The science of Ayurveda emphasized healthy eating patterns thousands of years ago. Food is described as oushadha (Medicine) in the texts as it complements the treatment protocol as well. It is mainly based on different Ayurvedic principles, which essentially focus on balancing bodily entities such as Dosha, Dathu, etc. According to Ayurveda, five entities compose both bodily components as well as elements in the universe, which is collectively known as pancha mahaboothavayu ( Air), jala (water), akasha (space), teja (fire), and prithvi (earth). These five entities also compose food obtained from nature, hence when consumed; it will nourish the bodily tissues comprised of the pancha mahaboothas. Our Shastras not only described the importance of the nutritional component of food but also highlighted the proper method of consumption and preparation of it. However, it put forth a unique personalized food habits that must be practiced by each individual, as it influences both physical and mental health.

  • Choose your Food as per dosha :

    The internal dosha composition may alter by improper diet habits. If there is an imbalance in any doshic level, it can be pacified by adopting certain changes in regimes. For example, if doshas are vitiated by intake of certain foods, then consuming the foods which are having opposite properties,  balances the vitiated doshas and vice versa. Two fundamental principles of Ayurveda are: ‘like increases like’ and ‘opposites create balance’. Therefore, food with qualities that are similar to particular dosha will increase dosha and that with dissimilar attributes will combat that dosha. During the early stages of pathogenesis, if the vitiated doshas are pacified by adopting these changes, it can resist the disease manifestations in the future.

  • Choose your Food as per Prakruthi:

   Every individual differs from one another as their constitution various. As per Ayurveda, every person is inherited with a prakruthi linked with doshic status during birth. Any disturbance in this natural entity can result in vikruthi or unhealthy conditions. Therefore, one must always consume foods that are conducive to one’s prakruthi. For example, Vata prakruthi individuals if indulge in diets that are having cold, dry, light properties in excess, may create Vata dosha vitiation as they are more prone to imbalance. Accordingly, eating foods that counteract those characteristics maintains normalcy.

  • Choose your Intake of food with all six rasas:

  Ayurveda recognized six main rasas such as sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Each taste has a particular set of qualities associated with it that either increase or decrease the doshas. For example, sweet is heavy, when consumed in excess may increase Kapha dosha, as heaviness is also the property of Kapha. Thus, one should consume rasas considering the doshic status in the body. This life science even proposes that all six rasas must be included in each meal with dosha-dathu balancing ratios. It assists efficient digestion and leaves you satisfied. Proper digestion leads to good assimilation of all macro and micronutrients and, contentment pleases all sense organs thereby, nourishes the entire body. How food should appeal, not only to the sense of taste, but also the sense of sight, touch, smell, and sound were explained in the detail. Digestion begins from the mouth when saliva discharges in the mouth by these sensory stimulations. When the varieties of flavors are used that are aromatic and visually appealing with an assortment of colors and textures, it enhances the culinary experience.

  • Food based on nature of components:

  In Ayurveda diet is classified into three main types based on the nature it imparts to one who consumes. They are –Satwika, Rajasika and Tamasika foods.

Satwika foods are those lead to clarity of mind and physical health. These foods do not result in an imbalance in the doshas and are healthy to practice the most.

Rajasika foods are of stimulating effect on the body and mind. These foods lead to aggressiveness and irritability.

Tamasika foods have got sedative effect on manas (Mind) as well as shareera (Body). So, one should adopt satwika aahara in abundance to maintain equilibrium of both body and mind.

  • Intake of food as per aahara sevana vidhi: (Way of food consumption)

  Detailed aahara sevana vidhis illustrated in the shastras based on several criteria. These are the set of dietetic rules that enable good digestion and enhance the assimilation of the food consumed. These healthy eating habits apply to both diseased as well as healthy individuals. They are as follows-

  • Eating fresh and warm food– This enhances good digestion.
  • Eating food with unctuous properties– This imparts good taste, pleases the mind, and helps in the process of digestion. It also promotes the complexion and strength of the individual.
  • Eating in proper quantity– Quantum of food is important for easy and timely digestion and to maintain doshic balance.
  • Eating food only after digestion of previous meal – After effect of the digestion and excretion will be maintained in situ if the food taken previously gets digested completely before the next meal. If not may cause bloating and indigestion.
  • Eating food with contradicting nature– May manifest various skin diseases.
  • Eating in the congenial place with all necessary appurtenances – Food has got a direct effect on the mind. Hence, eating food in a pleasant mood in a suitable place served with clean and required utensils improves assimilation.
  • Eating not too slow or too fast– By eating too fast, food may enter the wrong path leading to cough reflexes or choke. Gulping food in hurry may make it get stagnant in the upper GI tract, and may not propel further. Also, not chewing properly may cause indigestion. Slow consumption cools food which results in impaired digestion. Or one may end up consuming large quantities due to lack of satiety leading to obesity, diabetes, etc.
  • Mindful eating – While we eat, one must concentrate thoroughly on what is being consumed. Otherwise, one may intake various foreign particles like pebbles, nails, etc. or, there will not be proper assimilation. Watching TV, Phones etc. must be avoided during food intake.

One should eat food without laughing or speaking if not followed, he may again develop cough, hiccup, or sneezing reflexes.

  • Eating as per digestive fire of the consumer-

One must consider his power of digestion, like and dislike as per body type, etc. factors before selecting variety and quantity of food. Based on the functioning capability of digestive fire, they are of four types- teeksha agni (aggressive), manda agni (diminished),  vishm agni (disturbed), or samagni (normalcy). Accordingly, one should consume as per the aptitude of their digestive fire.


Food is the essential need for our existence and considered as one of the supporting pillars for life sustenance. The trend of frozen, preserved, and tinned foods is increasing day by day due to the lack of time to cook. Intake of these processed foods has many hazardous effects on the body. Method of freezing forms large ice crystals that can damage cell walls and destroy the texture and flavor of foods. These processes decrease nutritional values as well as the bioavailability of food consumed. To get maximum vitamins and minerals embedded in food, one must follow all these aahara vidhis. Otherwise, the food will be consumed to quench the hunger, and only the quantum goes inside the body but, the quality of diet will be nil.

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