The ancient and holistic practice of Ayurveda touches on every aspect of the mind, body and spirit. Ayurveda has been around for thousands of years, spreading the message and importance of balance in our lives in order to be mentally and physically well. With so many processed foods and high quantities of sugar available to us at the click of a finger, the need for balance has never been greater. Healthy eating has therefore never been more important. When our dosha is unbalanced, we can feel it through emotional and physical changes. By looking at the foods we are eating and eliminating those that do not support our dosha, we can help to bring the body back into balance by eating healthy meals. Vata’s for example tend to have very sensitive digestive systems due to the two air elements governing them. It is important for Vata’s to eat hydrating foods such as warm broths and soups that also heat up this dosha. For Pitta’s, avoiding spicy foods is crucial. Remembering that ‘like increases like’, this dosha needs cooling and creamy foods to contrast the fire element that rules them. Raw foods provide sufficient nutrition in a form that will balance this dosha due to their strong digestive system that can easily digest raw foods. The Kapha dosha needs to avoid creamy foods and opt for bitter tasting and rough textured nourishment. Kapha’s tend to be lethargic and slow when out of balance so fuelling the body on healthy food types that are of opposite nature to this will provide contrast and help to bring the dosha back into balance. Whether you choose to eat a diet influenced by your dosha or you simply want to embrace a holistic way of eating that is flexible enough to fit with your lifestyle, these Ayurvedic guidelines for healthy eating will help you look and feel good without restricting the foods you can eat: Be Mindful About The Foods You Eat Choose organic and locally grown produce wherever possible and prepare the food you eat from scratch. As ancient Ayurvedic teachings say “food is medicine when consumed properly,” so eating fresh foods prepared at home will contain all the important nutrients we need to maintain good health. Prepare And Eat With Your Senses Take the time to be present when you prepare and eat your meals. Think about the different textures and flavours of different foods and try to incorporate the six Ayurvedic tastes of sweet, salt, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent. The preparation process of making a meal is a vital part of the digestive system as the aroma’s the ingredients emit ignite the digestive system in preparation of the food. Eat Two Handfuls Of Food Overeating is common nowadays and we often eat purely through boredom. Try scooping rice from one bowl to another in your cupped hands, then repeat. This is the amount of food you should eat at every meal. Eat Only When You’re Hungry Eating the Avuyredic way is all about being fully in touch with your body and your digestion. It teaches that we should only eat when we truly feel hungry. What feels like hunger could be dehydration so try drinking a herbal tea to establish true hunger. Enjoy A Calm Environment Being present as we eat is so important. This helps digestion and helps us to appreciate our food, increasing satisfaction and therefore decreasing overeating. Remove all electronic devices from the table and create a calming atmosphere in which to enjoy your meal and let your body extract all the healing, healthy nutrients from the foods you eat.