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Experience Ayurveda Cuisine 

EXPERIENCE THE “KNOWLEDGE OF LIFE” FOR YOURSELF:
AYURVEDA RESTORES OUR BODY’S INNER BALANCE – FOR A HEALTHY LIFE.

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Ayurveda – medicine and life philosophy


Ayurvedic medicine is over 5000 years old. This makes it the oldest practised health system in the world. The translation of Ayurveda from Sanskrit means roughly “knowledge of life”. Two definitions help give an indication of how modern its view of health is. One of these is over 2000 years old and originates from one of the most important fundamental works in Ayurvedic medicine, the Sushruta

Samhita:

“A person is deemed to be healthy if their physiology is in equilibrium; with their digestive system and metabolism working well, their tissues and excretory systems functioning normally and their soul, spirit and senses in a state of enduring, inner contentment.”

The other definition comes from the World Health Organisation (WHO): “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Ayurvedic medicine’s holistic approach is also the reason why it has enjoyed such an exemplary position over the last two decades. People from industrialised countries, in particular, are increasingly recognising that this traditional Indian medical system not only cures illnesses but can prevent them too Ultimately: Ayurvedic therapies revitalise body and soul, they enhance well-being and restore strength that has been lost due to people’s lifestyles.

Nutrition according to authentic Ayurveda


Food can affect your feelings.

More and more neurogastroenterologists today are convinced that moods arise not only in the head, but also in the abdomen. One of them is Dr. Peter Holzer. The professor of experimental and clinical pharmacology at the Medical University of Graz says: “Our mood is influenced by the intestine much more than we previously dreamed.” For our doctors, this finding is nothing new. They trust in the millennia old experience that a diet geared to individual doshas keeps people healthy.

Image by Annie Spratt
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Principles of Ayurvedic nutrition

The air that we breathe is hardly something we can influence. But our diet most certainly is. It is entirely down to us what we eat and drink and how much we consume. From an Ayurvedic perspective there is plenty of freedom in this regard. Nonetheless, we need to make sure we can easily digest whatever we consume. Otherwise anything that cannot be digested is retained by the body as excess. In Ayurveda, this "Ama" is a trigger for illness and malaise. In the Ayurvedic approach, the focus is not simply on the nature and quantity of what we eat. Equally important is the manner in which we consume food and the timing. Substantial meals should not fall too close together as this can put a strain on the digestive system. Our meals should be as regular as possible, rather than at completely different times each day. Food consumed in the evening should not be too heavy. According to Ayurveda, the digestive fire (Agni) is stronger the higher the position of the sun. Consequently, if you want to consume foods that are more difficult to digest, this is best done in the period between 10 am and 2 pm. By contrast, foods eaten in the morning and evening should be easier to digest and meals should be rather smaller in terms of quantity. In general, Ayurvedic cuisine is low in meat or even meat-free. And if meat is served, this is not done in the evening. When we eat, we should ideally not do other things at the same time. We should not eat too quickly and it is important to chew carefully. After eating we should treat ourselves to a period of relaxation. Cooked food is better than raw. Spices promote digestion. Drinks taken with food should not be ice cold. On the contrary: drinking warm water should be part of your everyday Ayurvedic routine. This stimulates the digestive system. The same is true of a range of spices, including cinnamon, coriander, cumin and ginger.

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TASTE FOODS EFFECT

  • ​SweetGrains, pasta, rice, bread, starchy vegetables, milk products, meat, poultry, fish, sugar, honey, syrupCalming, builds body mass, can restore equilibrium to Vata and Pitta/.

  • SourCitrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, pickled foods, salad dressing, alcoholStimulates the appetite, aids digestion, can balance Vata, can strengthen Pitta and Kapha characteristics.

  • SaltySalt, soy sauce, salty meat, fishStimulates the appetite, emphasises other flavours, balances Vata, can strengthen Pitta and Kapha characteristics.

  • PungentPeppers, chili, onions, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, cloves, ginger, mustard, salsaInduces sweating, cleanses the paranasal sinuses, balances Kapha, can strengthen Vata and Pitta characteristics.

  • BitterGreen leafy vegetables, cabbage, celery, broccoli, bean sproutsDetoxes the body, balances Kapha and Pitta, high levels of consumption can strengthen Vata and lead to bloating and digestive issues.

  • AstringentLentils, dried beans, green apples, grape skin, cauliflower, pomegranate, teaBalances Kapha and Pitta, high levels of consumption can strengthen Vata characteristics.

