Ahar means diet,which we eat or drink daily comes in to Ahar.Ahar is essential for sharira formation and sharir bala.Diet is not ony responsible for health of human being but for colour (varna),chayapachaya(metabolism process),oja formation (immunity),and proper functioning of Indriyas(sense organ).
Ayurveda describe food as “Mahabhaisajya” means ‘the superior medicine’.Proper eating habbits and right foods not only maintain the foods but prevent yourself from diseases also.
According to Ayurveda,improper diet and irregular foods habbits are responsible for disease formation as it leads to vitiation of doshas.
Body is made up of Panchmahabhutas according to Ayurveda,hence the food should be panchbhautik in constituation.The five basic elements of nature i.e. the Panch Mahabhutas which are space, air, fire, water and earth. When foods consume with Panchmahabhautik costituations then and then only food get digested and utilized for the growth of body.And helps in balancing the similar elements in the body.
In Ayurveda,Santulit Ahar is described in details rather than the method of intake of ahar also described because the way how to eat have a great significance for maintainance of good and healthy life.If you take nutritional foods irrespective of eating manner,then it also results in disease formation.
Ahara Vidhi Vidhana
Acharya Charaka explain the Ahara Vidhi Vidhana in vimansthana.(adhyaya1/24)Ahar vidhi vidhan means the rules for diet intake.
For good health, One should eat only that food which is:
In proper quantity
Not contradictory in potency
After the digestion of the previous meal
In proper place equipped with all the accessories
With concentration of mind
With paying due regard to oneself.
Always eat warm foods.because when you take food warm then it is very tasty in quality.
Other advantages are as follows-
Increases the secreation of digestive enzymes and digestive juices in the abdomen which are responsible for digestion
Warm Foods are easily digested as it helps secretion of saliva and secretion of Gastric juice.
Warm foods helps in the downward passage of Vata and detachment of Kapha
Provide lightness in body
Always take the ahar with singdha gunas. Advantages of taking Snigdha Ahara are as follows:
Unctuous food is tasty.
As it enhances the power of jatharagni (digestive power) hence food gets digested quickly
Helps in the downward movement of Vata
Increases the plumpness of the body
Strengthens the sense organs
Brings out the brightness of complexion
Enhances the body strength
Increases the competence of body
Matravat (In Proper Quantity):
Always take the food in proper quantity. Proper quantity of food –
Promotes longevity of life and maintain the balance of tridoshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha.)
Easily passes down to the rectum
Does not impair the digestive power
Easily digested by agni
Jirneashneyat-(Intake of diet with optimum hunger)
When you feel proper hunger,and previous food is completely digested then and then you should take the food.
It helps to remain the doshas in their proper places.
It causes the enhancement of jatharagni and strotas are clearly opened.
Belching is purified and normal cardiac functions are going on.
Results in downward movements of apan vayu.
Causes proper manifestion of urges .(flatulence,urine and stool_
Strength the dhatus and promotes the longetivity.
Aviruddhaashniyat-(Intake of diet with optimum combination)-
Always avoid the foods which are not complimentary to each other.EX- avoid to eat milk and fish togetherly.
Istedeshe,Istesarvopakaraneashiyat-(Intake of diet in proper place with proper accessories)
Diet in pleasant and comfortable place reduces the emotional strain
Proper equipment maintain the hygene of a food.
Do not serve buttermilk in copper bowl it acts like a poison
Naatidritamashniyat and Natibilambitamashniyat (Intake of diet with optimum speed not to fast not to slow)
If we take food hurrily then it causes the overeating.
Intake of food in optimum speed results in proper entry of food in stomach.
One can feel proper taste of food with complete perspicuity of Indriyas.
If there is any foreign particle in food it can easily detect.
Proper secreation of saliva occurs which cause the proper diagestion of food.
Downward passage of Vata occur
Ajalpan,Ahasanam,Tanmanabhunjitamashniyat(Intake of diet without talking,and laughing but with concentration)
Because if one should take the foods with talking and laughing then it may be obstructed in food and air way passage .
If one should take the food with concentration then the saar bhag of food is formed which results in Oaj formation.
Atmanam Abhisamikshya (With paying due regard to oneself ):
One should take food in a prescribed manner; with due regard to his own self. Considering his own body constitution, he should be able to decide usefulness or harmfulness of a substance
Ideal Matra (Quantity) of Ahara for a person:
Quantity of food for a person is depend on Agnibala (digestive power) of a person which vary according to the person and also the nature of food he is taking.
The stomach should be imagined to be divided in four equal parts then two parts of stomach should feel with foods,one part should feel with water and remaining one part is for mobilisation of vatadi doshas.
Ideal time for meal:
Ideal time for lunch is between first and second Yama i.e. between 3-6 hrs after sunrise (beginning of day).
Ideal time for dinner is after the end of first Prahara i.e. after 3 hrs after the beginning of night (after sunset).