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Health

18 Ayurvedic Tips For The Summer Season To Stay In Tune With Nature Rhythms

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Healthy people change their behavior patterns and food preferences from season to season, following changes in nature and weather. However, people that have health issues lose their connection to natural rhythms and keep the same diet and behavior throughout the year which only worsens their health condition. Ayurveda can provide us guidance to a healthier lifestyle depending on the season and weather conditions. In this article, we will share with you Ayurvedic tips for the summer season that will help you to stay healthy and full of energy throughout the summer.

Ayurveda and Seasonal Changes

A season is a behavior trend that manifests itself in all living beings. For example, in winter, people naturally want to sleep more, eat hot meals and high-calorie food, and spend more time at home with their loved ones. This behavior during the winter season gives us health, supports the nervous and immune systems, and saves energy. This is the time when we recover, connect with our family, remember traditions, and pay tribute to our ancestors.

Why are we drawn to this behavior in winter? According to Ayurveda, winter is the time of Vata dosha, the main qualities of which are lightness and cold. To reduce Vata, we should be grounded, calm, and warm our body and soul. Most people naturally do it.

Summer, on the contrary, the time of the abundant nature. This is a period of lightness, energy, movement, bright colors, and communication with nature. If during summertime you tend to keep the winter behavior (prefer to stay at home, eat hot high-calorie food, and sleep a lot) your energy will go away, and your body will be exhausted.

A healthy person intuitively wants to go out and spend more time connecting to nature, moves a lot, prefers to eat lighter food than usual, swims, and drinks more water during the summertime.

Pitta Dosha

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According to Ayurveda, summer is controlled by the Pitta dosha, which is a combination of the water and fire elements.

Out of all of the five elements, only fire can transform matter from one state to another. Therefore, Pitta, like bile in our body, is responsible for digestion. Pitta represents the fire of transformation. It determines how well you absorb nutrients (on the physical level), as well as understand the essence of things (on the mental level).

It is very important to learn how to control the Pitta fire especially during summertime.

If there is too much fire, Pitta will dry your body from the inside, which will affect your skin, hair, and mucous membranes. Too much fire element also causes inflammation, heartburn, and increased appetite. And on the mental level, fire causes anger, irritability, and criticism.

At the same time, a moderate fire will give you energy for internal and external transformation. By understanding the essence of Pitta, we can use its qualities to our advantage. Balanced Pitta gives determination, performance, leadership, energy, passion, good metabolism, a clear mind, and smooth skin.

If you are mindful of the Pitta dosha during summertime, you will be receiving its benefits all year long. Summer is the most resource-intensive time of the year – there are abundant number of fruit, vegetables, berries, and herbs you can include in your diet to boost your vitamin and mineral levels. Healthy digestion will allow you to absorb the maximum of vitamins, and a clear mind and insight that Pitta dosha provides will help you set up clear goals and manifest the most ambitious plans.

To keep Pitta under control, it must be balanced. Therefore, the keys to a comfortable Pitta season are cooling relaxation, moderation, hydration, and grounding.

18 Ayurvedic Tips For The Summer Season

Now let us share with you 18 Ayurvedic tips for the summer season that will help you to stay in tune with nature rhythms!

Tip #1: Give Up Heavy Food

In summer, your body needs less energy from food, and it is better to take it from seasonal products that are maximally charged with vitamins.

seasonal food image

Ayurveda recommends to exclude or minimize:

  • heavy gluten cereals;
  • citrus fruits;
  • nuts;
  • meat;
  • alcohol;
  • coffee;
  • spicy food;
  • soda;
  • sour and salty foods;
  • raw onions and garlic;
  • black pepper and chili peppers;
  • vinegar;
  • tomato juice;
  • sour and unripe fruits;
  • mustard seeds;
  • cloves;
  • anise;
  • poppy seeds;
  • nutmeg;
  • fermented foods.

Tip #2: Detox

In the summer, it is very good to go through a detox. To learn more about ayurvedic detox, read our article “Ayurvedic Detox Tips“.

Tip #3: Include seasonal and local fruits, vegetables, berries, and herbs in your diet

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The Summer menu should be based on seasonal and local fruits, vegetables, herbs, and berries. These foods are the best sources of micronutrients and have a cooling effect.

Tip #4: Use herbs, oils, and spices with a cooling effect

These are chamomile, peppermint, dandelion, fresh coriander, dill, rose, lemon verbena, licorice, aloe vera in the form of juice or gel, cardamom, saffron, turmeric, fennel seeds.

Tip #5: Support your liver with the bitter taste

During summertime, it is good to include wild plants and bitter greens into your diet. The bitter taste supports the liver. Eat at least two large portions of green salad a day. Greens, in addition, contain chlorophyll, which alkalizes, cools, and saturates the body with oxygen.

Tip #6: Lean on the turmeric

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You can add it to juice and smoothies. Turmeric also supports liver function, acts as an anti-inflammatory, cleanses the body, and can help with skin, indigestion, and gallstones problems.

