THE PERFECT DIET PLAN - THE SECRET OF TASTY FOOD THAT IS ALSO YOUR MEDICINE (Part II)
TODAY’S TALK IS CONTINUES THE DISCUSSION ON THE PERFECT AYURVEDIC DIET PLAN THAT NOURISHES YOUR MIND, BODY AND SOUL
Ayurveda classifies diet or food according to the physiological and emotional impact it has on our body and mind and properties of our existence – our ‘nature’ or ‘guna’.
We are what we eat!
Every food has its unique property, not just the property it inherits but also the property the food acquires by the way or at the time it is consumed. The time aspect, or “The Eating Window” we discussed in previous blog, today we talk of the properties of food. Broadly these properties are such that it causes:
- Awareness (Sattva)
- Stimulation (Rajas)
- Dullness (Tamas)
Dieticians have classified various kinds of common modern foods according to their properties. The idea is to eat more of ‘Satvic’ food, that lights up awareness in us (these foods contain the “yogic” quality), less of ‘Rajas’ foods that acts as stimulant when we are looking for stimulant (These foods increases energy of body). The ‘Tamasic’ food that causes dullness in us, the less we eat the better (foods that decreases energy in body).
- Types of foods loaded with Awareness (Sattva): Seasonal and local fruits and vegetables, dairy, whole grains legumes and nuts. Foods that are simply prepared like steamed, boiled, lightly sautéed in little oil or fat. Such foods increase intelligence, openness, creativity restores bodily balance.
- Types of food rich in Energy (Rajas): Red meat, red lentils, toor lentils, white urad lentils, black and green gram, chickpeas, spices such as chilies and black pepper and stimulants such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, onion and garlic, tea, coffee, tobacco, soda, alcohol, chocolate, sour apples, pickles and refined sugars. Such foods provide energy, stimulates our mind and body.
- Types of food that dulls our body and minds (Tamas): Remember, any food item which is overeaten turns Tamasic. Some fermented foods like vinegar, bread, pastries, cakes, alcohol and even leftovers and stale food are considered Tamasic. Besides the above-mentioned food items, most of our refrigerators and pantries are filled with canned and frozen foods which are also Tamasic in nature. Many experts consider microwaved food to be Tamasic too.
Next week we shall talk about the three bodily properties as per Ayurveda called the “Dosha”.