Indians have been practicing ‘Ayurveda’ for more than 5000 years and it revolves around the nourishment of body as well as the mind and soul. Ayurveda is much more than a system of treatment and in a larger sense, is a pure science of life. ‘Ayur’ means Life and ‘Veda’ means Science, it aims on providing a mechanism completely designed to help people stay healthy, attain peace, and live longer in a way that people utilize their full human potential. The underlying principle is that the mind and the body are inextricably connected to each other and nothing has more power to heal and transform the body other than our mind. The science of ‘Ayurveda’ is focused on three forms of energies which is regarded as doshas — vata, pitta and kapha. Doshas showcase unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics of an individual.
We all have been hearing “don’t wander out on empty belly”, “avoid talking while eating”, “don’t swallow without chewing properly” and so on from our childhood. We may have ignored this that time but it holds utmost significance in our lives. We are losing out on keeping our body and mind in peace. Ancient food practices followed in India emphasize not only on eating rather than on whole system and mechanism of eating. I strongly believe that going back to these habits will largely effect our day to day life and will keep us healthy.
The first ancient practice which is still prevalent in today’s time is sitting on the floor while eating. However, it is diminishing day by day as we are turning more modern and copying the west without looking at our glorious past. In those days, people used to suffer less due to lifestyle-related diseases as they used to practiced this form. According to the experts, sitting on the floor in a position where our legs are crossed while having food is typically a yogic posture called ‘Sukhasan’ which helps in massaging the abdominal muscles, boost circulation in the lower part of the body and increase flexibility. This also helps in improving our metabolism. In order to improve our overall health, we can definitely ditch the sophisticated dining tables up to a certain extent.
The second practice is of early morning breakfast. Even mighty Romans used to perform this as they used to take breakfast just moments after sunrise. A healthy breakfast helps to start your day on a good note and gives you the energy you need to tackle everyday challenges. Early morning breakfast helps us with weight management and makes a positive impact on our mental health.
The third practice is of cooking in earthen pots and eating food with our hands. As we’re increasingly using non-stick cookware in our kitchen, we are forgetting the benefits of cooking in earthen pots. Cooking in clay pots adds calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sulphur and several other important minerals to our food. Clay pots are alkaline in nature so they mix very well with acidic food and balance its PH level. As the general western thought is that eating with our hands is uncouth, tacky and unhygienic but in reality, it’s very healthy. According to Ayurveda, when we eat through our hand, the five fingers together form a yogic position which activates the sensory organs that improves digestion because when our hand comes in contact of the food, the brain sends several signals to the body which further releases digestive juices. This is the reason why food tastes even better when it’s eaten with our hands. According to Luke Coutinho, “Eating with your fingers helps your mind connect with your food better and you tend to eat less and more mindfully.”
So, ancient food practices help us immensely in maintaining our overall health as it maintains simplicity and organizes the power of nature for better nourishment. Food doesn’t limit itself to just eating rather it’s a mechanism which brings inner peace and cultivates a healthy lifestyle if done right.
I was born in 1996 and aged from there.
When I’m not writing, I’m in search of delicious eats and busy figuring out what to cook.
With the atlas printed on my mind, I dream to travel to each corner of the world. I strongly believe that the lesser known places offer the best rewards.