Tip #7: Include coconut in your diet

Include as many coconut products as possible in your diet (oil, milk, water, flakes, etc.). Cook with coconut milk, make smoothies with coconut water, and use coconut oil in your beauty routine. You can rub coconut oil into your hair and rinse your mouth with it. Coconut cools very well, improving your skin and the mental state.

Tip #8: Don’t skip meals!

It is not good to skip your meals during summer. However, keep in mind that the heaviest meal should be between 10 am and 2 pm. Eat in a measured and relaxed manner.

Tip #9: Use cooling drinks

Coconut water summer drink image

During summertime, Ayurveda recommends drinking more:

  • room temperature (not cold!) water with slices of cucumber, lime and fresh mint;
  • coconut water;
  • coconut milk;
  • bitter and astringent herbal ayurvedic teas based on mint, hibiscus, strawberry leaf, dandelion, chicory, licorice root;
  • wetgrass and fresh juices (such as pomegranate, pineapple, cranberry, celery, and green vegetables juices);
  • green smoothies with coriander and arugula.

Tip #10: Take supplements

Ayurveda recommends to use supplements that calm the mind, purify the blood, and reduce inflammation:

  • Gotu Kola;
  • Neem;
  • Amalaki (Amla);
  • Bhumiamalaki;
  • Triphala;
  • Aloe Vera;
  • rose water;
  • licorice root.

Tip #11: Get up early

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It is best to get up before sunrise. If you feel like it’s too difficult for you, then at least try to get up before 9 am. The Pitta period begins at 10 am. Therefore it is recommended to get up, exercise, and have breakfast before 10 am. If you Wake up late, physical activity after 10 am will overheat and tire you out, instead of energizing you.

Tip #12: Use cooling oils for massage

It is good to use cooling oils for your massages during summertime. Such oils as coconut, olive, and sunflower are perfect for light massages. Oils can be infused with cooling bitter and sweet herbs. Touches during a massage should be careful, softening, and not warming up.

Tip #13: Keep moderate activity of medium complexity

During summertime, it is recommended to include activities as regular cycling, swimming, walks, qigong, or Tai Chi in your routine. It is recommended to perform physical activities that give you a short time sweating that should end with a cold shower. Prolonged sweating are not recommended because it can cause thirst, burning sensation, dizziness, and fever.

Exclude or minimize the following activities during summer season:

  • aerobics classes;
  • exercises with effort and tension;
  • excessive activity during the midday heat;
  • extreme sports.

Tip #14: Practice Yoga

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Build your yoga practice in such a way that the emphasis is on flexibility and regularity, not strength; and your focus is on the process, not on the result. Include more sitting or recumbent asanas, shoulder stand, forward bends, twists, and bends lying on the stomach.

Recommended asanas:

Tip #15: Practice Pranayama

Choose pranayama practice with a cooling and calming effect. For example, you can choose sheetkari pranayama that cools the body and reduces thirst.

Tip #16: Meditate

You can choose any kinds of meditations. However, during the summer season, it is good to meditate on the sounds of water, the noise of leaves, and the birds singing. Meditation is a very beneficial practice for both Pitta and Vata, as it calms the agitated mind of these doshas.

Tip #17: Use aromatherapy

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During summertime use the following essential oils for aromatherapy:

  • sandalwood;
  • rose;
  • ylang-ylang;
  • mint;
  • jasmine.

You can use these oils in the aromatherapy diffuser, add them to your massage oil, or burn them in the aromatherapy essential oils burner.

Tip #18: Use color therapy

To balance the excessive fire element during summertime, choose clothing in blue, green, and white colors. Make sure you choose natural fabrics.

Surround yourself with cool colors – add more blue and white decorative elements in your interior design.

Try to avoid very rich or very bright colors (especially red) during the summer season. Gray and brown colors can be used, but deep black is best avoided.

The Bottom Line

Ayurvedic tips for summertime image

Summer season is the recharging time. Use this time to relaxing, calm down, have fun, find mental peace, and restore your health with all the vitamins and minerals nature can provide. Ayurveda suggests us do less and feel more during summer. Set aside time for a relaxing break every day. Spend more time with family members and friends. Try gardening as your new hobby. Walk barefoot more on the beach and on the grass – it will help you ground yourself and recharge.

We hope these 18 Ayurvedic tips for the summer season will help you stay healthy, happy, and energized!


Yoga

8 Essential Types Of Pranayama To Calm Your Mind

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Living in uncertainty in the midst of the worldwide pandemic, most of us experience stress and an increase in anxiety. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. We all are trying to find our ways to cope with this global uncertainty and calm our minds. Yoga and meditation have become more popular than ever. And pranayama, as a mind-calming tool, is increasing its popularity among conscious people. Many people who ever tried pranayama would agree that there’s nothing like indulging in a breathing break to calm the mind and relax the body. In this article, I will share with you 8 essential types of pranayama to calm your mind and decrease your stress level so that you can get back to your daily routine happy and energized and live your life to the fullest despite any challenges you might face!

What Is Pranayama?

