Eat Right

Ten Ayurvedic Dietary Must-Do’s

01 Aug 2017 no comments yadvendras

 

Ayurveda is clear on this:  ALL good health starts with digestion and with the proper metabolism of food.

Accordingly, one of the most important things we can do for our health every day of the year is to eat wisely.

Food is considered just as powerful as medicine. In fact, there is a sloka (writings of the ancient texts of ayurveda) that says “food is medicine when consumed properly.” If we eat foods uniquely suited to our physiology, and follow a sattvic (life supporting) routine that enhances digestion, our bodies will reap the benefits and we will find that our days will be happier, healthier and filled with real vitality — at any age.

Here are our top ten ayurvedic dietary must-dos:

  1. Eat naturally intelligent foods Did you know that close to three-quarters of the products sold by grocery stores in the United States contain genetically-modified ingredients, or synthetic (non-food) ingredients? Many of the chemicals and pesticides used in GMO foods have been linked to numerous health issues.Processed foods, genetically-modified foods, and foods to which artificial preservatives or other synthetic chemicals have been added are no longer alive with the intelligence of nature. According to ayurveda, our human physiology is a reflection of the laws of the universe, and the more in tune our lives are with nature, the healthier we are likely to be! Our bodies possess the natural intelligence to process the foods that are closest to nature, such as fresh whole grains and organically-grown fruits and vegetables. This makes sense when we consider that we have evolved as a species over millions of years eating whole, natural foods. It is just in the last few hundred years that artificial ingredients and toxic pesticides have been introduced into the food chain. It is no wonder that the incidence of cancer has exploded in the last few centuries. Whenever possible, choose organic, unprocessed foods.Let’s pursue what is in our control. Living a balanced lifestyle, getting adequate rest, staying hydrated so our bodies can rid themselves of impurities, getting some form of reasonable exercise and eating pure foods are all in our control and are something we can do to help stay healthy.
  2. Shun food fads Each year there are fad diets that come with media hype of new research on certain foods, drinks, or a new diet that is “guaranteed” to work. Keeping up with the latest on what to eat, how, or when, can be a challenge. After all, what works for a million other people may still not be right for us, as each of us is a unique being. This is the beauty of ayurveda — it recognizes our uniqueness and gives us a knowledge and perspective that is empowering; that allows us to manage our own health in a very personalized manner. Ayurveda is the ancient science of whole living, not a fad. It has been around for over 5,000 years, is time tested and individualized in its approach.
  3. Opt for lots of fruits and vegetables Eat loads of fruits and vegetables, not only for their nutritional value, but also because they are good natural internal cleansers. Vegetables do not necessarily have to be just separate dishes. Add them to grains, stuff them in breads, toss them in stews and soups — there’s always room for your favorite veggies in every dish.  Cook your veggies rather than eating them raw. Although raw veggies “may” contain more vitamins and nutrients, they can be harder for our bodies to metabolize. Think of a piece of broccoli. If it is raw, how long does it take for our digestive enzymes (digestive fire) to penetrate completely to its core and break it down? Now imagine a cooked piece of broccoli. Whether steamed or sautéed, in either case, room has been created in its cellular structure for our enzymes to penetrate and much more quickly digest it. If you are a salad eater, try eating your raw veggies at lunch, giving your body plenty of time to digest your food. During the early afternoon hours when the sun is highest in the sky, our digestive agni is working at its maximum potency. And as the sun goes down, so does our agni. So to burn our largest meal of the day, we eat it at lunch — we add it to our strong digestive fire at noon.
  4. Be spice-wise Spices not only add flavor and aroma; they also bring therapeutic value to any meal. Spices help boost natural immunity, and most of them can rev up our digestion so our bodies are able to absorb and assimilate the nutrients from the foods we eat! According to ayurveda, each meal should contain all six flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent. Remember, having all six tastes in our meals means that the spice is present, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we may overtly taste each flavor.

