Looking for more balance in your life? Perhaps you should learn about ayurveda! Popularized by models and trendy fitness consultants, ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of medicine. Ayurveda focuses on balancing five elements-space, air, earth, fire, and water-in the human body. These elements combine to form three main types of people: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Ayurvedic eating uses body type to diagnose balancing and soothing foods. Proponents of an ayurvedic diet believe that it keeps them healthy and serene in the modern world. Although determining whether you're Vata, Pitta, or Kapha is difficult without the assistance of an ayurveda specialist, there are some ayurvedic eating principles that everyone can follow.
Just as there are six elements in the world, there are six tastes. Ayurveda dictates that each meal includes sweet sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent elements. Maintaining a balance of tastes helps bring digestive peace and fight cravings. Similarly, balancing "warm" and "cold," "heavy" and "light," and "thick" and "thin" foods is an important step towards keeping the elements in harmony.
Food has an effect on the mind, not just the body. "Sattvic" foods have a positive effect on the spirit. Try including more almonds, rice, honey, and vegetables in your diet to improve focus and energy levels. Choosing fresh, natural foods instead of processed options helps as well.
Adventure is a critical element in ayurvedic eating. Introducing new, exciting foods in your diet is a fun way to stimulate the mind and body. Ginger, lemon, cilantro, mint, and Indian spices add interest, too.
Americans could benefit from one ayurvedic tenet-eat only what can fit into two cupped hands. Ayurvedic diets emphasize moderation and balance, principles that characterize healthy eating traditions across the globe. For an ayurveda-friendly dessert, check out this recipe for lemon cobbler.