You are What you Eat: 8 Ayurvedic Rules for a Balanced Diet

Co-author - Vd. Sara Maid, Vd. Aishwarya Saindane, Vd. Tejas Ahire


In today’s busy world, prioritizing self-care and maintaining healthy dietary habits can be tough. This impacts not only your digestion but also gives rise to various bodily imbalances. 

Central to Ayurvedic philosophy is the notion that digestion serves as the cornerstone of one's health. According to this ancient system, the vigor of our digestion, termed “Agni”, influences our overall vitality. Thus, fostering robust digestion entails mindful eating practices and aligning with the body's inherent rhythms.

  • Adhere to a Dosha-Based Diet:
  • Ayurveda says that each individual possesses a unique mind-body constitution, referred to as Dosha. These Doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—dictate specific dietary preferences for optimal well-being. For instance, Vata types benefit from warm, grounding foods, while Pitta types thrive on cooling, hydrating options, and Kapha types flourish with light, pungent fare.

  • Try the 9-1-8 Rule
  • Have your breakfast before 9 am, lunch before 1 pm and dinner before 8pm. Ayurveda suggests eating meals at specific times to match your body's natural rhythms. Deviations from this rhythm, such as skipping meals or late-night eating, may disrupt digestion, which may lead to various health concerns.

  • Avoid Distractions while Eating
  • Do you sit in front of the tv or scroll through your social media while eating? Don’t worry! You are not alone as many are guilty of this.  These practices disturb our connection thus avoiding mindful eating. By fostering a serene dining environment, you can fully engage in the digestive process, promoting optimal nutrient assimilation.

  • Choose the Right Food that go well together
  • Ayurveda underscores the importance of judicious food pairings to help digestion and enhance nutrient absorption. Certain combinations, such as fruits with dairy or incompatible protein-starch mixes, can trigger digestive distress. Conversely, harmonious food pairings foster digestive ease and facilitate bodily equilibrium.  

  • Embrace Seasonal Eating:
  • Ayurveda praises the virtues of seasonal eating, advocating for the consumption of locally sourced, seasonally appropriate food. For Spring, the following, among many others are ideal: apples, strawberries, peaches, cabbage, carrots, asparagus, grains, legumes. During the spring, it's recommended to steer clear of fast food, sweets, soy products, nuts, too much bread, and cold or refrigerated foods, particularly if consumed cold. Click here to learn more on “Worst Food Combinations according to Ayurveda”. 

  • Opt for Warm Water
  • Adequate hydration particularly with warm water is recommended throughout the day to stoke the digestive fires and expel toxins. Conversely, drinking  ice-cold beverages is discouraged, as it may compromise digestion and disrupt physiological equilibrium.

  • Utilize Digestive Spices:
  • Ayurvedic cuisine abounds in digestive spices, such as ginger, cumin, and turmeric, renowned for their flavor-enhancing properties and digestive benefits. Adding these spices into your  meals stimulates Agni, helping your body digest and absorb nutrients faster. Additionally, herbal teas infused with digestive herbs offer soothing post-meal tonics.

  • Avoid Eating 3 hours before Bedtime
  • At dinner time, Ayurveda suggests a light meal and finishing eating three hours before bedtime. When you sleep, your body fixes itself and your mind sorts through the day's thoughts and feelings. If your body is busy digesting food then it can't do these important jobs properly.

    By embracing the principles of Ayurveda, you embark on a holistic journey toward nourishment and well-being.Honor your body's wisdom and be  mindful of your food as this can boost your health and energy. After all, food is really and truly the most effective medicine.

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