Cleanse from the inside out The build-up of ama — digestive toxins resulting from improper digestion — in the physiology is, according to ayurveda, the root cause of most disorders. Improper digestion can be the result of a few habits:

  • Eating late in the evening when the body is ready for rest and not prepared for the heavy work of digestion. Eat a lighter, well-cooked meal at least three hours before bed, and try to be in bed around 10:00 p.m. or before.
  • Eating raw veggies or heavy meats that are harder to digest.
  • Having weak digestion, due to an imbalance, or due to stress in our lives.
  • Poor hydration. When the body is not hydrated, it cannot remove impurities from the lymph system properly. Blood production and flow may be negatively affected, possibly inhibiting our body’s ability to carry and maintain oxygen and nutrients.

Completing a cleanse during every change of seasons, to detox and rid the body of ama, is recommended for optimal health. Detoxing is particularly recommended in the early spring, because that is the time nature starts the annual cycle of regeneration as well. During cleansing, we can eat light, yet nourishing foods such as mung bean soup or kichari, and drink lots of warm water through the day. Sip detox tea or Infused water. Fresh, sweet juicy fruits are excellent cleansers.

Drink to your health! When possible avoid caffeine, alcohol and carbonated soft drinks, and switch to life-giving, vitality-boosting beverages. Start with water, that most basic yet most overlooked drink — drinking lots of warm water through the day helps to rehydrate our system and flush toxins out of the body. Avoid drinking ice-cold water, especially before, during and after meals. When we drink ice-cold water, it slows blood flow in the region of the stomach and slows the action of digestive enzymes. Blood flow and digestive enzymes are directly responsible for strong digestion, and anything we can do to support blood flow and enzyme action will help our digestion.

  1. Cultivate good eating habits Our busy lifestyles can lead us to eat on the go, eat while working, skip meals or eat “junk” foods. However, ayurveda holds the belief that we can add life to our years and years to our lives by following a good eating routine. This healthy ayurvedic routine includes: eating three regular meals at about the same time each day; making lunch the main meal of the day (heavy dinners can tax digestion and disrupt sleep); and cooking and eating fresh food.
  2. Eat for your soul Balanced health goes beyond physical wellness to well-being in mind, spirit, emotions and senses as well. The food we eat can nourish our mind, body and emotions, not just our body. Cooking and eating in a harmonious atmosphere turns food into nectar. A pleasant, tidy, cheerful environment and the nurturing company of friends or family will actually make mealtimes more nourishing.
  3. Experiment with what you eat! Eating the same dishes several times a week? Does your grocery list have the same items on it each time? Break out of that rut and experiment with new foods and flavors! Resolve to try at least one new recipe a week. Eating with friends can be a great way to break out of our routine.If you have a favorite vegetable or grain you like to eat often, try preparing it differently (sauté, steam, boil, roast, or bake), or combine it with other grains, vegetables or herbs for variety. Once or twice a week, consider trying a healthy dish from another part of the worldAnd finally…….
  4. Remember, the world is our table: Did you know that, according to ayurveda, we metabolize with all five senses? We don’t metabolize just our food….everything we hear, touch, see, taste and smell becomes part of us, so choose wisely and live a healthier life.

Disclaimer: 

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or spices when pregnant or nursing.

Spices of Life

01 Aug 2017 no comments yadvendras

Spices form the base of any Indian dish. We are not satisfied with a dash of salt and a squeeze of lemon, we need spices .

According to the Ayurveda spices if consumed in moderation can derive health benefits, but an overdose of any spice can lead to indigestion or even ulcers. Media portals are flooded with the health benefits of Turmeric or Haldi, but today we list out other Indian spices that are healthy and are kept under wraps.

Allspice (Kabab Chini): Allspice is a soothing, anti-inflammatory, and carminative spice. It has been positively linked to reducing cancer, improving oral health, stimulating digestion, facilitating bone growth, boosting the immune system, reducing blood pressure, and acting as an analgesic or anesthetic substance.

