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QuestionDear Kurma,

Love website. Keep coming! I want to find out more about principle of Ayurveda and eating, and specifically the digestion. I heard good digestion is key to health, according to Ayurveda.

Karel Hennman, Prague, Czech Republic

AnswerDear Karel,

Thanks for your kind words! I am inspired to keep going, especially when I get such nice feedback from all over the world.

I compiled a small article on this subject not long ago, derived from various sources, but I did not publish it. Here it is in full.

Happy eating!



Ayurveda, Digestion and Eating

“Without proper diet, medicine is of no use.
With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”
(Ayurvedic proverb)

According to India’s classic medical science Ayurveda, how we digest and assimilate our food is just as important as what we actually eat. If our digestion is disturbed, even the best diet will not provide proper nutrition. Here's a list of recommendations to aid in the most complete digestion of food - the 'do's and don'ts' of eating.

Do the following:

  1. Eat according to your hunger level. Try not to eat when you’re not hungry, and try not to delay eating when you are hungry.

  2. Eat at approximately the same time every day.

  3. Eat at the correct speed – not too quickly or too slowly.

  4. Eat to about 3/4 capacity. Do not overeat. Do not leave the table very hungry or very full.

  5. Eat only when the previous meal is properly digested. Allow 3 – 6 hours between meals.

  6. Eat sitting down and in a settled environment. Do not read, walk, watch TV or drive while eating.

  7. Sip warm or room temperature liquids during the meal. This enlivens digestion and helps the food be better dissolved and absorbed. Avoid ice cold liquids and foods with a meal as they suppress digestion.

  8. Sit comfortably for five to ten minutes after finishing the meal. This allows the digestive process to get well underway. If you immediately jump up from the meal, digestion will be disrupted and the food will be improperly processed.

  9. Chew the food well. Digestion starts in the mouth.

  10. Milk should be taken alone or with other sweet tastes. Milk should not be taken with vegetables, meat, fish, sour foods, salt or eggs.

  11. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are recommended as part of your daily diet.

  12. Eat organic food whenever possible. Strictly avoid genetically engineered or genetically modified food.

  13. Ayurveda recommends a vegetarian diet.

Avoid the following:

  1. Avoid frozen, processed foods. Eat a wide variety of wholesome foods.

  2. Avoid genetically engineered food. Organic food is best.

  3. Avoid leftovers. Don’t eat reheated leftovers out of the refrigerator as they are hard to digest and clogging to the physiology. Eat fresh food freshly prepared.

  4. Avoid snacks containing refined sugar. Have sweet juicy fruits, dried fruits, hot milk alone or with spices, dates, nuts and other wholesome foods instead.

  5. Avoid artificial foods, colors and preservatives.

  6. Avoid lunches of only raw salad. Raw vegetables are not a balanced diet at lunch, the most important meal of the day. Raw vegetables are too aggravating to be eaten as the only item on the menu at lunch.

  7. Avoid carbonated beverages. They destroy the foundation of "ojas", the chemical that contributes most to the immunity and vigour of the body.

  8. Avoid cold foods. Cold food depresses digestion and clogs the physiology.

  9. Avoid unripe fruits. Try to use the ripest food available.

  10. Avoid heating honey in any way such as by cooking, baking or by adding it to hot beverages. Ayurvedic theory says that when heated honey is ingested it creates a toxic effect in the body. It can be added to tea or hot milk once the beverage has cooled down to body temperature.

  11. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is very aggravating and can significantly imbalance the physiology with overuse.

  12. Avoid eating foods cooked or heated in a microwave.

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