दीपो भक्षयते ध्वान्तं कज्जलं च प्रसूयते |
यदन्नं भक्षयेन्नित्यं जायते तादृशी प्रजा ||
Lamp eats darkness and produces [black] spot!
What food (quality) [one] eats daily, so will [one] produce!
A perfect diet is perfect health. Being healthy means putting the right fuel into your body and having your internal engine run smoothly. Every meal that you consume influences the way that you feel one way or another, so the more nutritious foods you choose, the healthier you will be. The whole foods act as a medicine to heal and protect your body and give the immune system a break from dealing with toxins, preservatives, additives and chemicals that are included in so many of today’s processed foods.
So what we call a good Diet?
The food you put into your body is the foundation for a good health. Centuries ago, the earliest health practitioners across the world imparted the benefits of using food as medicine to heal the body and with myriads of researches, it is clearly evident that food plays a major role in our health and how you feel on the day to day basis. Ayurveda believes that any illness comes from inadequate nutrition, bad eating habits and that if people were to learn well eating habits, then optimum health would be restored. Even before doctors and any system of medicines took birth, wise tribal elders would search out healing herbs and plants for their community and food would be applied prescriptively to bring healing. Slowly through the years we have moved away from the healing power of nature and towards prescribing packaged synthetic drugs and artificial remedies to deal with illness.
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
[Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb]
Then what, how, when, where and with what combination and way should we eat?
Our diet needs to be regulated while taking the account of ‘Desh‘ (territory), ‘Kaal’ (season as well as time of the day), ‘Matra’ (Quantity), ‘Swabhav’ (nature of food), ‘Sanyog’ (combination of various foods), ‘Sanskar’ (processing of food) and ‘Anna-pan Upyog Vyavastha’ (the place and posture of eating).
Keeping these factors into the account can give a healthy and disease free body to anyone who practices them religiously.