The Importance of Diet in Ayurveda
Importance of the gut and mind connection
Ayurveda has known for thousands of years the importance of the gut and mind connection. The gut is so intimately connected to the brain, in Ayurveda every thing is connected to our gut and digestive capacity. Research now is understanding just how much our microbiota is actually affecting our brains. An immense amount of communication happens from the gut to the brain. This is know as gut-brain axis (GBA), a bidirectional link between the central nervous system (CNS) and the enteric nervous system (ENS). The enteric nervous system (ENS) is known as the "second brain" or the brain in the gut. Scientists and researchers are just now understanding that as much as 90% serotonin comes from the gut, as well as many other neurotransmitters. That is why in Ayurvedic medicine there is so much focus on our gut, digestion and our diet.
Diet and digestion are EVERYTHING
in Ayurveda, it all boils down to these two things. This is why so much emphasis and importance are placed on both factors. The current state of digestive diseases running rampant in our society today, i.e. leaky gut, SIBO, IBS, GERD, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, ulcers, Crohn’s disease and the list goes on and on. This goes to show just how much need there is in our society to truly understand and learn more about nutrition and how detrimental it can be to our overall health. In Ayurvedic medicine we use simple intuitive guidelines, diet, lifestyle changes and sometimes herbs to correct digestion.
It’s little to no use eating a healthy diet if you’re not able to assimilate, digest or eliminate what you’re consuming. There is an old adage saying “you are what you eat” but Ayurveda follows a “you are what you digest” methodology. When our digestive capacity is low and we cannot properly digest, then our food rots and sometimes ferments internally creating what is called ama (undigested food that converts into toxins), a sludge in our stomachs, intestines and colon. Overtime ama will spread and eventually relocate to different parts of our bodies causing havoc, this is the start of disease, autoimmune and other ailments.
Vibrational effects of food & their prana
Ayurveda goes beyond nutritional facts, it’s more about the vibrational effects that food carries, quality, freshness, vibrancy, energy, digestive effects, post digestive effects, metabolic effect, impact on organs, cooling, heating, drying effects and medicinal qualities. Ayurveda takes into consideration what foods we eat, food combinations, time of eating, season of the year, and what needs to be consumed at those times to ensure we keep our mind and body balanced and performing at our best capacity. This means paying attention to how our body is feeling, being connected to ourselves in a deep and powerful way, our body is always speaking to us and telling us exactly what we need. Have you noticed how your body feels after eating leftovers, microwaved or stale foods? These are all lacking prana (life force), they’re vibrationally dead and hard to digest so they drain the body and makes us feel tired and weak. All these foods will provide calories and make you full but that’s about it.
Food quality; The mind & body disconnect
Sometimes when there’s a mind and body disconnect, we’ll crave what makes us sick and cause a greater imbalance. When we’re not in touch or have lost the connection to our bodies we also loose the ability to hear and understand our innate intelligence, a misuse of the intellect that is commonly seen and easily corrected.
Prana rich foods enhances and adds to our consciousness. Fresh vibrant foods contain intelligence that ignites and connects our innate cellular intelligence and helps us to align back to nature and heal naturally. Nutritious and well balanced food will be easy to digest, uplifting and make you feel happy and clear minded. This is the very core of Ayurveda, to teach you how support your body and heal naturally.
Ayurvedic perspective; Trend Diets
Fad diets and why they sometimes work and sometimes don’t work and why they work for some and not others. Ayurveda is a highly individualized science and has very specific guidelines for each one of the 3 doshas. So while one fad diet might work for one of the doshas for a short period of time it will not be sustainable and might never work for another dosha. Most fad diets will eventually deplete, further unbalance the doshas or simply not have what’s needed for that particular individual. Listening to your body is key, following an Ayurvedic Diet is not daunting, it’s not about following rules or mean you have to eliminate entire food groups, it’s about using your intuition, simple guidelines and listening to your own body.