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Ayurvedic Diet

by Ayurveda Therapist on June 29, 2011

12 Improper Eating Habits (Ahitahara)

1. Virudhahara – Incompatible, wrong food combinations. Mixing two or more food substances that are incompatible produces toxic effects on the body. According to Ayurveda, every food has its own Rasa, Virya, Vipaka. Some also posses Prabhava, an unexplained effect.

When two or more foods having different Rasa, Virya, Vipaka are combined, the agni (digestive fire) may become overloaded. The overloaded system stops the enzyme system from operating resulting in incomplete digestion and contributing the production of Ama.

However, if incompatible foods are eaten separately they are very likely to stimulate the agni, digest easily, and even help to burn ama. Poor food combinations may lead to indigestion, fermentation, putrification, and gas formation. If prolonged, wrong food combinations may even result in toxemia and other diseases.

Example: If milk and meat are combined together, they never digest and get stagnated in the intestine thereby producing skin diseases.

2. Overeating (Atiahara )
This habit suppresses the agni and forms ama resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, severe pain in the abdomen, fever, abdominal distention, and other kapha disorders.

Examples:

Excess Intake of Sweet – Causes glandular enlargements, tumor, diabetes, obesity, etc.

Excess Intake of Sour – Causes anemia, skin disesases, and inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

Excess Intake of Salt – Causes hypertension, water retention, premature graying, early wrinkles, premature aging.

Excess Intake of Pungent – Gastritis, throat disorders, impotency, unconsciousness.

Excess Intake of Bitter – Depletion of the tissues.

Excess Intake of Astringent – Constipation, bleeding diseases (ie. Bloody nose), neurological disorders.

3. Starvation/ Decreased Food Intake
This habit increases Vata Dosha resulting in malnutrition disorders

4. Eating Too Fast or Too Slow
• Eating too fast → Vata Disorder
• Eating too slow → Kapha Disorder
• Eat at a moderate speed and chew food fully

5. Eating at the Wrong Time of the Day
• Too early breakfast → Increase Kapha and Pitta
• Too late dinner → Increase Vata

6. Eating without Real Hunger
If you eat without hunger it means you don’t have the fire to digest the food. This may lead to psychosomatic diseases.

7. Eating when previously consumed food is not digested completely.

8. Eating when constipated

9. Emotional eating

10. Munching between meals (exception – fruit)

11. Daily intake of yogurt
• Produces abnormal secretions in tissue pores, which may block tissue pores leading to constipation, skin diseases.
• Recommended to take at lunch and on alternate days due to heavy nature of yogurt.

12. Frozen Foods Reheated Foods
• Stale, tamasic (food that has and provides energy that is low, heavy, slow, and dull)
• Dulls the mind, spoils the intellect
• Gives one fear and anger

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