Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion School
Sometimes, no matter how much water you drink, your body still feels thirsty. Simple water lacks the electrolytes your body needs to rehydrate. Without electrolytes, your kidneys simply can't hold onto your water. Instead, your vital fluids are quickly lost in your urine. Often, the best remedy for dehydration is a revitalizing balance of electrolytes and water.
Bananas are the ideal delight on a hot summer afternoon for restoring electrolytes. If you are feeling a little sluggish, banana's natural sugars will restore your energy levels as well. Coconut's amazing ability to rehydrate you was recognized in WWII, where coconut water was actually used for blood transfusions.
Bananas are heavier and harder to digest than most other ripe fruits. When spiced up with lime and cardamom, two natural digestive aids, this super fruit is lighter and easier to digest. Stimulating cardamom also adds a delicious flavor element to this smoothie and is paired beautifully with banana and lime. Cardamom's aromatic perfume opens your pores, encouraging you to sweat, your body's natural way of keeping cool.
Juice the lime and throw away the rind. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy this refreshing, replenishing and cleansing delight. Optional: if you don't have coconut water on hand, use water.
Increases These Qualities (Gunas)
Ayurveda helps you assess how you feel through the 20 main therapeutic feelings or qualities called gunas. Through the gunas you can articulate, experience and develop sensitivity to the signals your body sends you. Imbalanced gunas are the root of your imbalances. Every guna has an opposite which balances is (i.e. hot balances cold). You create balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite guna.
The 6 Tastes
Taste has meaning in Ayurveda, and brings physical and emotional changes to your body. Taste is experienced on the tongue and is your body's reaction to foods much in the same way that your emotions are mental reactions to experiences. Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion. Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste. One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes. The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below? Food and herbs with the following tastes could aggravate your symptoms.
The Three Doshas / Body Types
Your body type shows how your strengths, as well as how your body typically goes out of balance. It also shows how your body responds to the environment. Your body type is comprised of certain qualities and affects every part of you - your physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses. This is because your body type is based on how your body uses energy. Ayurveda has 3 body types (doshas), called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata spends energy. Pitta burns energy. Kapha stores energy. Vata people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry. Pitta people tend to be hot, focused, driven, and easily inflamed. Kapha people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
HAS THE FOLLOWING
SATTVICSattvic foods promote awareness and a refreshed mind by nourishing the body without taxing digestion. Sattvic foods do not stimulate desire or nervous energy. They create clarity instead of drowsiness or heaviness.
ALKALIZINGAn herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
OJASOjas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after lon-term illness, debility, emotional and physical trauma, and even sadness.
PRANAPrana is the Sanskrit word for vital life energy, similar to Qi in Chinese Medicine. Many herbs stimulate your energy, or improve the flow of prana through your body. Generally, prana needs to be increased in spring after a sleepy winter.
AROMATICHerbs or spices with volatile essential oils that present strong aromas. Aromatic oils shock, refresh and numb tissue, with the end result of relaxing, opening and clearing stagnant fluids in tissues.
QUENCHES-THIRSTAn herb or substance that relieves thirst.
APPETITE-SUPPRESSANTSuppresses hunger without causing weight gain
ANTACIDHerbs that neutralize acidity in the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach in particular.
APPETIZERHerbs that cleanse the palate & stimulate hunger or desire to eat.
CARMINATIVEStimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
ANTISPASMODICHerbs that reduce or inhibit muscle spasms or cramping, such as in asthma, colic or IBS.
|Energy Vitality Strength|
STIMULATES-ENERGYThis category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
NUTRITIVEAn herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
|Heart & Circulation|
REFRIGERANTAn herb or substance that strongly cools the body. Can be helpful in cases of heat conditions.
REBUILDS-FLUIDSHerbs or substances that create moisture in the body and increase fluids.
REBUILD-ELECTROLYTESSubstances that increase your electrolyte balance. Electrolytes help you retain water, keep your palate moist, and truly quench your thirst.
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
LIVOTONICAn herb that strengthens the liver. It is helpful for people with a history of substance abuse, chronic liver issues from hepatitis and hemolytic anemias.
|Lung and Sinus|
DEMULCENTHerbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.
|Mind, Stress & Sleep|
BRAIN-TONICAn herb that strengthens the brain, thereby improves either mental function, stamina, or stability.
|Skin Care & Beauty|
ANTIPRURITICAntipruritics are herbs that inhibit itching that is often associated with itching skin conditions such as sunburns, allergic reactions, eczema, psoriasis, chickenpox, fungal infections, insect bites, or contact dermatitis (as in poison ivy exposure.)
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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