Gunas of Food- Heavy vs Light

Jun 13, 2019 Jiva Ayurveda 0

Summary

In Ayurveda, each food has a different guna (quality) that affects our body and mind. Two of the ten guna pairs is Heavy and Light. The article looks at 2 recipes that incorporate the goodness of these 2 gunas.

Highlights

  • Heavy foods take longer to digest as they are more nutritionally dense.
  • Foods with the sweet, salty and astringent rasas (tastes) are heavy
  • Light foods are good for your digestive system but they do not promote tissue growth.
  • Foods with the bitter, pungent and sour rasas (tastes) are light

According to Ayurveda, all foods have certain qualities (gunas) that have varying physical and therapeutic qualities on the body and mind. Let’s talk about the heavy (Guru) and light (Laghu) gunas.

Heavy foods pacify the vata and pitta doshas but take longer to digest as they are more nutritionally dense. Foods with the sweet, salty and astringent rasas (tastes) are heavy.

Try this Moong Dal Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 cup moong dal (soak overnight)
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp kishmish (raisins)
  • 2 cups cow milk
  • 1 cup Gur (jaggery)
  • 1 tbsp ground elaichi (cardamon)
  • 10 badam (almonds) (soak overnight and slice in halves)

Method

  • Blend the mung dal till it is a smooth paste.
  • Heat ghee in a pan and add the mung dal. Stir till golden brown.
  • Add the milk, raisin, gur and cardamon.
  • Let it simmer on low heat until all the liquid dries up.
  • Garnish with almonds and serve hot.

Light Foods are good for your digestive system but they do not promote tissue growth. Foods with the bitter, pungent and sour rasas (tastes) are light.

Try this Green Veggie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch palak (spinach)
  • 1 bunch sarso (mustard greens)
  • 2 ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp jeera (cumin)
  • ¾ tsp methi (fenugreek)
  • 1 ½ tsp dhaniya powder (coriander)
  • 1 tbsp grated adrak (ginger)
  • 1 tsp haldi (turmeric)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ cup water
  • ½ cup dahi (yoghurt)
  • 1 tsp besan (chickpea flour)

Method

  • Put the oil in a pan and add the cumin, fenugreek, coriander and ginger.
  • Stir till the spices are slightly toasted. Add turmeric and water.
  • Add the greens and cover the pan. Cook till the veggies turn tender.
  • Combine the yoghurt, flour and salt and add it to the tender greens.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Serve hot.

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