We will first give you a brief insight into the basics of Ayurveda and then show you four ingredients that play an essential role in Ayurvedic nutrition, but also in part in our < Play t6>AddOn Mood Up.
The three main energies
At its core, Ayurveda, the “science of longevity”, assumes that the body has three main energies (also called doshas). These three doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) are thought to determine how our body behaves and responds to everything from stress to emotions to certain foods.
Vata (air and space)
Vata is represented by air and space and is said to control breathing, heartbeat, and muscle and joint movements. It is also believed to control anxiety, fear, pain and other nervous system functions.
Pitta (fire and water)
Represented by fire and water, Pitta is said to control bodily functions such as metabolism and digestion while controlling emotions such as anger, hatred and jealousy.
Kapha (earth and water)
Kapha, like Pitta, is represented by water, but also by the earth. It is believed to control the body's physical structure, the immune system, and emotional responses such as forgiveness, calm, love, and greed.
If one of the three doshas is out of balance, diseases can occur. Symptoms such as bloating, rashes, pimples, itchy skin, sore gums, anxiety, fatigue, excessive gas, and even bad moods can result. Digestive problems in particular are a first stage of the disease in Ayurveda. To prevent this from happening, it is important to recognize the symptoms and counteract them with the help of certain foods and drinks. Basically, there are a few do's and don'ts, which we will give you here in a nutshell:
You should avoid the following if possible:
- Irregular meals, better get into a routine
- Eat only when you are really hungry and not out of boredom
- Do not mix hot and cold foods
- Make sure your food isn't too dry
Instead, support your digestion by
- lots of warm food and.
- eats quality, fresh foods.
- Enjoy your food and chew slowly
- Use lots of herbs and spices (see below)
Spices in the Ayurvedic diet
Spices are of particular importance in Ayurveda. It is recommended that every meal contains all six of the well-known tastes known as rasas, i.e. bitter, tart, salty, pungent, sour and sweet. In this way, one's own doshas would be strengthened, because according to the teachings, spices are remedies that are used in daily use. Therefore, the spice kitchen in Ayurveda is also correspondingly diverse and intensive. We will now introduce you to four main characters:
The Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera) has been used in Ayurvedic naturopathy for over 2000 years. Its variety of effects makes it one of the most important medicinal plants here. Its areas of application include, for example, vitality and fertility. The root is also known as "sleeping berry", "winter cherry" or "Indian ginseng". The high proportion of whithanolides can be held responsible for the positive effects on health. Withanolides belong to the group of steroidal lactones, which in their chemical structure are very similar to the structures of steroid hormones. Ashwagandha is also a real happiness maker, because the root helps to increase stress resistance, can have a mood-enhancing effect and improve brain performance. It grows mainly in India and belongs to the nightshade family. Ashwagandha as a food is so valuable because it contains adaptogenic plant substances, i.e. the active ingredients that make plants and fungi particularly adaptable. Their abilities also benefit us humans. We also use Ashwagandha in our AddOn Mood Up.
The "Gold of the Orient" is also well known outside of Ayurvedic cuisine, including under the name Sunshine Spice. The spice has a long and mythical history behind it, it was considered a luxury item in Roman times, mainly because it was difficult to obtain, and it is still the most expensive spice in the world today. What we know as saffron are actually the pistils of the flower of the saffron crocus. Today we know: it is not only difficult to obtain, but also full of nutrients. Saffron mainly contains minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. In addition, saffron contains vitamin C and vitamin A. Not only is saffron antispasmodic for menstrual cramps and digestive, no, recent studies have also shown that the ingredient safranal in the body can increase the serotonin level and the ingredient crocin can increase the dopamine and norepinephrine level. That's why saffron is also considered a mood enhancer and thus secures its place in our AddOn Mood Up.
The root may look inconspicuous, but it's a sly old dog when it comes to healing effects. In fact, the tuber has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. Here the root is also often used in powder form as a real all-rounder, because it is considered to be antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is above all the gingerols contained in ginger that make the plant so special. They soothe your entire digestive tract and can relieve bloating and cramps. Sounds like a really good little helper, doesn't it? But ginger can do even more, and quite a lot: Studies have shown that gingerol can actually inhibit tumor growth in various types of tumours. However, these findings require much more clinical investigations.
Also known as turmeric, it shares many similarities with the ginger plant. Many will know turmeric from the popular curry dish. Turmeric gets its intense yellow color from the dye curcumin - and this is exactly what numerous positive health effects are attributed to. Many scientific studies have been able to prove that curcumin has positive effects, especially for the gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal sluggishness or a feeling of fullness can be alleviated and since it has an anti-inflammatory effect, regular intake can even have a positive effect on irritable bowel with constipation. It is important to know that the valuable ingredient in turmeric is difficult for the body to utilize. At the same time, you should not take too much turmeric without hesitation. For example, the WHO recommends a daily dose of up to three grams of turmeric powder.
So, that was our brief insight into Ayurvedic nutrition for you! We hope you've learned something new and of course we're always happy to receive feedback!
If you would like to test the effects of saffron and ashwagandha yourself, try our Dailybacs in combination with the add-on Mood Up and see for yourself yourself from the powers of Ayurvedic medicinal plants!
- de Lima RMT, Dos Reis AC, de Menezes APM, Santos JVO, Filho JWGO, Ferreira JRO, de Alencar MVOB, da Mata AMOF, Khan IN, Islam A, Uddin SJ, Ali ES, Islam MT, Tripathi S, Mishra SK, Mubarak MS, Melo-Cavalcante AAC. Protective and therapeutic potential of ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract and -gingerol in cancer: A comprehensive review. Phytother Res. 2018 Oct;32(10):1885-1907. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6134. Epub 2018 Jul 16. PMID: 30009484.
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- Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary; Like reborn through modern Ayurveda, Riva Verlag (7. edition) 2019