The ayurvedic cook bases his cooking skills on knowledge that has been acquired from studying herbs, spices, vegetables and legumes in the Ayurveda doctrine and how these foods can be beneficial to maintain physical, intellectual and spiritual balance.
Ayurvedic foods are flavorful, appetizing and aromatic creations that have a number of beneficial heath boosting effects. The primary aspiration behind ayurvedic cooking is the cleansing of toxins from the body because Ayurveda dictates that the food we eat not only affects the body but also the mind and soul, so an individual’s relation with food is also an indicator of their relation to different aspects of life.
For instance, if the food is full of prana, or life source, it will give the individual a chance to live life to the fullest. Food that is prepared with ayurvedic cooking principles will offer so much more than mere satiation and will also nourish the mind and the senses while also promoting physical energy, intellectual capacity, and positive thinking.
These basic principles of ayurvedic cooking go beyond the mere choice of fresh foods but also takes into account other factors like the cooking process, digestion as well as nutrition. In fact, Ayurveda considers these three factors to be interrelated with a focus that foods are prepared with love and consideration. This positive energy will reflect in the digestive part of the process by making the same foods easier to digest and will enhance the body’s ability to distill maximum nutrition from the foods.
In addition to the choice of foods, another important consideration in meal preparation is that the meal caters and satisfies the 6 tastes of an ayurvedic meal. Namely these include, sweet, sour, salty, pungent, astringent and bitter. When all six tastes have been included the result is a well-balanced meal that will deliver energy to the body and rejuvenate the mind.
Likewise, ayurvedic cooking principles also demand that food is only cooked until it is made digestible and not overcooked. This practice allows food to retain most of its nutritional value and food items like vegetables should be steamed, beans and lentils soaked and sprouted, while grains should be rinsed well before cooking.
When selecting ayurvedic foods, individuals also need to mind the freshness of the foods. Only fresh foods should be selected as stale, processed and preserved items will be deficient in nutrients, lack vital energy and be tougher to digest properly. At the same time, food selection will also need to be based on choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables. Since the best varieties are available when in season, these foods will provide the best nutritional value as well.
Once these basics have been complied with, individuals can then familiarise themselves with the three body constitutions in Ayurveda as choosing the right foods will impact their body constitution and help maintain equilibrium in the body.
Overall, Ayurveda is not only a way of healing but also a way of life that takes into consideration every aspect of life that can have an effect on the overall health of an individual.
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