The “We Are What We Eat” Series, Part I

sun grapes

Within Ayurveda, we are what we eat, with primary importance placed on the foods we choose in our daily lives. Cultivating a healthy diet nourishes the body’s vitality, as well as the mind and spirit. According to Ayurveda, a healthy human being possesses both a strong body and a sound mind.

A nutritious diet helps balance the three doshas and promote good health. Ayurveda classifies various types of food like vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy and grains on the basis of their energies and effect on the body and mind. These classifications help us choose foods according to our individual constitution, and avoid foods that may be harmful.  In todays’ hurried modern lifestyle, irregular eating habits and excessive consumption of particular foods is common.  We often consume excess of certain foods that are harmful for us.  Ayurveda suggests ‘antidotes’ or balancing factors for such excesses. These factors help control the negative effects of food we overeat and balance our systems.

Though Ayurvedic literature provides detailed therapies and complex drug formulas for treating most diseases, prevention of disease is the heart of Ayurvedic Medicine. When the fundamental rules of personal and social hygiene are followed closely, building up immunity against most ailments is an achievable task, even in today’s modern lifestyle.

light and dark grapes

A healthy person is defined in the Ayurvedic scriptures as the one who not only possesses the balanced Tridoshas, but who also exhibits a balance of emotions, intellect and a sense of peace.  Diet is given highest importance in health as well as disease. Ancient Indian literature states that when proper diet is followed, medicine is not needed, and when proper diet is not observed, medicines are not helpful.

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