A Guide to Ayurvedic Diet & Cuisine
- Created: 11 October 2017 11 October 2017
Ayurveda; from the Sanskrit meaning "The knowledge for long life", is an ancient Hindu holistic approach to health that acts as an all-encompassing system of mental, physical and spiritual care. Based on the ‘Tri Dosha’ theory, the tradition teaches that each person is made up of five elements; fire, air, water, earth and space. According to the principles of Ayurveda, the elements of fire, air and water are associated with the doshas of Pitta, Vata and Kapha, while the elements of earth and space remain constant.
While all individuals possess each dosha, they may possess more of one than the others, which can be identified as the cause of ailments, ranging from poor digestion to acute anxiety. As a great deal of what affects our bodies originates in what we eat, an Ayurvedic diet and cuisine is highly important in maintaining well-being. Through personalised Ayurvedic diets and holistic therapies, our Ayurvedic spa holidays aim to re-balance the body and restore your natural wellness.
Why is the correct Ayurvedic diet so important?
Experience total wellness by eating for your dosha
Each dosha reacts differently to diet; some foods will aggravate while others will soothe. Therefore, it is advised that before starting an Ayurvedic diet, you consult a dedicated Ayurvedic health practitioner, who will be able to identify which dosha characteristics and tendencies you possess more of. Learning about how the doshas react to stimuli; like spices, cooking temperature or flavour, will help guide you towards making the correct diet decisions. Too much spicy food, for example, can aggravate a Pitta dosha. However, food lovers can relax, as Ayurveda strongly believes that there are no good or bad foods, only the wrong combination or quantities, meaning a balanced diet is the best approach for overall well-being.
Can it help with weight loss?
Ayurvedic tradition believes that in re-balancing your body you will better understand what it needs, which is vital for weight loss. Foods which are beneficial for someone who is mainly Vata will not be suitable for another who is primarily Kapha. Eating meals which are designed for your unique dosha combination means you will have all the nutrients necessary for optimum health and energy, which will naturally set you at your most healthy weight. Kick start your weight loss on a healthy cooking holiday where you can learn Ayurvedic cooking and return home fully equipped to start living an Ayurvedic life.
Will I have to give up any food groups?
Still enjoy beautiful and delicious food
Rather than avoiding all meat, dairy or gluten, the Ayurvedic diet instead focuses on eating a balance of foods from all groups that are correct for your personal body type and doshas. It uses the theory of six senses; sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent, to classify food and advise on which combination is the best for health. With importance placed on good digestive health, look forward to wholesome and balanced meals made with delicious spices which will leave you feeling satisfied, revitalised and with a positive outlook on life.
Do I have to completely change my life?
Not at all. Ayurveda is completely holistic and flexible, relying on the level of self-discipline exercised by the individual to achieve success. An understanding of the impact different foods have on your doshas is fundamental to the practise, but how much you integrate them into your life is very much a personal choice. Learn how to begin an Ayurvedic diet on a nutrition friendly retreat which will introduce you to this healthy eating approach and its diverse health benefits. Add small changes in gradually and experience the noticeable impact it has on your well-being.
Are spa treatments and natural therapies helpful?
Cleanse your body and realign your doshas
Natural therapies and treatments like massages and facials can help detox and cleanse your system of impurities, complementing your Ayurvedic diet and assisting in harmonising your doshas. Combining a spa holiday with a diet tailored to your unique composition will leave you feeling completely rejuvenated and with a sense of total wellness. Specialist Ayurvedic treatments are designed to purify your mind and body by cleansing any stress or toxins that may be causing lingering imbalance, creating a blank canvas to enjoy the full benefits of holistic Ayurvedic diet.