From the Jacket:
Ayurveda, the traditional healing system of India, is gaining popularity all over the world. It is a complete health system for mind, body and spirit.
Ayurveda medicine is founded on the belief that all diseases stem from the digestive system, and are caused either by poor digestion of food or by an important diet. So the basis of Ayurvedic treatment is dietary.
This book tells you how to maintain and protect health and how to cure diseases through a proper diet. It is an invaluable guide to using and understanding the powerful system of Ayurveda.
According to Ayurveda, like human beings, plants and animals are also made up of five elements only. And being homologous, they form a part of human diet and meet the requirements of body tissues. Anna (food) is considered to be prana (life) yielding.
After getting assimilated, anna (food) facilitates the construction and preservation of normal vital components, namely, chyle, blood, flesh, fat, bones, bone marrow and semen. Their essence is termed as, and originates from, animals and plants and they nourish the brain and the heart.
There are eight requisites of food. They are - nature, material, additions, processing, quantum, time, eating place and eater.
The food taken as per the prescribed schedule is known as yuktahara. Its signs are -lightness in the belly and lack of any difficulty in breathing, circulation and other movements. Ideal food is digested early and it leads to contentment and normal excretions of urine and faeces. Mild belching indicates satisfaction after a yuktahara.
Nature of Food: One must take food according to the place, time, climate and one's own constitution and temperament. An unsuitable or improper diet combination is claimed to be the producer of various diseases in both Ayurveda and Yoga. A balanced diet always helps in physiologic processes whereas an imbalanced one leads to diseases. At one juncture, in the Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna says, "I am the digestive fire in living animals, and in altered forms of prana and Apana Vayu. I only devour all the four types of food, and get them digested." It is given in Ayurvedic texts that he who takes a balanced diet, does not succumb to diseases, always remains healthy and hearty, does not get infatuated with material pleasures, works according to proper reasoning, remains unbiased, veracious, merciful, kind and gentle to all.
The Bhagvad Gita further says that yoga destroys all material pains for one who regulates his food, amusements, sleep and work.
Moderation in eating, recreation, sleeping and other activities is the prescription that has been insisted upon, for yoga, by the Lord. Yoga is not possible for him who eats too much, nor for him who does eat nothing at all. Here the term' eat' includes not only the process of consuming things through the mouth, it also includes the enjoyment gained through all the avenues of sense perceptions and inward experiences. Intelligent moderation is the law.
Proper Food: The food one eats depends upon the mental nature of a person. The food consumed also determines his nature.
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