An Eternal Courtship of Body Mind & Food

A tiring face, weighing body and restless mind- the triad never goes unnoticed by one’s, who are always around you and sometimes, it’s not something that one wants to show to the world. It’s hidden for a reason and what one knows so far is that it’s a hard take on - by life. Necessarily, the person goes through a lot of pressure to change lots of things in one go but it ain’t that easy, yet possible. The food constitutes a large part of human’s life other than the important routines, which generally follows by the first meal of the day. No one should skip it, it’s first and important part of the daily routine, as is variedly put forth by the public campaigns for good health, advertisements endorsing the cereals and above all- the constant reminder by the mother’s to young men and women of how important it is, so as to advance in life. And, indeed it’s all true.


The due emphasis on proper diet has been always made in each and every part of the world, along with the traditional upkeep of the ancient wisdom in texts. As Ayurveda states, “Without proper diet, medicine is of no use. With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”  Ayurveda emphasizes on the balance of food, body and mind, as these all are co-related to each other. Ayurveda keenly emphasizes on the doshas- Vata, Pita and Kapha to be in harmony, so that body doesn’t get disoriented or diseased due to excess of any of the doshas. These doshas determines an individual’s body type and if any of these is in excess, one can adopt a diet plan accordingly, to get it balanced.

Different Doshas = Different Diet Plans

Primarily, Doshas i.e. Vata, Pita and Kapha shapes an individuals characteristic and more often, individuals may fall in one dosha or another or even can be a cusp of two. Further, Ayurveda classifies individuals according to the doshas, for instance, Vata person, Pitta person or the cusp of Vata-Pita person. These Doshas work differently, as does their characteristics. Vata stands for air and ether elements and it governs diverse functions of the body related to circulation, respiration, nervous system, elimination of wastes. It has been said that Vata is responsible for catabolism (the process of breaking down molecules into smaller parts in order to release energy) and thus, any imbalance in the processes cause disease or excess of Vata. The Vatta person who is active, agile, creative, enjoying a good health, having a lean body becomes restless, anxious, insomnia falls upon him/her, weight loss, indigestion, dry skin, poor concentration, all these comes into play. Similarly, the Pita Person is mostly goal-oriented, warm, friendly, intelligent having a medium physique, has good management skills, leadership quality and when pita becomes imbalance, they will suffer from indigestion, irritable nature, inflammatory conditions, heartburn, ulcers, hypertension, become assertive and often angry. On account of Kapha person, who are reliable, contented souls, calm and peaceful, possess well-built but due to imbalance- Kapha person tends to get overweight, sluggish, stubborn, allergies crop up, fluid retains in the body and these are some of the effects of the imbalances that occurs, apparently.

In order to remedy the imbalances, thus created by excess of any doshas, Ayurvedic medical practitioners and even Ayurveda recommends the change in diet and indulgence in exercises or physical activities to end the prolonging diseases. The diet plan for each of the doshas is entirely different.

For Vatta person, the general canons to be taken care of, with regard to food or diet is that he/she must eat warm, cooked foods, drink room temperature beverages, and must avoid raw vegetables and salads, cold beverages, dry, crunchy food, spicy food, yogurt (preferably to be eaten during the day). The diet must include grains (cooked oatmeal, rice, wheat products), legumes (red lentils, whole mung beans, yellow split mung beans), vegetables (carrot, beets, okra, eggplant, spinach, cucumber, sweet potato, tomato, zucchini), dairy (ghee, milk (served hot), yogurt, paneer, sour cream), oils, spices (cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, mustard seeds, rock salt), fruits (grapes, melon, coconut, pineapple, papaya, oranges, pomegranate, citrus fruits).

For Pitta person, the essentials come on to having cool foods with higher water content and must avoid hot spicy foods, alcohol, fried foods, acidic beverages/food. In generality, the diet plan must include grains (white rice, barley, oats, wheat), legumes (mung beans, small kidney beans and other beans but in moderation and it might become difficult to digest at night so prefer to eat legumes during daytime), vegetables (broccoli, green beans, potato, brussel sprouts, cilantro, parsley, cucumber, squash, zucchini, sweet corn, green leafy vegetables except spinach, peas, lettuce), dairy (milk, ghee, butter, panir, sweet lassi), fruits (mango, grapes, melon, coconut, pineapple, papaya, oranges, pomegranate), bananas, oils (preferably ghee), spices (cinnamon, fennel, cilantro, coriander, basil, saffron, cumin).

For Kapha person, the diet plan must be conducive to balance the Kapha and to do that , the recommended diet includes lighter diet, warm food, warm beverages, grains (barley, corn, oats, rye, rice), legumes (one can have all in moderation), vegetables (carrot, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, peas, pepper, pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant), dairy (low fat milk, small amounts of ghee, buttermilk in moderate quantity), oils (in small amounts), spices (less of salt and can have spices of all kind), fruits  (apples, guava, papaya, peaches, fig, cranberries) and must avoid eating in excess and cold, oily foods.

 

To bring one’s body in alignment with one’s mind and to prevent the attack of diseases, one has to take care of the diet plan, as it is a potent tool against the diseases. Along with these, one must also practice yoga, meditation and exercise, to keep an overall fitness of body, mind and soul. So, small steps towards better health can lead to an amazing life. Rest assured, it works if you work for it.