Ayurvedic Recipes

Principle of Ayurvedic Cooking

Ayurvedic recipes

Ayurvedic Food

Ayurveda encompasses the healing of body, mind and spirit through diet, lifestyle (including yoga and meditation), medicinal Ayurvedic herbs, and rejuvenating Ayurvedic therapies. Ayurvedic nutrition shows that food combining and proper cooking methods can make a vital contribution to continuous good health, as proper digestion is one of the basic principles to optimum health. “Ayurveda has three main focuses – healing, prevention and health care. Ayurvedic cooking is a method of personalizing food for each person’s healing process.”
The Ayurvedic cook derives his knowledge of herbs, spices, vegetables, legumes and so forth from the Ayurveda, which helps them maintain physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony.Ayurvedic foods are appetizing, flavourful and aromatic and a way of offering love, becoming healing when served in an inspiring atmosphere. Ayurveda can provide great insight about which foods will suit and balance you according to your constitution, dosha imbalance, and season. Ayurvedic cuisine is unique for its emphasis on making sure each dish is cooked and spiced so as to achieve maximum digestibility to avoid the formation of toxins (which is a result of improperly digested food).
Food has a powerful effect on the body and mind and it is important to eat right. Most of the diseases are a result of improper diet or not having food in a proper manner. Specific food’s nutritive value and its effect are decided, depending on its taste and attributes. Ayurveda works on the principle that every individual is unique in how he/ she responds to food.
Ayurveda, the science of life or longevity is the holistic alternative science from India and it is more than 5000 years old. It is believed to be the oldest healing science in existence, forming the foundation for all others. Ayurvedic cooking advises eating fresh foods as it provides the maximum amount of energy, it does not encourage eating leftovers or processed food as a daily habit as they lack vital energy. Ayurveda categorizes food in to three categories: Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. These types of foods have different effects on the body and the mind. The basic principles of Ayurvedic Cooking are : the five Elements, the three Doshas, the three Gunas, the seven Dathus and the six Tastes.
Sweet Taste (Earth and Water elements)
Sweet taste food is considered the most nourishing. They provide valuable vitamins and minerals to the body that are needed to assimilate the sugars. Food that falls under these categories is whole grain cereal, breads, pasta, rice, seeds and nuts. Many fruit and vegetable are also sweet as well. Eating something sweet satisfies our immediate hunger; it increases the energy level in our body and also has a calming effect.
Sour Taste (Earth and Fire elements)
Sour taste food that falls into these categories are buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt and cottage cheese. Most half ripe fruit are also sour. Consumption of sour food increases your appetite; it also increases your saliva flow and digestive juices. Over eating sour food will render our body more prone to aches and cramps.
Salty Taste (Water and Fire elements)
Naturally salty food such as kelp and seaweed helps cleanse the body and tone the adrenal glands, kidneys, prostate and thyroid gland. It contains potassium, iodine that helps balance sodium. Process salt which is devoid of its natural balancing elements increases retention of fluids in the body, thus affecting the kidneys, and putting pressure on the blood vessels and all organ systems.
Pungent Taste (Fire and Air elements)
Foods that are pungent include onion, Brussels sprouts, horseradish, ginger, mustard, chilli powder and rosemary. Pungent foods have high healing properties; they have the opposite effect from salty foods. It reduces the fluid content of tissues, improves breathing and improves concentrating power. Pungent herbs stimulate the mind and promote circulation in the brain.
Bitter Taste (Air and Ether elements)
Bitter foods are normally associate will green leaf vegetable, tea. Bitter taste food helps digestion and increases metabolic rate.
Astringent Taste (Air and Earth elements)
Astringent foods that come under this category are celery, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, mushroom. Fruit like apple, avocados, berries, grapes and pear are also astringent. Astringent Taste fruit are often associated with cleansing of body fluids, blood, lymph and sweat. It also prevents capillary leakage; helps heal skin and mucus membranes and nerve tissue.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

An experienced Ayurveda Doctor, Panchakarma Specialist, Holistic Healer, Psychological Counselor, Yoga teacher, Health article writer from the land of Ayurveda i.e Nepal.

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