Better Health through Digestion with an Ayurvedic Diet
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Nature's Healing Qualities: The GunasThe gunas are the twenty most important sensations. Ayurveda is about how you feel. To know Ayurveda, know the gunas. The first eight gunas are heavy and light, sharp and dull, hot and cold, oily and dry. For example bread is heavy but salads are light. Black pepper is sharp but cheese is dull. Chilies are hot but cucumbers are cool. Butter is oily but popcorn is dry. On Joyful Belly we've selected only those gunas that are most useful in cooking.
The Six TastesIn Ayurveda, nutrition is based on the six tastes (western nutrition identifies only four tastes). Bitter is light and drying. Astringent is tightening and drying. Pungent is sharp and dry. Salty taste is liquefying and hot. Sour is hot, liquefying, and heavy. Sweet taste is heavy, gooey, and cold. Every season has a different taste and diet.
The Three DoshasAyurveda groups all diseases into general categories called Dosha. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. On a simple level Vata, Pitta, and Kapha mean small, medium and large. More deeply dosha describes three basic patterns of how we use energy. Vata spends energy. Pitta manages it. Kapha stores it. Dosha also predicts how the body responds to change. For example. Kapha and Vata rise in response to cold temperature. Pitta rises in response to hot temperature.
DigestionGood circulation, good digestion and well nourished tissue are three cornerstones of good health. By the magic of digestion, when you eat an apple it becomes a part of your body. Whether the apple is hot or cold, acidic or basic, sugary or bitter, the body still has to transform the qualities of the apple into the qualities of a human being. Digestion takes work. Some signs of indigestion include gas, burping, acid reflux, diarrhea and constipation.
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In 1992 my Ayurvedic counselor in Troy, MI told me I was Pitta. Can time and illness change the dosha?
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