Updated: Feb 17
Regarding intake of large amount of water early morning: I have come across many people, patients and otherwise, who have been following this habit of drinking high amounts of water first thing in the morning. The quantity of this water can be anywhere between 500ml to as high as 2 litres. And most of them, if not all seem to believe that this habit is recommended in Ayurveda. NO, this is not prescribed in any Ayurvedic text. On the contrary, drinking high amount of water first thing in the morning douses the Agni (digestive fire)and can lead to loss of appetite and indigestion. This is even more prohibitive in a metabolic condition like PCOS. Some people have the water with honey/& lemon which is again not advised to be taken without your doctor’s supervision since it is not included under food but under medicine.
Recommendation for PCOS patients: Wheat grass or barley grass juice with 3-4 cubes of bottle gourd/ash gourd can be made into a juice with 200 ml of water which is boiled and cooled to a luke warm temperature. This juice is very rich in micro nutrients and fibre and the gourds balances the pitta in the body. This is also a good pre workout drink. Sweet fruits like small banana and apples also can be consumed with this juice.
Regarding intake of cooked food vs raw foods: As we have discussed in the previous post, one must choose the food according one’s agni (digestive ability). We are not what we eat, we are what we digest. So, I would suggest to choose food with discretion and awareness. Whenever you make a change in your diet, watch for signs in the body like lightness/lethargy, bowel movements, sleep quality, energy levels etc., While some people adjust to raw food very well, there are some others who benefit more from cooked food.
Recommendation for PCOS patients: Do NOT overdo any single kind of food/diet. A daily meal plan can have cooked food, raw vegetables and fruit, soup and nuts. The important thing to remember is not to mix the cooked and uncooked food items. I suggest that you have them as separate meals. Nuts can be had as an evening snack. An early dinner can be a cooked meal. Ideally, you should sleep within 2 hours of the dinner. If not, you can have a bowl of fruits like melons after 2 hours.
Choose local produce than any new fangled fad diets. The body with its already sluggish metabolism, will struggle to digest and assimilate completely new grains/food items. Also choose according to your satmya (habituation- discussed in the previous post). Many of you have asked what they should follow if they have migrated to a different city/country. In that case, start with the awareness of what suits you and what does not. Choose foods which have the same qualities of the food you are used to. The change to the new food should be gradual.
Ayurveda recommends drinking water throughout the day in small quantities. Consuming water before a meal and after a meal is discouraged. Water should be sipped in between morsels, while consuming a meal.
Regarding non-vegetarian meals: NO, Ayurveda is not vegetarian. There is plenty of discussion about the properties of various kinds of meat and their recipes in the Ayurveda samhitas.
Recommendation for PCOS patients: Avoid fatty meats. Cook the meat without deep frying. Avoid consuming seafood and milk products. Do not add milk product into the recipe and do not include it in the same meal. Consuming a non-vegetarian meal as lunch is preferred to dinner.