Food- “Life” in simple words

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Ayurvedic diet emphasis eating whole food which can improve your overall health. Diet also encourages mindful eating, a practice that may promote a healthy relationship with food. Food if taken in accordance with the rules it is responsible for life of living beings. Food which do not adversely affect the body and mind are regarded as wholesome those which affects the body are regarded as unwholesome.

Some important points which should be taken into consideration while taking food and for benefits of food acc. to Ayurveda are as follows.

How to eat the food

Living beings in the universe require food, which sustains the life. The food in the form of diets and drinks whose color, smell, taste ,touch are pleasing to the senses and conducive to the health, if taken in accordance with the rules, in fact represents the very life of living beings.

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Proper time for taking food:


One should take food twice a day (within 24 hours) i.e. before noon and at night, and food should not be taken in between. This stipulation is only for adults but children who are in the state of growth may take more than two times, whenever they feel hungry.

  1. The proper time for taking food is.

  1. When there is normal movement of stool and urine.

  1. The eructation’s are free of any taste.

  1. When the body and sense organs are light and free.

  1. When he is hungry.

  2. When there is relish for food.

  3. When the belly becomes light.


Regimens before meal

We should wash feet and mouth before meals. One should sleep with dry feet. Eating with wet feet increases longevity. One who had his bath, worn soft, beautiful, clean and white dress and flowers and just washed his feet, should enter the dining chamber with lucid mind along with his dear children and friends with the intent of taking meals which is good for him.


Vessels for cooking

Earthen pots cleaned with water are good for cooking food. The food cooked in such pots will be tasteful and of good qualities.

If pots are not available, iron vessels may be used. Vessels made of bronze or bell metal are also good. But the food prepared in copper vessels cause anorexia and gastritis.

The best are the vessels made of gold and silver because they remove all faults and increase immunity.


Serving dishes

The mode of serving out the different dishes should be as follows:


  1. Ghrita should be served in a vessel of steel .

  2. Peya in a silver bowl.

  3. Fruit and confectionary on leaves and baskets.

  4. Different preparations which are dry and fried in golden plates.

  5. Fluid edibles and meat essences in silver bowls.

  6. Preserved chutneys in stone utensils.

  7. Cool boiled milk in copper vessels.

  8. Other drinks, wines and cordials in earthen pots.

  9. Raga-shadavas and sattakas in cool, pure glass bowls or in vessels made of crystals.


Qualities of vessels

  1. Gold vessels/plates are auspicious and alleviate all doshas, good for the eyesight, stimulate the digestive fire, alleviates pitta and cordial.

  2. Silver vessels: alleviate anorexia, good for the eyesight.

  3. Bronze vessels: cordial, alleviate eye diseases and raktapitta. Food will be tasteful and increase intellect.

  4. Brass vessels: cause aggravation of vata, heat and roughness but alleviate kapha and destroy krimi.

  5. Iron or glass vessel: improve strength, alleviate oedema and anemia and jaundice.

  6. Vessels made of stone or earth should not be used because they are inauspicious.

  7. Plantain leaf: alleviates vata and kapha; best for meals because of cleanliness; bestows strength, health, complexion, sexual desire, hunger

  8. Plate made of palasa leaves: destroys gulma, vata diseases, colic, diseases due to aggravation, of kapha and pitta.

  9. Plate made of banyan leaves: heals ulcers and alleviates pitta.

  10. Lotus leaf; acts as vishahara.


Method of taking meals

We shall know the properties of various diets and drinks in order to know their useful effects on body e.g. Salt causes liquification, honey brings together rupture tissue elements, milk improves and saves life, meat nourishes.


Classification of food articles in Ayurveda

The various articles of diets and drinks are classified according of the following twelve groups:

  1. Sukadhanya (corns with bristles): Sail, Sashtlka, Yava, Godhuma etc. belong to this group.

  2. Samidhanya (pulses): Mudga, Masha, Adhaki, Tila etc.

  3. Mamsa (meat)

  4. Saka (vegetables) consisting of leaves, tubers etc.

  5. Phala (ripe fruits)

  6. Harita (Salads)

  1. Madya (wines).

  1. Jala (water)

  1. Gorasa (milk and milk products).

  2. Ikshuvikara (products of sugar cane): jaggary, sugar etc.

  3. Kritanna (food preparations): Peya (gruel), vilepi (thick gruel), manda, saktu etc.

  4. Aharayogi ( food articles): oils, condiments, spices, salts etc.


Most unwholesome articles



Most unwholesome ones

Most wholesome ones


Yavaka (wild barley)

Rakt shalli(red rice)


Black gram

Mudga(green gram)

Drinking water

River water in rainy season

Antriksh water


Salt collected/Prepared from saline soil

Saindhav (rock salt)



Jivanti (cork swallow wort)



Ain mans

Meat of birds

Young dove


Meat of animals living in holes




Chilichima fish



Ghee of sheep milk



Sheep milk


Vegetable fats

Safflower oil

Til tail

Fats of marshy animals

Fat of buffalo

Vraha vasa

Fats of aquatic animals

Fat of shark/crocodile


Fats of aquatic birds

Fat of water fowl

Pak hans

Fats of gallinaceous types

Fat of sparrow birds

Fat of cock

Fats of branch eating animals

Fat of elephant

Fat of goat


Wild jack fruit


Rhizomes and roots



Preparations of sugarcane

Treacle (Phanita)



Ayurveda considers food as the ist and foremost tripod(food, sleep, brahamcharya) of life

Hence, a proper diet should be considered, which is essential for good health and healthy body functions. Pathya vyavastha mainly gives knowledge about foods in different diseases. It is done with the view of enhancing the therapeutic effect of diet, which stimulates the digestion power, and helps in digestion and assimilation of food.

Mental health is essential for a healthy person. Stimulation of patient mind helps in relaxation through reduction in stress and indirectly improves other body activities. As per Ayurveda, proper food selection and dietary schedule helps to control the mind and consequently maintain holistic health and happiness.

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