Ayurveda has been around for thousands of years and is a traditional Hindu system of medicine that helps to balance the body through holistic approaches such as diet, breathing, as well as other herbal remedies(1). Ayurveda is all about helping the body balance itself so that it can heal from within.
There are many different aspects to Ayurveda such as the Ayurvedic body types, herbal remedies, stress reduction, and helping your body maintain its natural rhythm. The Ayurvedic diet has been of particular interest over the past couple of years, so let’s dive further into this.
What is the Ayurvedic Diet?
This approach to eating is all about eating to live instead of living to eat. In our modern day society, we have become so accustomed to eating foods that are processed, high in sugar, and packed artificial ingredients. Our bodies barely recognize many of the foods we consume, and our food system has just become too complicated for our body systems.
An Ayurvedic diet uncomplicates things and provides our body with the exact foods it needs to thrive. A large part of this diet involves changing the way we eat according to the seasons. It’s believed that the foods provided during different times of year are the foods that our bodies need during that specific season. For example, in the winter, nuts can provide the body with a great source of protein as well as healthy fat which can help protect our body from the colder weather. In the warmer months, there is ample supply of fruits and vegetables which provides a cooling effect on the body.
Ayurveda also focuses on slowing down during times of eating. No more rushing through lunch or scarfing down breakfast. It’s important to enjoy meals in a calm environment and much slower than the pace that we are used to. You will also want to relax for 15-20 minutes after a meal and only eat until you are ¾ of the way full not to overpack your stomach and then suffer from indigestion. The goal is also to eat three nourishing meals per day without the need for snacks. So, you will want to eat enough at each meal to get you through to the next without feeling overly full and uncomfortable.
Adopting an Ayurvedic way of eating is a very healthy way to promote healthier digestion and even promote healthier food choices as you will be more mindful of what you put into your body. With that being said, there are some Ayurvedic foods combinations you will want to keep in mind to help get you started.
Ayurvedic Food Combinations
Food combining is used as a way to help promote better digestion, and can also help to free up energy stores in the body to be used on different things than just digestion! When you are combining the right foods, and your body is better able to digest them, it won’t take your digestive system so much work which means your body will have extra energy to use elsewhere.
Pay attention to how you feel after combining certain foods. Notice digestive complaints, energy levels, and just overall how you feel after you combine certain foods. This will be the best indicator if certain combinations work for your body. However, to help you get started with the food combination process here is a list of some foods that generally go well together within the Ayurvedic diet and then some foods you will want to avoid combining together.
Foods That Combine Well Together
- Beans: Grains, veggies, nuts, seeds.
- Butter & Ghee: Grains, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, eggs
- Eggs: Non-starchy vegetables
- Grains: Beans, veggies, eggs, meat, fish
- Vegetables: Beans, yogurt, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds
- Fruits: Should be combined with other fruits that have similar qualities. The exception is melon which should be eaten (2).
Foods That Do Not Combine Well Together
- Beans: Fruit, milk, eggs, meat, fish
- Butter & Ghee: Butter does not generally combine with other foods as well as ghee, so be mindful of how you feel with different combinations.
- Eggs: Milk, cheese, fruit, beans, meat, fish
- Grains: Fruit
- Vegetables: Milk, fruit
- Fruits: All other foods. Fruit should only be combined with fruit.