This may sound simple, but if you walk into an ordinary grocery store you will be hard-pressed to find real food, i.e. food that is grown by the forces of sun, soil, wind, and water. By eating nature's produce, as fresh and as close to the source as possible, the food retains its living intelligence and energy, its prana /life force.
When you eat locally grown and with the seasons, you benefit from the intelligence in nature that sustains seasonal balance. Â For instance, in Autumn we harvest root vegetables which help build our strength and immunity for winter. In the Spring, bitter and pungent greens sprout to help us detoxify and lighten the weight from a heavy winter.
Agni, meaning digestive fire, is the Sanskrit root for our word ignite. For optimal health you have to have optimal fire in the belly. Heavy foods, too much food, cold food, old, frozen, canned or processed food, even cold water taken with your meal, contribute to reducing the digestive fire.
If you feel heavy, lethargic, dull-minded, or you are experiencing mood swings, then you may have a low-burning fire that has resulted in a toxic build-up that in turn is making your whole system sluggishness. To strengthen your digestive fire, try fasting to clear any build up toxins. You can simply skip dinner one night weekly, or stick to a liquid diet for a few days. Sipping warm vegetable soups and broths for your three meals not only detoxifies, it fans the abdominal flames.
Drinking lemon and ginger tea throughout the day, and always with your meals, will increase digestive fire and help reduce Ama. When cooking, add a little ginger to your dish, too.
While Ayurveda may be a very personalized system of medicine, there are simple, intuitive, and universal guidelines for healthy living. Try it out! These principles will start you on the right path toward optimal health.
In one of our new favorite Ayurvedic food blogs, Food: a Love Story, Laura Plumb shared some wonderful insight into the transformative power of the ancient science. The above 3 principles highlighted here were taken from her blog. She describes Ayurveda as the art of living wisely, as it empowers people to make choices that nurture and sustain balance, wellness, and vitality.