How to eat foods that suit your digestion
The wisdom of Ayurveda nutrition rests on the tip of your tongue, literally! According to Ayurveda, the tastes of food are a natural guide-map towards proper nutrition. When in tune with yourself, you will instinctively sense what is good or bad for your body. However many people are not in tune with themselves. In fact they gravitate to what is actually bad for their health. In this instance "like increases like".
For example the Pitta dosha, the fiery type after eating fiery spicy foods becomes more fiery. The heavy, wet person predominately Kapha, after eating stodgy fried or sweet moist foods feels heavier. If you are the slight, dry Vata type, eating light dry bitter or pungent foods increases the Vata. Increasing a dosha has negative effects on your health, it is important to aim for balance.
I know this sounds crazy to think, but some people are so disconnected from themselves. Watch as children grow and loose the natural intuitive wisdom they once had as little ones. Technology is designed to disconnect us from our selves. They are push technologies constantly feeding our mind. What goes into the mind effects the body.
Learn to listen to your bodies signals is enhanced when practicing Yoga asanas on a regular basis. Many of us have lost the connection with ourselves, due to living in artificial environments. It feels so good being in out nature around the green soothing energy.
Today our lives are spinning at such a fast pace. The recent lockdown was a welcome relief to many. Likewise our attention is being drawn outside of ourselves through our senses, as we are constantly being encouraged to consume. All to keep the economy growing. However, if you spend too long in a shopping centre in the air conditioning, artificial lights and intrusive sounds, soon enough we are in overwhelm. Have you noticed children getting fed up in a shopping centre, lucky they are strapped in their buggies. Alternatively then notice how happy they are in nature. Constantly we are bombarded by sights, sounds, smells and sensations.
You are what you eat
There is a direct correlation between what we eat, how we eat it, how it is cooked, time of eating and our emotional state when eating. What we ingest through our body via our senses has a direct correlation on the body and mind.
Many people today eat imported foods, that are out of season. Our body needs to eat foods that are in season. When the weather is cold we need to eat warm foods. Notice what foods are grown in each season. Packaged foods are full of preservatives to increase their shelf life. Often we have no idea what these chemicals are that we are ingesting. Likewise the foods are totally removed from their natural resemblance. Research shows that many of today's children have no idea of the original source of foods. For instance have you ever seen a pringle or sticky fruit bar tree?
Eat what suits your digestion
If the food you eat does not suit your body type (dosha) you will feel bloated, constipated, restless or your skin erupts. Furthermore your sleep and mood gets altered. As well as you become lethargic, anxious or in the fighting spirit. When our food is not digested properly it sits in the gut and colon for too long. Consequently this becomes rancid and toxic. Toxicity in the body travels through the blood into the organs, brain and joints. On the other hand if the food is digested too quickly, the nutrients are not be absorbed. As a result you become malnourished.
Ayurveda describes the 6 Tastes of food
Ayurveda identifies 6 Tastes in which all foods are categorised. While the first four tastes are recognisable, the last two are not so familiar. Pungent taste is hot and spicy as found in a chilli pepper, while Astringent taste is dry and light as found in popcorn.
Eat foods to suit your digestive fire
In Ayurveda the digestive fire is called the agni. The agni is situated below the navel. It is responsible for cooking the food to pass through the body. A weak digestive fire is unable to process the food and it sits there. The digestive fire is effected by many conditions that enter the body via our senses:- the mouth, ears, eyes, nose, skin and mind. As our body ages our digestive fire weakens. To counteract this, one of the focuses of Yoga Works for Over 40s is on the digestive fire. We pay particular attention to the breathing (pranayama) and opening exercises (asanas) to cleanse the blood.
Include all 6 Tastes in each meal
The 6 Tastes provide a user-friendly guide map for how to nourish ourselves. Rather than looking at nutritional labels for X amount of protein or Y amount of carbohydrates, the 6 Tastes naturally guide us towards our body’s nutritional needs. Each taste feeds our mind, body, senses, and spirit in its own unique way. From a modern nutritional perspective, the 6 Tastes satisfy each of the major dietary building blocks. Sweet foods, for example, are rich in fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and water, whereas Bitter and Astringent foods are high in vitamins and minerals.
When the connection is strong between our mind and body we hear and notice the sensations. They are signals from the brain such as, we require energy in the form of food. Therefore it is wise to incorporate all 6 Tastes into each meal. In this way we ensure that these signals are adequately met, thus avoiding food cravings or the over-consumption of certain foods.
Including the 6 Tastes in each meal doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Adding a squeeze of lemon to cooked dishes, for example, quickly satisfies the Sour taste. Additionally adding a side salad will fulfil the Bitter and Astringent tastes.
Your constitution determines the proportion of tastes to eat
Your body naturally desires tastes that balance its doshic makeup and shuns tastes of an aggravating nature. In this sense, things are made pretty easy for us. All we need to do is simply follow our balanced and natural inclinations, then we are led to the proper foods. Vata individuals when in balance, for example, are naturally drawn to moist, grounding foods. Alternatively Kapha individuals when in balance, favour light, drying foods.
Ayurvedic nutrition recommends including all 6 tastes in each meal. As well as favouring those tastes that bring greater balance to your particular constitution. A Pitta individual when balanced, for example, will favour cooling foods and spices such as dark leafy greens and fennel, These foods are high in the Bitter and Astringent tastes, while requiring a smaller quantity of the Pungent taste.
AYURVEDA TASTES OF FOOD
Yoga Works for Over 40s (online classes) help you to sleep better especially after our Sleepy Time Yoga Therapy on Thursday night at 9pm. Each class is recorded and put into a private Facebook group - Yoga Works Better with Ayurveda. With the option to view our class replays at a time that suits you. Also we drop in there Ayurveda Everyday tips that help you digest life.
People who attend our Lunchtime Chair Yoga Therapy classes are challenged at first to put the tools down, sit and breathe.
Jane one of our Yoga Works for Over 40s members said she had to do a little self talk to wind down into the Chair Yoga Therapy. She just loves the class because it is in the middle of the day when she is so in her head. Jane said this class is exactly what she needs most, her mind and body is refreshed for the rest of the day.
Yoga Works for Over 40s (online classes)
Our Good Morning Yoga therapy class clears the head and brings our energy up, so we are ready for the day with bright enthusiasm. We set the tone with the breathing stretches to start the day with gratitude.
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