Ayurveda – Food as Medicine
According to Ayurveda Food is considered to be a way in which we not only give our body nutrition, but food acts a medicine to heal the body. The six tastes of Ayurveda hold the ‘cosmic memory’ of healing withing each type of food that is represented with in the six tastes. Each individual taste has its own characteristics that perform specific medicinal processes within our physiolgy> depending on our state of mind or physical health we can choose to use specific tastes in our daily food to encourage the body to heal itself by incorporating the essential nature of healing qualities within each taste. We nourish ourselves by converting the energy and information of plants into the biological intelligence of our body. Just as a weak structure results in an unsound building, we all know that poor nutrition leads to an unhealthy body. To create and maintain a healthy physiology our food must be nourishing, our digestive power strong and our elimination efficient.
Ideal nutrition results from consuming a variety of foods that are appropriately prepared and eaten with awareness. A balanced diet containing a variety of tastes provides nourishment for our body and mind. The six tastes of Ayurveda are Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter and Astringent, according to Ayurvedic authentic texts we should have these intelligent 6 tastes in every meal
There are some key points that we should understand about how Ayurveda believes our food is truly medicine for our health
– Our digestive power is comparable to an internal fire that governs the breakdown and metabolism of the food we eat. When our digestive fire is strong and healthy, we are able to extract the greatest level of nourishment from our diet. If our digestive power is weak, even the healthiest substances may not be properly utilised.
– When our digestive power is not adequate to completely metabolise the food we eat, a residue of undigested substances is left behind in our physiology. This toxic residue weakens the efficiency of our digestive system, leading to problems such as constipation, fatigue, bad breath and low energy.
– The strength of our appetite reflects the underlying state of our digestive fire. A strong appetite is necessary to help us digest and absorb the food we eat. When we use the 6 tastes in our diet we encourage a healthy appetite.
The following suggestions will help you cultivate a healthy appetite, improve digestive efficiency and reduce the amount of toxicity in your system:
– Don’t eat unless you’re hungry.
– Stop eating when you’re satisfied
– Remember that food is for nutrition.
– Continuing to eat after the point of being satisfied overloads the digestive system resulting in a build up of toxicity in your physiology.
– In her infinite wisdom, Nature has packaged all possible food sources into six tastes as a way to inform us about each food’s influence on our mind body physiology.
– All six tastes should be eaten at every meal for us to feel satisfied and to insure that all major food groups and nutrients and represented.
Linda is an Integrative Psychotherapist and Ayurveda Consultant with years of experience and practice in both modalities. She is the creator of PsychoVeda which is the Integration of the Contemporary Art of Psychotherapy with the Ancient Science of Ayurveda and this brings a completely unique approach to the whole mind and body ‘life experience’. http://www.lindabretherton.com
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Article Posted: March 17, 2012