By Vaibhav Jain, Ayush Expert, Co-founder, Aayush Bharat
With a growing interest in preventive and sustainable healthcare options and a desire for a more balanced and harmonious life, Ayurveda has emerged as one of the trusted sources for all of our healthcare needs in the post-COVID era. Ayurveda, which is often referred to as the “science of life” or “knowledge of longevity”, puts a special focus on the integration of mind, body, spirit and environment for overall well-being to attain good health. This holistic approach to health and wellness has resonated with people as the cornerstone of Ayurveda entails curing the disease from its roots rather than solely treating the symptoms.
Ayurveda has never faded into prominence in the Indian healthcare scenario; instead, it has remained a prominent and widely accepted form of healthcare that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. Since then, Ayurveda has continued to flourish as a time-tested and trusted system of medicine. However, many are exploring Ayurvedic remedies and treatments for various ailments now because they are safe and effective alternatives to modern medicines.
The pandemic has amplified the need for healthy living, driving a greater consumer focus on holistic health solutions across diet, physical, mental, and environmental health. According to a 2021 report by Mintel, holistic well-being is a common goal among the majority of Indians now, given the impact the pandemic had on people’s lives. Experts believe that Ayurveda is the key because it incorporates certain diets, herbal medicine, meditation, and massage to restore the balance of mind, body, soul, and environment.
Nutrition: A fundamental pillar of Ayurveda
Ayurveda places great importance on nutrition. It recognizes that each person is unique and that their dietary needs should reflect their individual constitution, or “dosha.” There are three primary doshas (body constitutions): Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Understanding one’s dosha helps determine the ideal foods and eating habits for balanced health. Ayurvedic nutrition seeks to balance the doshas by recommending specific foods and dietary practices that either pacify or stimulate each dosha. Ayurveda categorizes foods into six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent, and it emphasizes that a balanced meal should incorporate all six tastes in proportions suitable for one’s dosha. Principles promote mindful eating, including paying attention to the quality of food, chewing thoroughly, and avoiding overeating. It also inculcates the use of a wide range of herbs and spices for both flavor and therapeutic benefits. For Ayurveda, food is considered a powerful form of medicine. Certain foods and dietary practices are recommended for various health conditions or imbalances
Here are some ayurvedic remedies for maintaining a balanced diet and achieving good nutrition:
Ayurveda stressed the importance of a balanced diet that includes all six tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Each taste has specific qualities that can help balance one’s doshas. It encourages people to consume foods that are in season, fresh and warm. Seasonal foods are typically fresher, more nutritious, and better suited to our body’s needs during specific times of the year.
- Herbal Supplements: Ayurveda recommends various herbs and supplements to enhance nutrition. For example, ashwagandha and amla are known for their rejuvenating properties and can be taken as supplements. They are both immunity boosters.
- Ghee: Ghee is considered highly nutritious in Ayurveda. It aids in digestion and is a good source of healthy fats.
- Triphala: Triphala is a popular Ayurvedic herbal formulation known for its digestive benefits. It can help cleanse the digestive tract and improve nutrient absorption.
- Hydration: It’s an important aspect of Ayurveda. It recommends staying hydrated with warm water or herbal teas throughout the day. Avoid excessive consumption of iced or carbonated beverages.
- Detoxification: Periodic detoxification, such as Panchakarma, can help eliminate toxins from the body, allowing it to better absorb nutrients.
- Regular Meals: Aim for regular meal times to establish a routine for your body. Irregular eating patterns can disrupt digestion.
The need to embrace Ayurveda has never been more crucial in this complex world. By embracing Ayurveda, we can tap into a profound reservoir of knowledge and healing, fostering a healthier, more balanced, and sustainable future for individuals and societies alike. Individuals can enhance their overall well-being, support digestion, and address specific health concerns by introducing Ayurvedic principles into their diets. It’s important to note that Ayurveda is a holistic system that considers individual constitutions and imbalances. Consulting with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner can provide one with a personalized nutrition plan that aligns with his/her specific needs and goals.