14 eating practices as per Ayurveda

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.”
Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Buddha

We are very busy and workaholic people. We are known for our work commitments. We don’t mind suffering from blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, acidity/gastritis (both brings multiple disorders, including Ulcers), and even cancer but work and commitment first.

We skip meals, we eat at irregular intervals, we eat non-eatables i.e. food not good for health, but business, career progression, job commitments is our top most priority. It could be at the cost of health and relationships. There is a famous quote: We earn at the cost of our health and then spend what we have earned on our health in later years.

A report on Health.com says, Two new papers published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society suggest that it’s not just what you eat, but when you eat that affects your health. Having irregular meals may set you up for obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes—regardless of how many total calories you’re consuming. 

Many metabolic processes in the body—such as appetite, digestion, and the metabolism of fat, cholesterol, and glucose—follow patterns that repeat every 24 hours, explains Pot. “Eating inconsistently may affect our internal body clock,” says Gerda Pot, PhD, a visiting lecturer in the Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences Division at King’s College London who worked on both papers. And that disruption might lead to weight gain and other health risks.

Chang Chia, a doctor at Taipei Municipal Wan Fang Hospital says,” Having irregular meals due to busy work, eating salty and greasy food, eating too quickly and having too much red meat are among the factors that put office workers at high risk to develop colon polyps.”

Ayurveda has some recommendations for good eating practices. It’s all simple, but yet we have ignored these as we grew.

  • Wash face and hands before eating.
  • Get rid of all stress, fear, tensions, and anxiety while eating.
  • Ideally, don’t speak and laugh, speak less is the 2nd best option.
  • Focus on eating not on TV or Mobile phone.
  • Eat slowly. (Remember we are earning to eat, so don’t forget the purpose)
  • Don’t drink water before and after the meal, have some water in between the meal.
  • Eat only when hungry, if you had to, eat less when not hungry.
  • Take a little food at a time to avoid waste.
  • Eat at around same time every day.

“When you eat meals at different times rather than on a regular schedule, your body goes into stress mode. For example, when you eat breakfast at 7 a.m. one morning and 11 a.m. the next, your body becomes confused about where its next meal is coming from. This causes the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol lead to spikes in insulin, which causes inflammation and can increase the risk of many cancers.” Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

  • Eat less than the capacity. Don’t overeat.
  • Don’t eat anything like faral (fried potato and other preparations) on the day of fasting. Drink only warm water to get the real health benefits.
  • Have different variety and taste of food rather than eating what you like every time.

According to Ayurveda, each meal should contain all six flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent. The dominance of the flavors will be based on our predominant dosha makeup. For example, a Vata-predominant person will favor heavier meals with sour and salty tastes. A Kapha-predominant person may favor more pungent meals, and a Pitta-predominant person more sweet flavors. Remember, having all six tastes in our meals means that the spice is present, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we may overtly taste each flavor.(Source: Maharshi Ayurveda at mapi.com)

  • Wash fruits before eating. Don’t cut whenever possible (Of course, check for rottenness). Don’t sprinkle salt, etc on the fruit. Eat with natural taste.
  • Eat natural food and avoid processed food at all cost.
  • Fill your stomach with 50% food, 25% water and keep remaining 25% empty. Eat less. There is a concept of Oonodari in Jainism. Oonodari is one of the 12 penances. Oonodari means eating less than your hunger). Ayurveda and Yoga also recommend this for a healthy body.

Remember these 14 points. Be healthy. Health comes first. Your organisation will survive without you. They will sack you if the organisation or you become sick. Nothing comes at the cost of health.

“Without your health, you have got nothing going on. I thank God every day for good health.” Ric Flair.

We by sheer irresponsible priorities in life, spoil our health beyond repair. The majority of us don’t do exercise, don’t follow a healthy eating pattern, don’t take enough rest, pamper all kinds of vices, and then our hospitals are full of patients suffering from lifestyle diseases. Family members are at their service, suffering for no faults of theirs.  Boss and customers are at the most will pay a visit to us and seeing us weak, will start to look out for the substitutes. Remember lifestyle diseases are invited diseases. 

No excuses whether it is clients, bosses commitments, employers, or competition, are larger than your commitments for the good health. Eat right. Period.

“You must all pay attention to your health first.” Swami Vivekananda

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