AYURVEDA’S SCIENCE OF FOOD

AYURVEDA’S SCIENCE OF FOOD

Food is God

Annam brahmeti vyajaanaat

Praano brahmeti vyajaanaat

Mano brahmeti vyajaanaat

Vigyaanam brahmeti vyajaanaat

Anando brahmeti vyajaanaat

– Taittariya Upanishad

OM Brahmarpanam BrahmaHavir

Brahmagnau Brahmana Hutam

Brahmaiva Tena Ghantavyam

Brahmakarma Samadhina

The act of offering is God, the oblation is God. By God it is offered into the Fire of God. God is That which is to be attained by him who sees God in all

Bhagavd Gita IV, 24

Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva

Praninaam Dehamaa Ashritaha

Prana Pana Samaayuktah:

Pachamyannam Chaturvidham

Becoming the life-fire in the bodies of living beings mingling with the upward and downward breaths, I digest the four kinds of food.

Bhagvad Gita, XV, 14

Anna or food is the best among things which sustain life (hence we should choose it carefully for desired results)

Annam vrittikaraa Naam shreshthaha

Food is a giver of Gifts

Wholesome food enhances our vitality and strength, and makes the body sturdy. Food increases enthusiasm, memory, Agni, lifespan, lustre and Ojas.

Body is product of Food and Food is harbinger of Happiness and Suffering

AHARA SAMBHAVAM VASTU

ROGASHCHA AHARA SAMBHAVA

HITAAHITA VISHESHAATTU VISHESHA

SUKHADUKAYO

Charaka Samhita, Sutrastahna, Ch28, 45

Wholesome food is Medicine

Disease can be cured without any medicine by just following wholesome food regimen. Where as even hundreds of medicines cannot cure a disease in absence of wholesome food regimen

Vinaapi bheshajam vyaadhihi pathyadeva nivartate

Na tu pathya vihiinasya bheshjaanaaM shataerapi

TASTE NORMAL   EFFECTS ON THE BODY    EFFECTS ON

Madhura Ajanma Satmya, Nourishment, Strength, Valuable for Children Aged, Improves Complexion, Longetivity Deposition of Fat, Heaviness, Poor digestion, Obesity, Diabetes

Amla Stimulates Digestion, Appetizer Loss of Strength, Skin diseases

Lavan Improves Digestion Hair fall, early graying, skin diseases, Aging

Katu Improves Appetite, digestion, Taste Reduces strength, vigor, Emaciation, Pain in muscle joints.

Tikta Easily digestible, improves digestion, good for Intelligence Dryness, Depletion of Tissues

Kashaya Cleans the Blood Constipation, Flatulence

Classification of Dietary products in Ayurveda

Cereals

Pulses

Legumes

Meat

Milk & its products(Ghee, Yogurt, Buttermilk, Paneer, Cheese)

Vegetables

Fruits

Madya

Water

Sugarcane products

Honey

Oils

Recipes/Kruttanna

VIRUDDHA AHAR

Combining two dietary products having opposite Qualities.

Also processing of Food in a manner which is very opposite to their Qualities.

Also mixing two products in equal proportion.

Taking food in wrong time & order

Such combination are not easily digestible. They remain undigested for long period and get converted in certain kind of Toxins.

Fruit (particularly sour fruits)+Milk

Milk / Milk products +NonVeg

Milk+Curd+Rice

Heated Curd

Raddish/ Leafy Vegetables+ Milk

Heated Honey

Meat with Honey/ Radish/ Sesame seeds

Meat with Lotus stalk/ Black gram

Hot & cold together

SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR INTAKE OF FOOD

Ahar Vidhi Visheshaayatan Eight factors have to be considered: (each one of these can have a post written of explaination on the detail of what it is)

1 – Prakriti – Natural qualities of food

2 – Karana Sanskara – Method of processing, actions done to the food can change its qualities

3 – Samyoga – Combination

4- Desha – Place or habitat, environment

5 – Raashi – Quantum

6 – Kala – Time (of day as well as season, also age of person)

7 – Upyoga Samsthaa – Rules of use

8 – Upbhokta – User (notice this is last!! It is not on the top of the list as to what is important to take into consideration, No such things as dosha diets, agni is the first thing to be looked at in the individual)

DIETETIC RULES Upbhoga Samsthaa

1 – eat warm food

2- eat unctuous food

3 – eat balanced quantity

4 – eat after feeling of hunger arises

5 – do not eat contradictory food

6 – eat in desired place with desired articles

7 – do not eat in hurry

8 – do not eat too slowly

9 – eat with concentration without talking or laughing

10 – eat after considering one’s own self / state thoroughly (once again last)

ORDER OF INTAKE OF DIFFERENT TASTES (in general)

Sweet first

Sour and Salty next

Bitter and Astringent at the end

Sattvic Ahara (food) and Self realization

Ahara-suddhau sattva-suddhih, Sattva-suddhau dhruva-smritih,

Smritilabhe sarvagranthinam vipramokshah.

