Dietary Management and Lifestyle Changes: Key to Health
According to Ayurveda being healthy and happy is a birth right of each and every human being. Therefore Ayurveda talks extensively about- how a fellow can remain healthy for the whole life. This is something like an art. There cannot be a mechanical manual for the thought of the health. Nobody can “buy health”. This is something you earn every day. With every breathe.
Because we interact with our surrounding with two tools- one is diet and other one is lifestyle. This is the reason, these are most important factors which affect us directly. Therefore to maintain health, the most important thing is- dietary management and lifestyle changes.
How does Diet and Lifestyle impact us much
Those were the days when every physician will say- eat what you like , live as you prefer. Because there was a strong belief on Antibiotics at that time. Medical world felt that chemicals once introduced to body, can treat anything and everything.
But in last three-four decades, we all are trapped with diseases of diet and lifestyle. And we these conditions are making us helpless. These might be diabetes, hypertension like manageable conditions or complicated conditions like- cancer. Everything associates with diet and lifestyle only.. Therefore now the stress in on these two only.
Ayurveda About Diet and Lifestyle
Ayurveda talks about the diet and lifestyle extensively. And these two are basic tools of treatment for Ayurveda. Medicines are secondary.
Because as per Ayurveda Most of the diseases which affect human kind are the resultant of the bad diet habits and a wrong lifestyle. So it becomes obvious for Ayurveda to discuss about Diet and lifestyle management. There are both preventive and curative aspect of these two.
Preventive aspect of the Diet and Lifestyle
If a fellow is taking proper care about what to eat, how to eat and what to do what not to do; surely he can prevent most of the diseases. Healthy Dietary habits and lifestyle changes are similarly beneficial for a diseases fellow also. These help in recreating harmony among the different parts of the body and calm down the aggravated Doshas which are the root cause for all the diseases.
Therefore when one wants to stay away from the disease, the selection of diet and lifestyle ensures the complete wellness. Perhaps this is easiest and most accurate way for the healthy living.
Curative Aspect of Diet and Lifestyle
Because diet and lifestyle are two factors, responsible for the aggravation of the doshas. Therefore in the diseased conditions when doshas are aggravated control on the diet and lifestyle helps in making things better. These help a patient to balance the things.
Dietary and lifestyle interventions are initiated according to the aggravated Doshas and the physical and psychological constitution of a person; these interventions are accompanied by spiritual nurturing, removing the cause of the health problem (most of the times it is stress and worry – as per Ayurveda each and every health problem has a psychological element involved with it), exercise, and yoga practice. Diet and lifestyle both are helpful to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock.
Dietary Guidelines as per Doshas
Ayurveda makes the task of diet management easy. Because everything is systemic. Thus once you understand yourselves, it becomes easy for you to manage the health, by planning everything according to doshas.
For Vata Dosha
As far as the dietary modifications are concerned, the diet would include oils, butter, and sweet food when there is aggravation of the Vata Dosha. These foods will alleviate the inherent dryness and roughness associated with the Vata Dosha.
For Pitta Dosha
When there is Kapha dominance in the bio constitution of the fellow or the disease is because of the Kapha aggravation, the diet would include bitter, sour, vinegary, spicy, dry food. These foods are opposite to the Kapha Dosha. These will ignite the digestive power and improve the digestion.
For Kapha Dosha
If Pitta is disturbed, the diet would include mild tasting food, grains, lentils, and moderate amounts of sweets and oils.
Besides planning for diet in this way; at certain time (especially when the digestive fire is too much diminished) the concerned fellow is advised not to eat and drink anything. It is something like that the fire is suppressed by too much of the ashes over the burning woods. When we blow the air over it the fire will again aggravate. In the same way when an Ayurveda physician advice for fast, actually he is asking to remove the toxins which are suppressing the digestive fire. By fasting we are giving a rest to the digestive system and as a result it can rebuild itself. This is the reason Ayurveda always recommends to take the meal only when the previous meal has been digested.
Lifestyle Management and Ayurveda
Along with a proper diet a healthy lifestyle is also very important to maintain health and also to enhance the effect of treatment. Ayurveda strongly recommends that everyone should have a regular sleeping schedule, about 8 hours of sleep each night, rising early in the morning; do regular exercise; and eat breakfast and engage in other dietary recommendations according to seasons.
Besides proper sleep exercise especially yoga and breathing exercises; and sunbathing are also necessary for a healthy life. It is important that some appropriate form of Yoga should be practised regularly according to one’s Dosha constitution. The concept behind Yoga Asanas and Pranayama according to your Doshas is simply to re create harmony among your Doshas physically as well as psychologically. So Dietary Management and healthy lifestyle will benefit you maintaining in complete health – which is the aim of Ayurveda.