Ayurveda and food combinationsAnandi - The Sleep Guru
Good sleep means balance according to Ayurveda and it is brought about by many different aspects of one’s life. The physical being can be brought back into balance with foods and herbs, getting more vital energy from breathing exercises, balancing the mind by addressing negativity, spiritual therapies and, lifestyle. Food therefore is just one yet very important part of Ayurvedic therapy.
In the West taste is used simply to identify the food, in Ayurveda taste represents a whole host of healing properties from gross to subtle. Ayurveda considers herbs and foods as therapeutic substances and divide them into six tastes or Rasa in Sanskrit. Each of these six tastes have different healing qualities that balance and heal the body and mind. The six tastes are:
- Sweet (sugars and starches)
- Salty (salt, seaweed)
- Sour (fermented food or acid fruit)
- Pungent (hot spices like cayenne or ginger)
- Bitter (bitter herbs like aloe vera, nettle, leafy greens)
- Astringent (apple, lentils, cauliflower)
According to Ayurveda each taste has a different effect:
- Heating or cooling affects the digestive system
- Heavy or light property builds or reduces the body
- Moist or dry property lubricates or dries the body
The basic rules of each taste are:
- Sweet, sour and salty increase Kapha and decrease Vata
- Pungent, bitter and astringent increase Vata and decrease Kapha
- Sweet, bitter and astringent decrease Pitta
- Pungent, sour and salty increase Pitta
Food therapy is a very large subject, but if you can slowly identify your dosha and where your imbalances are you will be able to introduce the appropriate food you need for your best healing. For example, Vata types are usually cold and dry with poor digestion. The sweet taste helps build lightweight Vata types, the sour and salty tastes are heating. If you add the pungent taste into your diet, taking a piece of ginger before or with food, is particular good for Vata. Vata is not good with cold or dry food, they are better with cooked, slightly spicy food that warms them from the inside.
If you would like to find out what dosha you are visit www.thesleepguru.co.uk for Anandi’s dosha quiz so that you can start being more conscious about the food you eat.