Anise Seed (Choti Saunf)This powerful spice has antioxidant capabilities, as well as stomachic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, antiseptic, digestive, expectorant, and stimulant properties. It is a great source of vitamins and minerals like ironpotassiumcopper, and manganese, and helps to increase the circulation and oxygenation of body parts, while boosting the immune system and improving the quality of the skin.

Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)Bay leaf is a very popular spice throughout the world, and is praised for its ability to prevent cancer, boost immunity, reduce neural tube defects, protect oral health, increase health and beauty of your hair and skin, improve nervous system function, regulate body metabolism, and prevent blood-related conditions like anemia.

Black Pepper (Kali Mirch): Perhaps one of the most common spices in the world, black pepper is important due to its ability to reduce inflammation and excess gas, optimize gastrointestinal action, regulate enzymatic reactions, control heart rate and blood pressure, and prevent cancer due to its antioxidant capabilities.

Caraway (Shahi Jeera)Caraway seeds can improve digestion, reduce constipation, lower blood cholesterol, reduce excess gas, neutralize free radicals and prevent various diseases like cancer, improve blood pressure, eliminate atherosclerosis, and provide a healthy source for thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and niacin, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, seleniumzinc and magnesium.

Cardamom (Elaichi)The health benefits of cardamom include the ability to aid digestion, reduce spasms, lower blood pressure, increase the metabolism, increase circulation, increase frequency and volume of urination, and also gives the body many of its necessary vitamins and minerals, including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, iron, manganese, and potassium. Its essential volatile oils are also very effective in healing various conditions.

Chili Pepper (Lal Mirchi)Hot pepper might be too much for some people to handle, but it is a very healthy thing to eat! It has the ability to clear the sinuses, increase urination, eliminate toxins from the body, help manage diabetes, prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, optimize the metabolism, regulate hormonal activity, and perhaps most importantly, fights against all foreign invaders, toxins, and potential infections, due to its powerful antioxidant properties!

Cinnamon (Dal Chini)Cinnamon is a beloved spice around the world that is praised for its ability to reduce inflammation, eliminate pain, manage diabetes, eliminate infections, reduce excess gas, improve heart health, increase cognitive function, build strong bones, prevent cancer, and increase the health of the eyes and skin!

Cloves (Lavang)Cloves have a very strong taste, and are antioxidant, antiseptic, anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and rubefacient in nature. They also contain a number of valuable organic compounds and volatile oils that are good at protecting against cancer, managing heart rate, balancing bodily fluids, improving digestion, increasing oral health, eliminate premature aging, and strengthen the membranes throughout the body.

Cumin (Jeera)Cumin seeds are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and carminative by nature. They improve digestion, increase sperm count, build strong bones, improve eye sight and eliminate macular degeneration, manage heart rate, lower blood pressure, act as a co-factor in many enzymatic reactions, increases bred blood cell count and prevents various types of cancer.

Curry leaves: A very important spice used down south specially for tempering. Curry leaves give a very nice aroma to your dish. With regards health benefits, curry leaves reduces weight. They wash out all toxins and fats from your body. The fat deposits in your body starts cutting down gradually with the daily intake of curry leaves. Curry leaves are also good for your hair, it helps hair growth and also prevents premature graying of hair. No wonder why ladies down south take pride in their long, thick and dark hair.

Fennel Seeds (Saunf)Fennel has long been known for its ability to regulate bowel movements, prevent cancer, reduce premature aging through antioxidant activity, increase enzymatic activity, and act as a great source of many vitamins and minerals, including copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and magnesium as well as organic compounds and acids like pinene, myrcene, fenchone, chavicol, cineole, anethole, limonene, and anisic aldehyde.

Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)Although not popular globally, fenugreek seeds are a very popular and effective spice in certain Asian cultures, and they have the ability to improve digestion and reduce constipation, lower blood cholesterol levels, regulate insulin levels, manage fluid levels in the body, and adds a powerful vitamin and mineral boost which includes copper, iron, potassium, and calcium, as well as vitamins like vitamin B6folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Garlic: Garlic possesses some anti-bacterial properties that reduce cholesterol and fat.

