Ayurveda expert Dr. Mahesh Sabade looks at the origins of this ancient cuisine and assesses how people can benefit from it today, around the world
Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine that originated several thousand years ago. It touches every aspect of our life, right from health maintenance to disease management, from food to medicines and from exercise to sleep; everything is based on ayurvedic principles.
Apart from diseases and their management, ayurvedic texts are supplemented with various healthy foods and recipes. Some of the recipes were part of Indian cuisine but over the period, they have lost their originality and have become unhealthy versions of themselves. It is important to know that Indian cuisine is not Ayurvedic cuisine.
In Ayurveda, the study of planning food is studied in a very holistic manner keeping the specific qualities of food (and its source), the health status of the individual, the season and place in mind. In this paradigm, planned food helps in restoring the health as well as preventing health hazards. Each food is a natural substance may it be from plant or animal source. It possesses its own individual characteristics just the way an herb would possess certain specific qualities. These qualities can be incorporated in a diet to create season specific, disease specific or benefit specific diet plans.
Healthy and palatable
Ayurvedic cuisine is a special branch that not only helps us keep healthy but is palatable also. This cuisine has a wide range of spices to use. Each spice used in cooking is as good as a medicinal herb with plenty of medicinal values. The use of proper spices makes the food flavourful as well as healthy.
Why do we need it now? This probably is the era where we are seeing highest number of diseases ranging from common to rare most conditions as well as from minor to severe conditions. Apart from various diseases that are diagnosed, there are certain conditions that are still not manifested as a full-blown disease but still they are creating some ill health. Such subclinical conditions and various diseases, have potential to disturb the physical as well as mental health of any individual. The diseases we see in today’s world are primarily the NCDs – non-communicable diseases. These diseases do not require any specific mode for their transmission. We ourselves create these conditions by not following a proper regimen for the maintenance the health. The foundation of health is proper diet and lifestyle.
Diet and lifestyle
Occupational hazards, an unhealthy work style, erratic sleep timings, irregular eating pattern, and unhealthy exercise patterns, along with making the wrong eating choices, are the main causes for manifestation of various disorders. The list includes diseases such as diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, MS, cardiac disorders, hypertension, digestive issues, gout, cancer and the list goes on. Furthermore, emotions and stress play a major role in augmenting the predicament. Emotions and thoughts though considered as psychological activities, they undoubtedly are influenced by the food that we eat.
The benefits are visible in clients suffering from various conditions. Here are few instances in which food has proved to be the healing agents:
- Recipes that have yam in them are usually soothing for a person suffering from hemorrhoids.
- Ginger based recipes increase the appetite and so on.
- It is evident that a particular vegetable (gulvel) has a wonderful role in reducing the pain in gout and the uric acid levels as well.
- Similarly, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma are the conditions that show a relief with specific diet plans.
- There are certain diet plans that can help in digestive issues, reproductive issues and many other conditions.
- Along with the diseases, there are certain diet plans that help to maintain health, increase vitality and vigor and so on.
There cannot be a better time to introduce ayurvedic cuisine than now. With ayurvedic cuisine and some introduction to ayurveda, people are already benefiting around the world. Could you delight your customer with it too?
Dr. Mahesh Sabade