By the purity of food, follows the purification of the inner nature, on the purity of the inner nature the memory becomes firm and on the strengthening of memory follows the loosening of all ties, and the wise get liberation thereby.

– Bhagavad Gita

Satvic food

If we persist in this practice, we will arrive at our personal version of the sattvic diet. The Bhagavad Gita describes the sattvic diet as “promoting life, virtue, strength, health, happiness and satisfaction”. Sattvic foods are “savory, smooth, firm and pleasant to the stomach.” By contrast, the Gita describes the Rajasic diet as “excessively pungent, sour, salty, hot, harsh, astringent and burnt,” leading to “pain, misery and sickness.” The Tamasic foods are described as “stale, tasteless, smelly, left-over, rotten and foul”. The true test of our foods comes when we meditate. All those who meditate know that there are two main problems. One is falling asleep–the tamasic effect. The other is an over-active mind-the rajasic effect. If we want to be able to quieten the mind and maintain our alertness to explore our subtle nature, we need to follow a sattvic diet. “When Sattva predominates, the light of wisdom shines through every gate of the body” (Bhagavad Gita 14: 11)

Sattvic food is always freshly cooked and simple, juicy, It is light, unctuous, nourishing, sweet and tasty. It increases the energy of the mind and produces cheerfulness, serenity and mental clarity. Sattvic food is highly conducive to good health. Milk, butter, ghee (clarified butter), fresh ripe fruits, almonds, dates, mung (green gram), barley, wheat, parwar, torai, karela (names of Indian vegetables), plantains etc., are sattvic. The spices commonly used in sattvic are turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, fennel (saunf) and cardamom. The sattvic personality People who follow the sattvic way of eating are known to be clear minded, balanced, and spiritually aware. They usually avoid alcohol, stimulants like tea, coffee, tobacco and non-vegetarian food.

Rajas foods

This is food that is fresh but heavy. It includes non-vegetarian food like meat, fish, eggs, and , all whole pulses and dals (not sprouted), hot spices like chillies, pepper, and all vegetables including onion and garlic. The rajasic diet is also cooked fresh and is nutritious. It may contain a little more oil and compared to sattvic food. It benefits those who believe in action and aggression in a positive way such as business persons, politicians, and athletes. Rajasic foods are bitter, sour, salty, pungent, hot and dry. Puri, kachori, pungent condiments, sweets, fried , egg plant, carrots, urad (black gram), onions, garlic, lemon, masur (red gram), tea, coffee, betel leaves, tobacco are rajasic articles of food. These foods create sensuality, sexuality, greed, jealousy, anger, delusion, fantasies, egotism and irreligious feelings. They are interested in often acquiring a lot of power, prestige, position and prosperity. They are go-getters and know how to enjoy life. The rajasic person always plans to prepare various kinds of recipes to satisfy his palate and they MUST be tasty (whether they are healthy pr not is not important). The palate remains unsatisfied until the stomach is completely filled with pungent things and till the tongue is burnt with chillies.

Tamasic food

This includes foods that are not fresh, overcooked, stale, rotten, and processed — foods made from refined flour (maida), pastries, pizzas, burgers, chocolates, soft drinks, rumali roti, naan, tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, canned and preserved foods like jams, pickles and fermented foods, fried foods, sweets made from sugar, ice creams, puddings and most “fun foods” are included in this list. All spicy, salty, sweet and fatty foods form part of the tamasic diet. Beef, fish, eggs, wine, and tobacco are tamasic foodstuffs. Tamas brings about stagnation leading to degeneration of people’s health. Such individuals suffer from intense mood swings, insecurity, desires, and cravings and are unable to deal with others in a balanced way. They have little regard for the welfare of others and tend to be more self-centered. Their nervous system and heart do not function optimally and such individuals age fast.

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3 thoughts on “AYURVEDA’S SCIENCE OF FOOD

  1. Thanks for the above information Bradley,
    You mentioned before my son (suffering from nasal congestion due to allergy) should stay away from heavy wet foods. Now being ignorant I don’t know what these foods are…. Are soups and saucy stuff then WET? Are oily stuff heavy? If not then what is heavy wet food? In winter now, so we eat a lot of soup…..

    • Chatelle
      Kapha foods are most likely what I was talking about. Wet particularly would be foods like say okra, fish, yogurt and others like that which are excessively wet or cause too much moisture in the system. Oily is heavy but some oils like sunflower is light in comparison to ghee where as coconut is very heavy.
      Where are you that you are experiencing winter in June?

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