Mace (Javitri):  This is a slightly lesser known spice, but a good one to keep on your spice rack if you can! It has the ability to boost the immune system, build strong bones, reduce depression, increase sexual libido, stimulate digestion, reduce excess gas, reduce insomnia, keep the skin healthy, boost hair health, and increases circulation to all parts of the body.

Mustard Seeds (Rai): Mustard seeds are packed with organic compounds and volatile oils that can boost your overall health. They are also a wonderful source of B-complex vitamins, which are essential for normal functioning of your organ systems. It can also reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, improve the strength and health of your teeth, boost circulation, build strong bones, prevent cancer, and reduce signs of premature aging.

Nutmeg (Jaifal)Nutmeg is a great source for antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals necessary for human health. It can fight fungal infections, work as an aphrodisiac, improve digestion, reduce excess gas, improve hair and skin health, prevent macular degeneration, and reduce the chances of developing various forms of cancer.

Saffron (Kesar): This powerful spice includes many carotenoids and boost immune system health in a big way. Saffron also fights infections in wounds, elevates mood, induces sleep, stimulates red blood cell formation, eliminates spasms, modulates hormonal activity, and can reduce blood pressure through the vasodilating properties of potassium.

Tamarind (Imli): This South Asian spice is very popular because it has the ability to improve blood vessel and artery strength, regulate digestion and excretion in a healthy way, prevent cancer, lower blood cholesterol, build strong bones, increase blood circulation and oxygenation, regulate enzymatic activity in the body, and improve the mucus membranes throughout the body as well.

Turmeric (Haldi): Turmeric which is not only an important spice to be used in all Indian dishes but also adds color and flavor to your special dish. Turmeric has many healing properties. Researches have shown that Turmeric or haldi as known in India, contains a component curcumin which switches off those genes that enlarge heart. Other than that, turmeric is also known to reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure, it also increases proper blood circulation throughout the body and prevents blood clotting. Unbelievable but true, daily consumption of turmeric does reduce the risk of heart attack.

 

Disclaimer

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or spices when pregnant or nursing.

 

Path to well being & Healthy Life…

01 Aug 2017 no comments yadvendras

A fad diet is a stylish weight-loss plan that promises dramatic results. Typically, these diets are not healthy and don’t result in long-term weight loss.

As a general rule, steer clear of diets or diet products that do any of the following:

  • Claim to help you lose weight very quickly (more than 1 or 2 pounds per week). It takes time to lose weight and allow your body to adjust.
  • Promise that you will lose weight and keep it off without exercise. If a diet plan or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Limit your food choices or don’t offer balanced nutrition.
  • Focus on food combinations. Research doesn’t prove that eating certain foods together speeds weight loss.
  • Base claims on before-and-after photos.
  • Offer endorsements from clients or experts in weight loss, science, or nutrition. These people probably get paid to advertise.
  • Require you to spend a lot of money, especially in advance. This includes pills  or seminars required for the plan to work.
  • Some tips that apply to any healthy weight loss plan include:
  • Eat breakfast every day and don’t skip meals.
  • Eat a variety of foods to ensure that you get all of your daily nutrients.
  • Watch what types of fat you consume. Do not eat any trans fats. Trans fats come from partially hydrogenated oils and are found in many fried and baked goods. Read nutrition labels as you grocery shop. Limit your daily intake of saturated fat and sodium. Try to eat healthy fats instead of opting for a strict low-fat diet. The latter typically is higher in carbs.
  • Limit the amount of sugar in your diet. High-sugar foods often are high in calories and low in nutrients. They also can lead to inflammation in your body.
  • Limit liquid calories by avoiding soda and alcohol. Choose whole fruits instead of juice. Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Watch the size of your portions. Use the nutrition label to determine the correct serving size.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. Pick an activity that you enjoy. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes, 4 to 6 times per week.
  • Be more physically active in your daily life. Park further away from the door and take the stairs when you can. Get a pedometer or step counter and work toward a goal of 10,000 steps per day.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or spices when pregnant or nursing.


                                

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