“Without proper diet, medicine is of no use.
With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”
– Ancient Ayurvedic proverb
The 10 Golden Rules Of Food Intake
According to Ayurveda if we do not follow the proper rules of eating then the consumption of food can generate ‘aama’ [undigested food material, toxins] and the absorption of these toxins can be a detriment to overall health and wellbeing. According to modern science free radicals are considered to be an important causative factor for many diseases. Similarly, from an Ayurvedic perspective, ‘aama’ is considered to be the root cause of most and nearly all diseases.
The 10 golden rules of food intake is described in Ayurveda as ”Aharavidhi-Vidhan”.
Acharya Charak has described these 10 rules of food intake and now we will briefly describe them below:
1. Food Should Be Warm:
Freshly cooked warm food is delicious and helps to stimulate ‘Agni’ (i.e. digestive fire) which then helps to promote optimal digestion of food. Therefore, enjoy your nice warm meals with great delight.
2. Food Should Be Unctuous [Oily]:
Oily food is often considered to be more delicious and assists to emulsify food for better digestion.
3. Food Must Be Taken In Proper Quantity:
The quantity of food depends on your digestive fire. There is no fixed criteria for the amount of food according to age, sex, race, etc. However, “parigraha”— takes into consideration the quantity of each item and “sarvagraha” means the total quantity to be consumed. Proper quantity of food promotes longevity without negatively impacting Vata, Pitta and Kapha [bodily humors].
4. Allowing Enough Time Between Meals:
Eat only when the previous meal is properly digested. If food is taken after the proper digestion of the previous meal, then the first tissue created [called rasa – “the juice of life”] is properly formed. This rasa [the juice of life] in turn creates optimal nutrients to help support all bodily tissue and therefore maintains optimal health and wellbeing.
5. Avoid Food With Contradictory Properties:
While preparing food the ingredients must be compatible and properly mixed together. For example, combining sour fruits with milk will curd and is not considered beneficial due to poor food combining and incompatibity of ingredients.
6. Do Not Eat In A Hurry:
Meals must be taken in a relaxed, calm and cheerful atmosphere. One should not eat, when feeling nervous, angry, anxious, or in a disturbed state of mind.
7. Do Not Eat Too Slowly Or Too Quickly:
Eating too slowly or too rapidly along with eating while talking, laughing, thinking or watching television is also not advisable.
8. Pay Attention To Your Food While Eating:
Rather than talking excessively while eating it’s considered more beneficial to pay greater attention to the actual act of eating. Therefore it is better if we concentrate on the food only with the thought that this food is going to benefit both the body and mind.
9. Do Not Eat Food Which Is Too Hot Or Too Cold:
As mentioned above, food which is warm stimulates ‘Agni’ [the digestive fire] and helps to promote optimal digestive function. Food which is cold impairs the digestive function from an ayurvedic perspective. Similarly, food which is too hot can aggravate certain conditions of the body [i.e. pitta dosha].
10. Take Food With Proper Respect For Yourself:
Every person must take into consideration his own constitution, capacity of his digestive power, the season, time of day, and whether the previously taken food has been digested or not.
It is also very useful and worthwhile to take proper food according to your constitution, age, season, time etc. I hope you all enjoyed the above post and I welcome your feedback and comments. Have a pleasant week ahead.
Sincerely – Namaste,