The Difference between conventional nutrition and Ayurvedic nutrition
There is quite a difference between conventional and Ayurvedic nutrition. In fact, nutrition from the aspect of the 5 elements is the fulcrum and the wisdom of Ayurveda.
From the Conventional aspect of nutrition, we eat for personal preference, habit, body image, emotions, etc. the subject & importance of nutrition is about caloric intake with a focus on counting calories from the different food groups. Balancing food ingredients with dietary recommendations based on food groups. The slogan is 'You are what you eat'.
From the Ayurvedic aspect of nutrition, we eat to live, to take in Prana ( Life force energy ). The focus of nutrition is the 5 elements; earth, water, fire, air & space. There is a specificity of these elements based on our unique constitution (known as Prakriti in Ayurvedic terms ) and how our body processes what we eat. The balance comes from eating based on our unique constitution in order to stay balanced. The dietary recommendations are based on the 6 tastes; sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter & astringent. The slogan is 'You are what you digest' which is why the emphasis of digestive strength is the basis of health.
Anything that we take in to nourish our body and mind ( known as Ahara in Ayurvedic terms ) is part of nutrition. This includes food, water, breath, perception and information through our sense organs. The Importance of what we take in
1. Food is essential for life and life force energy ( Prana )
2. Food provides the building blocks that create new tissues (groups of cells that have a similar structure and act together to perform a specific function in the body; organs ). The tissues are reservoirs of energy in various forms. They are constantly being built and broken down to utilize this energy. Because replenishing healthy tissues is essential, eating balanced foods is of utmost importance.
3. Food not only nourishes the body but the mind and the Soul as well.
4. Food energizes the mind depending on the foods qualities.
5. Our strength, health, and life depend on our digestive fire (known as Agni in Ayurvedic terms ) and our digestive fire is constantly replenished by the food we eat. Eating balanced food is essential to maintaining a balanced digestive fire.
6. Strength, energy, mental clarity, radiance, immunity and sharpness of the senses all depend on the food we eat.
7. The diet is critical in disease. Unhealthy or inappropriate food choices can easily become the cause of several diseases. Making healthy food choices, or eating the right foods can reverse this and serve as a treatment for disease. Eating the right diet is critical to maintain health or prevent disease and to combat illness, should it arise as a result of improper food choices.
8. In Ayurveda, eating is not filling the stomach, but is considered an important ritual.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Thomas Edison