Ayurvedic Diet: The truth
I think we really need some reality checks on Ayurvedic Diets! So here is the run down on Ayurvedic Diets: The truth.
I wanted to get one thing straight about the Ayurvedic diet: There are no natural food items that are not allowed in this diet! I often hear you should not have tomatoes or anything from the nightshade family. Yesterday I even heard sprouts are not Ayurvedic!!
These kinds of statements are not Ayurvedic. This is because everything that nature provides us with has the potential of being nutritious and, on the other hand, toxic.
Nature Knows Best
So Ayurvedic diets: the truth. All natural food can have a function of balancing the bodymind, if we use them in the right way. Nightshades, for example, need to be cooked and seasoned. They are one of the most nutritious and tastiest plants on earth, part of the Mediterranean diet, found to be one of the healthiest diets on earth. Sprouts are one of the most pranic foods and particularly good in spring, in fact now.
Before you say that something natural is not Ayurvedic, try to explain why? Why would mother nature create something as sweet and delicious as a tomato, and then bar us from eating it. That just would not be fair.
Seasonality is Key
And, this is the key to understanding what is good and what is not: Seasonality. Tomatoes are not in season now in spring when I’m writing this. Sprout are in season and sprouts are highly pranic and they load the body with exactly what it needs in terms of nutrients. When you eat these items out of season, you can expect that they will be difficult to digest. The key is to choose your food items seasonally.
Fire in your belly
You also have to consider the most important factor, the strength of your digestive fire. When the fire burns brightly, you can digest almost anything, however you should still choose seasonal, organic and local produce, for most of your meals.
If your digestion is weak on the other hand, you will be really challenged to deal with foods that are not in season, come from a faraway place, or are processed and not natural anymore, such as commercial milk.
You could even suffer with gas, bloating, acidity, nausea, or heaviness…
In general, what can be difficult to digest are raw foods, out of season foods, many items in one meal (more than 2, such as a tapas meal), cold foods, foods eaten fast and in large quantities. Nightshades, those abhorred by many Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine enthusiasts, are on a harder side, but only when you eat them raw and out of season. When I lived in Naples, Italy, I never saw anyone eating any nightshade raw, except tomatoes. They were always cooked and seasoned and enjoyed with some garden herb that made them easy to digest and, above all, delicious. Ayurvedic diets, the truth is nature knows best.
General guidelines on exclusion of some highly nutritious foods like tomatoes and sprouts is, as I said, not Ayurvedic. What is Ayurvedic is seasonality. Sprouts are springtime gifts from mother nature, tomatoes are late summer and autumn foods.
The Ayurvedic way is nature’s way. A diet that is natural to humans and animals alike and very flexible diet which can be adjusted to anyone’s particular health needs and ethical standpoints. It is the underlying framework to any diet, natural to any location.
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