Diet in Ayurveda 

Ayurveda – the knowledge of life – is concerned with all aspects of life. Naturally this includes nutrition. Along with the therapeutic interventions and yoga & meditation, diet is one of the three pillars in Ayurveda. This alone demonstrates the great importance that diet has in Ayurvedic philosophy. The effect that foods, herbs and spices have on the human organism is determined by the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which in turn are made up of the five major elements. The time of day at which different foods are consumed is also integral to the dosha concept and affects their impact. Without food, life cannot be sustained. It gives us energy and provides mental fortitude and clarity. In conjunction with yoga & meditation and the Ayurvedic treatments, our food supports our health and well-being by helping maintain the doshas in their natural equilibrium.

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Image by Annie Spratt

oods and flavours correctly:

An Ayurvedic menu is all about the art of composition. Individual ingredients are skilfully combined in terms of flavour, colour, consistency and mode of preparation. The food smells wonderful, stimulates the appetite and contains all six flavours, namely sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. These rasas should complement each other in the correct proportions. An Ayurvedic menu is well-balanced and wholesome in every regard. All the necessary building blocks for life are included: protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

However, a few rules should be observed when it comes to combining foods. For instance, milk is best combined with pulses, but doesn't go well with lots of other things. It is prohibited to serve milk and fresh fruit together on the same plate or in the same bowl. Rice, on the other hand, can be combined with pretty much anything.
The mode of preparation and combination of dishes make the food particularly palatable and easy to digest

PITTA

Pitta is the principle of the metabolism. Regular meals are, therefore, essential for Pitta individuals. During Pitta season, in the summer months between July and October, the heated temperament of the Pitta type is even more readily stimulated. But even the other doshas have a tendency to overheat during this period. Consequently, foods for Pitta should be eaten regularly and at room temperature or body temperature.

Raw Carrot, Radish and Carrot top Pesto

Preferred Fruit:

sweet fruits, apples, avocados, bananas, pears, figs, pomegranates, cherries, mangos, melons, plums, raisins, grapes, damsons.

Preferred Vegetables & Grains

sweet, astringent vegetables, leafy green vegetables, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, peas, cucumber, potatoes, bean sprouts, cabbage, squash, chard, green peppers, mushrooms, green lettuce, celeriac, asparagus, courgettes, barley, cooked oats, rice, wheat.

Sometimes, simple is the only way to go,

Vata

Vata is the principle of movement Accordingly, people with dominant Vata are often agitated and stressed. In addition, the months between October and February are Vata season and, during this period, the pace and turbulence of everyday life increases across all doshas. This makes it particularly important to find sufficient time and a tranquil environment for eating. Meals to calm Vata should always be cooked, warm and easy to digest.

Preferred Fruit:

sweet, ripe fruits, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries, grapefruit, fresh dates & figs, cherries, coconut, melons, mangos, nectarines, oranges, peaches, grapes.

Preferred Vegetables & Grains

cooked vegetables, green beans, leafy green vegetables, peas, cucumber, carrots, okra, radish, beetroot, celeriac, asparagus, celery, sweet potatoes, semolina, spelt, oats (cooked), basmati rice, wheat.

Sometimes, simple is the only way to go,

Kapha

Kapha is the structure principle. Kapha types are often characterised by their consistency and slowness. This is also reflected in a sluggish digestion. Stimulating foods are the key here. Between March and June even other doshas may find the characteristic Kapha spring fatigue creeping in. So it is all the more important to combat this process with the right diet.

Preferred Fruit:

less sweet fruit, apples, apricots, berries, pears, pomegranates, cherries, mangos, persimmons, peaches, cranberries, raisins, dried fruit.

Preferred Vegetables & Grains

artichokes, aubergines, lettuce, broccoli, chicory, fennel, carrots, potatoes, garlic, cabbage, peppers, mushrooms, radishes, beetroot, celeriac, spinach, onions, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, barley, oats, couscous.

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Ayurveda and the Time of day and its influence over how your body uses the nourishing foods 

Ayurveda doesn't just recognise suitable foods for the relevant dosha types, its texts also include specific recommendations on when we should eat our meals. The digestive system works particularly well between 2 am and 6 am. It is recommended that we get up early and eat breakfast. Between 6 am and 10 am, on the other hand, our digestion is relatively weak. If you eat breakfast at this time, light food is recommended. The period up until 2 pm is Pitta time: in Ayurveda this is when you should eat your main meal. Between 2 pm and 6 pm Vata prevails. Sweet, spiced teas are the thing to consume. Between 6pm and 10 pm it is Kapha time. Heavy dishes are taboo in the evening. In addition to the time of day, Ayurveda also takes the seasons into account: The Kapha months are (roughly) March to June. Your appetite diminishes during this period – ideal for fasting. The Pitta months are (roughly) July to October. During this period, the general recommendation is to consume cool and moist dishes. The Vata months are (roughly) November to February. This is when our digestive system performs at its peak. High-fat dishes are no problem during this period.