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March 15, 2021 6 min read

World’s oldest holistic healing science – Ayurveda 

Ayurveda, meaning science or knowledge of life in Sanskrit, is a 5000+ years old science that originated in India. It is often considered as the Mother of all healing. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda’s main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease.

In the United States, it’s considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). According to the Ayurvedic approach, your physical and mental harmony should match nature’s rhythm; meaning, the rhythm that the sun and moon create should be in tandem to your lifestyle if you want to attain a level of holistic living.

 

AYURVEDA AND YOUR LIFE ENERGY

Students of CAM therapy believe that everything in the universe – dead or alive – is connected. If your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe, you have good health. When something disrupts this balance, you get sick. Among the things that can upset this balance are genetic or birth defects, injuries, climate and seasonal change, age and your emotions.

Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.

These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies called Doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).

The concept of Dosha’s can be quite confusing, and so without diving too deep into the technical details, we will touch upon some basic information below that can help you understand the key concepts of Ayurveda in order to help you lead a holistic lifestyle.

THE THREE LIFE FORCES

Everyone is born with a unique mix of the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, & Kapha). But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It is believed that your chances of getting sick and the health issues you develop are linked to the balance of your doshas.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS FOR EACH OF THE 3 DOSHA

  • Pitta (fire + water):Intelligent, hard-working, and decisive. This dosha generally has a medium physical build, short temper, and may suffer from conditions like indigestion, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
  • Vata (air + space): Creative, energetic, and lively. People with this dosha are usually thin with a light frame and may struggle with digestive issues, fatigue, or anxiety when out of balance.
  • Kapha (earth + water): Naturally calm, grounded, and loyal. Those with a Kapha dosha often have a sturdier frame and may have issues with weight gain, asthma, depression, or diabetes.

AYURVEDIC DIET

The Ayurvedic diet is an eating pattern that has been around for thousands of years. It is a type of eating plan that sets guidelines for when, how, what you should eat, and what you should avoid eating based on your dosha, or body type. According to this diet, your dosha determines which foods you should eat to promote inner balance.

It is also popular because it is not only said to promote better health for your body, but also your mind. Although the Ayurvedic diet has specific guidelines for each dosha, the diet as a whole encourages eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. This can benefit your health greatly, as these foods are rich in many essential nutrients. The diet also minimizes processed foods, which often lack fiber and important vitamins and minerals. Given that the Ayurvedic diet emphasizes nutrient-rich whole foods, it might boost weight loss.

In addition to what foods you eat, mindfulness is another major part of the Ayurvedic diet. Mindfulness is a practice that involves paying close attention to how you feel in the present.

WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT NOT TO 

In Ayurveda, foods are categorized based on their physical qualities and the way they are said to affect your body. This helps determine which ingredients work best for different doshas.

For example, the Pitta dosha focuses on cooling, energizing foods and limits spices, nuts, and seeds.

Meanwhile, the Vata dosha favors warm, moist, and grounding foods while restricting dried fruits, bitter herbs, and raw veggies.

Finally, the Kapha dosha limits heavy foods like nuts, seeds, and oils in favor of fruits, veggies, and legumes.

Red meat, artificial sweeteners, and processed ingredients are limited for all three doshas. Instead, the Ayurvedic diet encourages eating healthy whole foods.

BELOW ARE SOME OF THE FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT BASED ON YOUR SPECIFIC DOSHA

PITTA 

  • Protein: poultry in small amounts, egg whites, tofu
  • Dairy:milk, ghee, butter
  • Fruits:sweet, fully ripe fruits like oranges, pears, pineapples, bananas, melons, and mangoes
  • Vegetables: sweet and bitter veggies, including cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, zucchini, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and Brussels sprouts
  • Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, lima beans, black beans, kidney beans
  • Grains: barley, oats, basmati rice, wheat
  • Nuts and seeds: small amounts of pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut
  • Herbs and spices: small amounts of black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cilantro, dill, turmeric

VATA

  • Protein: small amounts of poultry, seafood, tofu
  • Dairy:milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, ghee
  • Fruits:fully ripe, sweet, and heavy fruits, such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit, mangoes, peaches, and plums
  • Vegetables: cooked vegetables, including beets, sweet potatoes, onions, radishes, turnips, carrots, and green beans
  • Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, mung beans
  • Grains:cooked oats, cooked rice
  • Nuts and seeds:any, including almonds, walnuts, pistachios, chia seeds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Herbs and spices: cardamom, ginger, cumin, basil, cloves, oregano, thyme, black pepper

KAPHA

  • Protein: poultry in small amounts, seafood, egg whites
  • Dairy:skim milk, goat milk, soy milk
  • Fruits:apples, blueberries, pears, pomegranates, cherries, and dried fruit like raisins, figs, and prunes
  • Vegetables: asparagus, leafy greens, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, radishes, okra
  • Legumes: any, including black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and navy beans
  • Grains:oats, rye, buckwheat, barley, corn, millet
  • Nuts and seeds:small amounts of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds
  • Herbs and spices: any, including cumin, black pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, basil, oregano, and thyme

HERE ARE SOME OF THE FOODS YOU SHOULD LIMIT OR AVOID BASED ON YOUR DOSHA 

PITTA

  • Proteins: red meat, seafood, egg yolks
  • Dairy:sour cream, cheese, buttermilk
  • Fruits:sour or unripe fruits, such as grapes, apricots, papaya, grapefruit, and sour cherries
  • Vegetables: chili peppers, beets, tomatoes, onions, eggplant
  • Grains:brown rice, millet, corn, rye
  • Nuts and seeds:almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, sesame seeds
  • Herbs and spices: any spices not included in the list above 

VATA

  • Proteins:red meat
  • Fruits:dried, unripe, or light fruits, such as raisins, cranberries, pomegranates, and pears
  • Vegetables:any raw vegetables, as well as cooked broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, and tomatoes
  • Legumes:beans, such as black beans, kidney beans, and navy beans
  • Grains:buckwheat, barley, rye, wheat, corn, quinoa, millet
  • Herbs and spices:bitter or astringent herbs like parsley, thyme, and coriander seed

KAPHA

  • Proteins: red meat, shrimp, egg yolks
  • Fruits:bananas, coconuts, mangoes, fresh figs
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers
  • Legumes:soybeans, kidney beans, miso
  • Grains:rice, wheat, cooked cereal
  • Nuts and seeds:cashews, pecans, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts

Just a glimpse into the world of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a complex science that cannot be summarized in a short article such as this, but hopefully this preliminary information has given you a glimpse into the world of Ayurveda and a starting point if you wish to explore more. Just as with any diet plan, it is highly recommended to meet with a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, understand your body type and follow recommended guidelines before venturing into any diet plan of your own.

But you can definitely start by making simple changes to your daily routine such as eating healthy, minimizing sugar intake, introducing some form of physical activity, and getting a good night sleep. Take a look at the products you use on a regular basis and make a note of how much they may be contributing towards your healthy lifestyle. You could consider looking at Tezahn natural herbal cold water infusions which are made with 100% organic ingredients whose Ayurvedic wellness properties fuel your mind, body, and spirit.


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