya to a person who has been accustomed to eating wheat since childhood. Hence it is advised that one should not eat food of one or two tastes as when only few tastes are eaten for a long time, it leads to disorders.

 

There are four types of Satmya

• PRAVAR (BEST)

• AVAR (POOR)

• MADHYAM (MEDIUM)

• OKSATMYA

 

Pravar

Getting accustomed to all the tastes is best. The pravar satmya is seen in persons whose constitution is formed by all the three doshas in equal proportion.

Avar

Accustomed to only or any one taste is poor. The person of avar satmya can become pravar satmya after some period by eating healthy diet.

Madhyam

Accustomed to two or more and tastes is medium. The person of madhyam satmya can become pravar satmya after some period by eating healthy diet.

Okasatmya

In this type the person gets accustomed to harmful stuff like opium, tobacco, wine etc., it is an addiction. The person of ook satmya can become pravar satmya after some period by eating healthy diet and by slowly stopping the intake of harmful stuff.

 

 

Apart from accustomed foods, there are three types of IDEAL FOOD which one needs to know.

• Snigdha Ahar : Food which contains fat and which is easily digestible is Snigdha ahar.

Benefits

o Kindles fire in abdomen.

o Cleanses the alimentary tract.

o Does not vitiate the tissues.

o Gets digested quickly and causes the downward movement of vata.

o Produces plumpness of body.

o Postpones old age.

o Increases strength and improves colour and complexion.

• Laghu Ahar: Food, which is easily digestible, is Laghu ahar. It does not harm the doshas and undergoes digestion without causing any difficulty.

• Ushana Ahar: Hot food or food that produces good taste (appetite) and helps in absorption of extra kapha dhatu.

 

 

According to Ayurveda the following items should be included in our daily diet- rice, wheat, barely, rice maturing in sixty days, meat of animals of desert like regions, tender mulaka (raddish), vastuka, patha (velvet leaf), amalaki (emblica officinalis), mrdvika (grapes), Mudga (green gram), sugar, ghee, rain water, milk, honey, Dadima (pomegranate) and Saindhava (rock salt).

Triphala, mixed with honey and ghee should also be taken daily in the night for improving the strength of the eyes (vision).

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