Updated: Mar 10
In the previous post, we were exploring how to use the eight Ayurvedic dietetic principles Asta-Ahara Vidhi Visesa Ayatanani to find long term solutions for acidity and related conditions. 4. Rashi: Quantity
This refers to both the quantity of the total food consumed and the quantity of the individual ingredients in a dish. Ayurveda recommends filling 2/3rd of the stomach only.. 1/3rd with food and 1/3rd with liquids and 1/3rd should be left empty.
To address acidity: Consume food with lesser ingredients. That is, choose dishes with simpler recipes which calls for a lesser number of ingredients. In case, you find yourself in a situation where that is not possible and if you have to eat a dish with more ingredients, eat less quantity of this dish. Lesser than your regular quantity For example, Khichdi can be eaten a little more than a dish like Bisibele Bath.
Many acidity patients like to eat multiple small meals. This depends on whether the agni is able to cope with digesting the multiple meals. Eat according to your agni (digestive power). And look for signs of indigestion, discomfort, changes in bowel movements and sleep patterns. And if you still feel, multiple meals are helping, keep them light and avoid sour, salty, oily and spicy foods. And do not mix cooked and raw foods. Consume raw foods as a separate meal.
5. Desha: Location or Habitat
Refers to the place of the growth of the plant or animal. It refers both to the habitat of the food item and the person. For example: Chillies of different regions have different taste and pungency. The tolerance for a spicy item can be different to a person living in a desert than a person living on the plains. Heavy and fatty food may be better digested in a hot location than in the marshy area.
To address acidity, choose food which you are used to and are local to you. For example, choose millets which are grown locally rather than oats or quinoa. Do not choose any super foods which probably grow in the other part of the hemisphere. Choose according to your location and the location of the food items. 6. Kala: Time
Refers to the time of the day, seasons and also the age and condition of the individual. Elderly persons should have an anti-vata diet, middle-aged people must comply with an anti-pitta diet, and children should be given an anti-kapha diet.
To address acidity, the most important advice with regards to Kala, is to eat on time. It is extremely important to have regular meal timings. It helps to balance the doshas and avoids the acid build up in the body which can lead to many physical and psychological disturbances.
While we are talking about Kala, I would like to talk about another food habit being espoused as Ayurvedic and being followed injudiciously.
I am talking about the newly popularised habit of eating only 2 meals a day and consuming dinner before sunset. This is a case of selectively choosing a regimen while disregarding the science and the logic behind it. People following it, feel this ancient wisdom will help them to improve their health.
We need to remember that ancient people had 2 meals a day, one at sunrise and the next one before sunset. What we fail to remember is that they also slept an hour after their dinner. So, when we eat a really early dinner and then sleep only after 4 hours, the food gets digested even before one gets to bed.
The rate of digestion is faster when we are awake than when we are asleep. So, when the dinner is consumed before/at sunset, the time gap between the dinner and the breakfast the next morning is too long and gives rise to aggravated pitta.
Just like a really late dinner can cause acid refux, a very early dinner while staying awake for hours after that can also cause acid reflux. It can increase the pitta imbalance and cause more acidity symptoms.
The solution can be to have a small portion of fruit or any other light food before 1.5 hours of going to bed, in case you have had your dinner at sunset time.
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