Many of us really care about what we eat. We buy organically grown products, avoid GMOs, weigh antioxidants, estimate the glycemic index, we take into account all factors related to the quality of the food that enters our body.
Everybody praise us for doing all this research and choosing healthy, but we must say that a lot of those things are in vain if we don’t give enough attention to the process of eating. It is not only important what we eat, but how we eat.
Ayurveda, the science of life, teaches us how to eat. Maybe it seems a little silly to you, because there are already results of decades of practice in our stomach. But, let’s be honest, because of our “modern lifestyle”, eating in the car, standing up, when we’re stressed, in a hurry and we depend on cold remains straight from the fridge…Thus, we don’t properly digest and even organic food becomes unhealthy for our bodies.
But, there is room for improvement, right?
For this reason, Ayurveda provides us with upayoga samsthu – the art of eating.
Here are some basic guidelines:
1. Eat the food while it is warm.
The food should not be too hot or too cold. Hot food ensures that we don’t shot down the agni (digestive fire) which is needed for good digestion.
2. Eat freshly cooked food.
Fresh food is full of prana (life force) and nutrients. Both begin to decline soon after the food is cooked. By the time it becomes a leftover, the properties have changed and it becomes difficult for the body to digest. Cooking every meal is not very realistic circumstance, but at least try to avoid foods that are cooked over 24 hours.
3. Eat a proper amount of food.
Overeating leads to indigestion and malnutrition to loss of power. There is no standard amount of food that we should put into our body, because we are all separate individuals and have different needs. Find the right amount of filling your stomach with 50% food, 25% liquid and leave 25% free for digestive action.
4. Chew the food thoroughly and eat at a moderate pace.
Digestion begins in the mouth. Properly chewing the food facilitates the rest of the digestive process.
5. Wait before your next meal until the previous one is digested.
Ayurveda says that feeding the system too early is the main cause of diseases. How do you know that your food is digested? You should be feeling easy, enthusiastic, hungry and thirsty.
6. Eat at about the same time each day
The body progresses with routine. The digestive system works well when it can expect the meals at a certain hour. It is prepared and ready for action.