What we eat has a profound effect on our mind as well as the body.
It is not only important as to what we eat, but it is equally important as to how we eat.
Following are some useful few tips on diet.
- The diet, especially hard substances, should be properly chewed.
- Wherever possible intake of curd or buttermilk should follow food.
- It should neither be very hot nor absolutely cold.
- Water should be avoided at least 15 minutes before food. The quantity of water after food should be small. Drink water often.
- Heavy (Guru) food should be taken in a limited quantity.
- Heavy food should not be taken at night. The proper time of night meal is two to three hours before going to bed. After night meal, it is better to go for a short walk.
- After meals, heavy mental or physical work should be avoided. Some rest is advisable for proper digestion of food.
- The food should be fresh, easily digestible and protein-enriched. If cooked food is kept for a long period of time, its positive qualities diminish, due to the existence of free radicals and oxidisation, and this when eaten, is harmful for our health.
- One has to keep in mind that the acidic and alkaline contents of the foods do not exceed their upper limits. Excess of alkali is not as harmful as excessive acids in food, which might lead to acidity or other stomach related problems.
- Avoid fried edibles.
- Each meal must contain at least one protein-filled and one carbohydrate-filled dish. One could eat fresh vegetables, salads, fresh chutnies, pickles, papad and soup with a sprinkling of salt. Each individual should consume not more than 1/2 to 3/4 litre of oil per month.
- Stale, tinned/ canned food and edibles that are kept in the open, cooked and uncovered or left cut and in the open are harmful in nature.
Ayurveda considers bananas, cold water, ice-cream, sugar all sweet edibles and fluids like sugarcane juice, `Cold'. Such foods or drinks should be avoided in cases of common cold, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, itching and other cough-related ailments.
Spices, meats, milk, onions, honey, wheat, millet, jaggery etc. are supposed to be `Hot'. These foods increase strength and help in the development of the body. If one suffers from problem related to bowel movement, insomnia, gas, or even piles and sinuses, one should refrain from eating such `Hot' foods. People suffering from excessive tension and those who lose their temper very often should also avoid such edibles..
Food-stuff like sea-food (fish, shrimps and the likes), egg-yolk, edibles containing cocoa (chocolates, ice-creams, coffee), green-peas, peanut, brinjal, lady's finger and potato, often give rise to allergies or `Pitta' (Acid) related problems. If one is allergic to either of the above mentioned food-stuff, one should by all means avoid these types of food. The sort of allergies that can occur due to the consumption of such edibles are : prickly-heat, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, itching, bronchial asthma, pimples, acne and neurodermatitis (inflammation of skin).
Eat only when you are completely famished, and never eat stomach-full. There should be a gap of at least 6 hours between two major meals. Otherwise, proper digestion is prevented and Indigestion takes place, and if one eats another major meal before the previous one is digested suitably, it leads to the formation of poisonous elements within the body, which in its turn leads to digestive disorders and acidity.
Make it a point to eat fresh fruits like bananas, apples, grapes etc. which are rich in minerals and vitamins, after meals. Fruits, when chewed properly are digested easier, as the enzyme of the saliva break up the sugar in the fruits and make it easily digestible.
Having cloves, cardamoms or aniseeds after meals, aids digestion too.
Each meal should be made up of 35% protein, 35% carbohydrates, 5% oil and 10-15% salad. This means that it is not necessary to have a number of dishes on the menu, what is important is to have a few select foods. A single protein-enriched dish, 1 or 2 dishes rich in carbohydrates, some green salad, and some fresh chutney made out of green coriander leaves, coconut and garlic, is enough.
Take one type of protein at a time. Never include two animal-proteins in the same meal. Milk and milk-products, fish, meat and eggs are also considered to be animal-proteins.
Animal-proteins such as milk and curds can be consumed with sprouted grains or vegetables, as these proteins are easily digestible.
Sprouted-food : Seeds, nuts, pulses, when soaked in very little water overnight (or for 10-12 hours), sprout. Through the process of sprouting, these edibles lose their acid contents and become more easily digestible. Even though the proteins in these edibles are difficult to digest, digesting them becomes as simple as digesting green-vegetables, once the edibles sprout.