Eating habits can aggravate and unbalance the elements within us causing tiredness, unbalanced emotions and various diseases or illnesses. In ayurveda this is called contradictory food and when it is consumed repeatedly it can put a load on our digestive system and cause a build up of toxins, which are not good for anybody! Here are some important points to help us maintain our health that we should consider in our eating habits –
- Consider where we are, for example the type of foods that benefit us in a hot climate or dry climate may not be the same in another climate. For example when we are in a marshy place oily and cold substances should be avoided, i.e. yoghurt and cream. Whilst when in a dry region hot substances like chilli powder should be avoided. When visiting someplace maybe we love the food there and when we get back home try to recreate it, but consider the environment and climate you are in, is that type of food suitable for where you are?
- Eat with the seasons, all the nature that surrounds us works with the changing seasons and we should do the same, eat heavier warming foods in winter and lighter cooler foods in summer.
- Be aware of your digestive fire, if your digestive system is working faster then your fire is stronger and you can eat heavier, if your agni (fire) is low then this is going to be contradictory so eat lighter and less oily foods.
- If you are embarking on heavy manual labour or excessive excersise then eat heaver more oily foods, light, dry and cold foods are going to aggravate your system.
- Consider how you are cooking, it all has an impact on the energy within the food. Microwave destroys all energy within the foods, eating overly or undercooked foods is contradictory, cooking simply is best.
- Mixing sour substances such as meat with milk, banana and milk is contradictory.
- Honey shouldn’t be boiled or cooked on high heat as it becomes toxic to your system.
- Try not to shock your organs and digestive system with things that are too hot or cold, ice-cream unfortunately will disturb your digestion as will soup that is steaming hot.
- If you know about the three doshas - Vata Pita and Kapha and you know which one is aggravated then eat to the opposite qualities for example if Vata is unbalanced which is dry, light and cold in quality then eat more oily, heavier and warming foods. Pita is oily and hot, Kapha is heavy and cool.
- Enjoy your food and eat well in a calm and reflective manor, without distractions, this will help your digestion and assimilation and gives us time to be grateful for our nourishment.
Remember our food is our daily medicine, we can heal ourselves with what we eat, so let us eat wisely, a natural and simple diet away from processes and chemicals. What we put into our bodies has a profound effect on how our minds function, our emotions and intellect, the more naturally and simply we can eat the more at peace we will become.
Om Lokha Somasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May we all find harmony and balance
Mangala / nicky