Nutrition and Ayurveda
We live lives that are so fast and demanding that we are constantly exposed to different kinds of stresses every day. Rather than living in the moment, we try to complete as much as possible in a day, and most of the time we don’t consider health as our priority. Yet, if we have good health we can accomplish more things and also have higher quality of life. A focus on our nutritional health can certainly assist. Ayurveda, which I will explain shortly, helps us to find balance and make positive changes in our lives.
A nutritional consultation involves building a detailed picture of an individual’s lifestyle, eating habits, medical history and any concerns one may have about their health. Each person is unique. There are few factors that have to be considered such as the physical, emotional and mental state of each individual.
Everyone has ‘weak’ points in the body and is predisposed to particular illnesses through their life. Prevention is key, but if disease is already manifesting itself, it is important to remove triggers and reduce inflammation. It is necessary to address specific problems and help the body heal using healing foods, herbs and exercise.
Ayurveda means the science, (Veda) of life (Ayur) and has its origins in India. The three qualities of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, also known as Doshas, are all around and within us. Dosha is predominantly made of 5 elements : earth, water, air, space and fire. These Doshas are essential vital energies behind every bodily function and structure.
Vata regulates bodily movements, Pitta regulates transformations within the body and Kapha regulates bodily stability.
In the ancient Sanskrit language of India, Dosha means fault. Thus, Vata, Pitta and Kapha are called Doshas because they have a tendency to become imbalanced. Within our bodies, their balance or imbalance mainly depend on our diet and emotions. We all have an innate natural balance of these three qualities, which can become unsettled.
Ayurveda emphasises the need to attain balanced nutrition and digestion as the first step toward maintaining good health. Every illness is considered to start with weak digestion and metabolism (low Agni). This creates Aama (toxins) and excess Dosha (imbalance). Excess Dosha and Aama toxins block channels and bodily functions. Finally tissues become undernourished and illness is created. The holistic approach of Ayurveda amazingly supports the entire body system to bring back long lasting health, naturally.
In Ayurveda each individual is unique. Certain herbs are used, and tailored to the very specific presentation of each person. Ayurveda believes that the root to good health is based in good emotional and mental balance. Ayurveda explains that one of the main causes of ill health is stress. Stress can result from natural changes like the fall in temperature from day to night. When the stresses of material life occur, an imbalance in the body’s energies (Doshas) may prevent the body from adjusting adequately. The result is disease. Regulating our lives, however will minimise the effect of stress.
It is necessary to work on one’s health on daily basis, watching out every day for little signals that tell you what to do, and make sure you find a balance.
Every type of food has a certain unique balance of Doshas and properties which affect our bodies as well as our consciousness in different ways when eaten. Therefore, if we want to maintain a healthy balance of the Doshas in our body, we should choose the right kinds of food for our sustenance. Knowing the science of what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat is a major factor in keeping good health.
There are so many concerns people face today such as;
Joint, back and neck pain
Skin disorders such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, urticaria/hives
Stress, depression and anxiety
Weight gain and obesity
High cholesterol levels
High blood pressure levels
Coughs and colds
Digestive disorders such as abdominal pain , bloating, gas, distension, acidity/hyperacidity, diarrhoea, ulcerative colitis, nausea, constipation
Infertility, hormonal imbalance and others
Nutrition and Ayurveda looks at root causes of these concerns.