With the knowledge of the properties of food and the application of dietary guidelines, one can maximize health and minimise the chances of falling sick.
- The effect that food has on a person depends on the specific constituents of that person.
- The environmental factors like soil type and temperature determine food’s nutritional value and taste.
- Even age, emotional state, and the power of the agni can affect the quality of food.
In Ayurveda, ahara (food) is the prime preventive medicine. A proper diet and eating habits lead the way to physical and mental well-being. And with the knowledge of the properties of food and the application of dietary guidelines, one can maximize health and minimise the chances of falling sick.
Here are some of the qualitative factors taken from Charaka Samhita that determine the effectiveness of the food you eat.
The land and climate in which a food item is grown and soil type, temperature, rainfall and humidity are all significant factors that determine a food’s nutritional value and taste. For example, grains, and vegetables that are grown in watery environment are harder to digest, as they heavy in nature. And those that are grown in the arid environment are easier to digest and light in nature.
This refers to the time and season in which a particular food is grown. In addition, it also includes the eating time – the time of day, the standby time after preparation or the climate around you. For example, eating hot food during summers and cold food during winters are conflicting in nature and not good for health.
The effect that food has on a person depends on the specific constituents of that person. Age, the power of Agni (digestive fire), dietary habits, emotional state determine the type and quantity of food a person should have. For example, heavy food is not suitable for an old person with weak digestion. Also, different food aggravates or alleviates different doshas. For example, hot, spicy food may be good for kapha type but can cause problems for pitta type.
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