These days, all of us are living hectic and busy lives, juggling our commitments between work, leisure and family. With so many demands on our time, none of us can afford to get sick so we constantly search for various ways to keep ourselves and our families fit and healthy. While we all approach this challenge in different way, something we all agree on is the need to make healthy choices in the foods we eat.
Whenever the question of healthy food come up, everyone thinks about specific amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats in their diet. Some will consider eating only organic foods while others might choose to eat only raw salads as a healthy alternative. However, in spite of all these efforts, people still suffer from various digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion, hyper-acidity and IBS which, if not treated, can lead to more serious health problems.
In Ayurveda, the ancient health science of India, the focus of a healthy diet is not just considering what we eat but also looking at how the food is metabolised in one’s digestive system and whether the food selected by an individual is compatible with them or not.
Ayurveda considers that the optimum state of one’s digestive power (called Agni) is the first step towards a healthy and balanced diet. No matter how balanced our diet or how organic is the food we eat, if it cannot be metabolised properly by our digestive system our cells are unable to access the nutrients they require. This partially digestive food is also bound to create toxins for the body (called Ama) and it is this Ama that is responsible for health problems later in life.
Ayurveda also considers that the same food can be nectar for one person and poison for another because each of us has a unique bodily constitution (called Prakriti). Understanding of unique make up allows us to select foods that will help to keep our digestion and body in a state of balance and health.
There is an old saying in Ayurveda, “When the diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When the diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” If we are eating a balanced diet and not overtaxing our digestive system then we can eat whatever we choose in the knowledge that we giving the body the nourishment it requires to function in a healthy and balanced state.