Ayurveda Nutrition: The Basic Principles of Ayurvedic Cooking

ayurveda nutrition

Ayurveda is the oldest holistic healing art of humanity. Ayurveda nutrition is one of the core elements. Depending on the type, the right food can ensure a healthy body and a balanced mind.

Where does Ayurveda come from?

Ayurveda comes from India and can be translated as follows: The knowledge (Veda) of long life (Ayur). The holistic system includes the following points: massages, extraordinary cleansing cures (Panchakarma), physical exercises (Yoga), and as the essential element, the science of nutrition. All this is to keep the body functions such as metabolism, digestion, tissue, and excretion in balance to develop no diseases.

The three Doshas

In Ayurveda, it is assumed that nature in all its forms of expression consists of fire, earth, water, air, and ether.

From these elements, three groups with different characteristics develop. These influence the human body and are called Doshas. They are divided into Kapha, Pitta, and Vata.

They are the three primary life energies of man and translated from Sanskrit; it means “that which can spoil.”

According to Ayurvedic teachings, diseases are caused by the imbalance of the three Doshas, and each person is born with a very individual constellation of Doshas.

In Ayurveda, one also only distinguishes between three instead of four yearly phases.

  • The Kapha phase is between the end of February and May.
  • The Pitta phase is between June and September.
  • The Vata phase is between October and January.

These characteristics distinguish the three doshas.

Kapha holds things together and is formed by the elements of water and earth. It stands for the mental and physical strength of the body and stabilizes the immune system.

Pitta stands for “warming” and is responsible for the metabolism, the digestive system, and other biochemical activities in the human body. It consists of the essential elements of fire and water.

Vata means “to move” and regulates all movement processes in the human body. It supports the conscious and unconscious movements and activities of the body. It originates from the essential elements of air and ether and is responsible for regulating the circulation and physique, and tissue.

Six flavors unite

Regardless of which dosha is yours, each meal should contain all six sweet, sour, salty, tart, bitter and spicy. Meals that are not fully digested leave behind metabolic waste products and toxic substances, so-called ama, which can cause numerous complaints.

The right combination of foods

In addition to the Doshas orientation, the focus is on the high quality of the food, the easy utilization of the food, and the food’s right combination. Cardamom, for example, stimulates the digestive fire Agni.

It would help if you didn’t combine animal proteins (meat, fish, eggs, or milk), leading to metabolic waste products.

And now it’s getting tough: Since milk is considered a food in its own right, it should not be mixed with salty or sour foods, vegetables, or fresh fruits. So, muesli with fruit and yogurt will no longer find its way onto the breakfast table in the future.

From an Ayurvedic point of view, only legumes, mung beans, chickpeas, and lentils are suitable for combination with milk.

Fruit should generally be eaten alone, as combining other foods can lead to a fermentation process in the digestive tract.

Sweet foods include cereals, pasta, potatoes, and fats. These are best combined with vegetables and salad.

Rice, as light food, is the exception and goes with everything.

It would help if you only ate when you are starving and avoid snacks altogether. You should also ensure that you have a break of 3 hours between meals to be digested entirely before a new food is added.

At hot meals, you should also have hot drinks, such as hot ginger tea.

A great recipe is golden milk.

One of the main components of golden milk, and responsible for its color, is turmeric. The golden yellow spice is said to have many useful properties. For example, it is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect and act as a perfect synovial fluid. It provides for mobile joints and reduces lime deposits. It also cleans the lungs and relieves the liver.

Recipe for the Turmeric Paste

  • 1/4 cup turmeric
  • 3/4 cup of pure, still water

Put water into a pot and mix with the turmeric and warm it up. Simmer for about 11 minutes at low heat and stir regularly until a paste is formed.

Then let the paste cool down and pour it into a sealable container. The paste will then keep for about three weeks.

Recipe Golden Milk

  • 1 cup of milk
  • One teaspoon turmeric paste

Mix the two ingredients and heat the milk. Then you can add some ground black pepper and some ghee. This way, the effect of turmeric unfolds best.

For a detox treatment, drink the drink regularly for over three months. Especially in the evening, the Golden Milk is perfect as a nightcap.

Hopefully, you have now gained a rough insight into Ayurvedic cuisine, and perhaps you will try the “Golden Milk” directly at the next opportunity. Enjoy it!

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