An ayurvedic lifestyle is not just about what you eat; it is also about how you eat. According to Ayurvedic principles, there are certain eating habits that must be followed to ensure that what we eat is digested properly and we feel energetic after having the food. Let’s look at some of those habits –

Habit 1: Eat slowly: In today’s fast-paced life, many of us don’t take the time to properly have our meals. We tend to eat while sitting in the car or while standing in the kitchen. According to Ayurvedic principles, it is important to eat slowly in order to ensure that our food is digested effectively. When we eat our food too fast, we don’t allow digestive juices to act upon the food.  

When it comes to digestion, 32 is the magic number. Chewing food 32 times ensures that it loses its texture and when it reaches the small intestine the nutrients from the food are absorbed properly. People in order to finish their food quickly often forget to chew their food and often end up developing digestive problems.

Habit 2: Don’t forget your posture when eating: Did you know that the posture of your body while eating has a lot of impact on your digestion? When you are relaxed, your organs know the job they are being prepared for. Sitting quietly and eating is not just good for the body but mind also.

On one hand, eating slowly and savouring every morsel of food can make you eat less. While on the other hand, mindless eating while watching TV or reading a newspaper, often makes people eat more.

Habit 3: Eat when hungry: Eat when you are actually hungry and not when you feel you are hungry. This rule is a tad difficult to put into practice. Whenever you feel hungry, especially snacking, wait for 10 minutes. It is likely that the feeling would go away.

According to Ayurveda, there’s no universal diet for everyone. Depending upon an individual’s habits, emotional responses, and body types, one should learn what to eat and when to eat.

Habit 4: Eat proteins and carbs at lunch: Your lunch should be the largest meal of the day. So, heavy items like rice and meat should be eaten during the lunch hour. Also, the best time to consume nuts is at lunch. They should be totally avoided during the dinner time as they have high amounts of vegetable protein and fat. Avoid meat for dinner as it takes a lot of time for digestion. Morning is the best time of the day to eat fruits or one should eat them just before lunch.

Habit 5: Have lighter dinner: The last meal of the day should be light and low on carbohydrates. A heavy dinner would disrupt sleep and make you feel heavy headed the next morning.  To ensure the digestive system does its job properly, eat more of proteins (like lentils and green leafy vegetables) and less of carbohydrates during dinner.  

Habit 6: Eat warm meals: Always try to eat freshly made warm meals. Avoid eating anything straight out of the fridge. Pre-cooked, overcooked, or reheated leftovers will not allow your digestive enzymes to work efficiently.

Habit 7: Do not eat incompatible foods together: Pairing incompatible foods can result in indigestion. Eating two healthy foods doesn’t mean it’s healthy for our body.  Ayurveda strictly recommends against consuming some foods together as they may have opposite properties and may an adverse effect on the body. Milk and yogurt - is one such combination that should be avoided. Consuming milk and fish together can induce vomiting.

Habit 8: Don’t eat when angry: Our emotional health has a direct impact on our body and our digestion. Ayurveda advises against eating when we are angry, sad or anxious. When we eat during such an emotional state we tend to eat mindlessly, and the body won’t be ready for the digestive process.

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