Prana‘ is the Sanskrit word for breath, “life force”, or “vital principle”. ‘Ayāma‘ can be translated as “the suspension of breath” or “control”. Thus, “pranayama” can be translated as “control over vital energy”.

Usually, pranayama is associated with breathing exercises that have a beneficial effect on the body, saturating it with oxygen. However, yogis use this technique not only for the purpose of improving their physical bodies but also as a way of controlling the flow of prana (vital energy).

According to Patanjali, pranayama is the length of time between inhalation and exhalation. During this period, the time of assimilation of prana increases, the fluctuations of the mind decrease and the perception expands.

You may ask: “how is it possible to reduce the excitation of the brain by holding the breath?” Well, this is due to the fact that nerve impulses in some parts of the body are suspended, and the structure of brain waves is harmonized. Therefore, pranayama is one of the most important elements of Hatha yoga.

How Does It Work?

Pranayama allows you to lengthen the breath, which increases longevity. Thanks to pranayama, we learn how to properly use our lungs.

The fact is that in everyday life, most often only the top of the lungs is involved, which leads to oxygen starvation and accumulation of stagnant air in the lower part of the lungs. The ability to use the entire volume of the lungs allows us to become less exposed to respiratory diseases, increases the level of vital energy, and makes it easier to cope with stress and anxiety.

Pranayama practice affects our Central nervous system. Breathing affects the hypothalamus, which is responsible for emotional responses and the transformation of perceived reality into the experience. It helps us to reach emotional balance, calm our minds, relax the body, and let go of negative emotions. Pranayama practice allows our bodies to release stress and tensions which helps in bringing down hypertension and achieve a balanced state of mind.

8 Types Of Pranayama For Calming Your Mind

Now let me introduce you to different types of pranayama that you can use for calming your mind and getting rid of stress and anxiety.

#1: Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

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The regular practice of Nadi Shodhana offers an energy boost in the body and releases stress and anxiety. It should be practiced in the morning in the fresh air with an empty stomach.

Instructions:

  1. Sit comfortably on flat ground.
  2. Now close the right nostril with your right thumb and breathe from the left nostril. Then close your left nostril with middle and ring finger and breathe out from the right nostril.
  3. Now closing in the left nostril breathe in deeply with the right nostril and then close the right nostril and breathe out deeply with the left nostril. Do the repetition.

#2: Sheetali Pranayama

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‘Sheeta’ means ‘cooling’, which is exactly the effect of this pranayama. This is one of the most effective types of pranayama for stress, anxiety, and tension relief.

Instructions:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with the back and head erect, hands on the knees in Jnana mudra, and eyes closed.
  2. Make a puckered circle with your mouth then stick out your tongue and curl the edges inwards to form a tube.
  3. Inhale slowly and deeply through the tube as if sucking air through a straw to the count of 4.
  4. Fill up your abdomen and chest to full capacity.
  5. Retain the breath.
  6. Straighten your head and exhale through the nostrils until all air is expelled.
  7. Repeat.

#3: Sheetkari Pranayama

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This pranayama is also known as the hissing breath. Similar to Sheetali pranayama, this pranayama is a cooling breath that does wonders for anxiety and depression. This is one of the most effective types of pranayama for mental tranquility, calming yourself before sleep, and relaxation.

Instructions:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position, lengthen your spine.
  2. Rest palms on your knees.
  3. Close your eyes, turning awareness inward.
  4. Gently hold teeth together and allow teeth to be exposed.
  5. The tongue may remain flat, or folded against the palate.
  6. Inhale slowly through your teeth, allowing the breath to cool.
  7. At the end of the inhalation draw your tongue inside your mouth.
  8. Exhale through your nose.

Repeat the cycle (steps 6-8) for 9 to 15 rounds.

#4: Anuloma Viloma

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama Image

Anuloma Viloma pranayama is one of the most simple types of pranayama for everyday use. This breathing practice increases the resistance to stress, stabilizes the nervous system, improves mood, profoundly calms the mind, increases the clarity of thought, improves the immune system, lowers stress, and anxiety.

Note that Anuloma Viloma should be practiced on an empty stomach!

Instructions:

  1. Sit comfortably with a straight spine.
  2. Rest the left palm on the knee in Jnana Mudra (thumb and index fingers touching) to create a pranic circuit that drives energy toward the brain.
  3. Place the right hand in Vishnu Mudra (by tucking the index and middle fingers into the palm). The thumb, ring, and pinky fingers will be more or less extended.
  4. Close your eyes. Inhale comfortably. Close the right nostril with the right thumb. Exhale slowly and completely through the left nostril.
  5. Now for the first round, inhale slowly and comfortably through the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the ring or pinky finger – and then release the thumb from the right nostril.
  6. Exhale slowly and completely through the right nostril. Now breathe in through the right nostril. Close the right with the thumb, release the ring or pinky finger from the left, and exhale through the left.

This completes one round. Practice 5 to 10 rounds.

#5: Ujjayi Pranayama

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Ujjayi breathing is a breathing technique employed in a variety of Taoist and Yoga practices. It is sometimes called “the ocean breath”. It is due to the fact that the ujjayi breath is meant to mimic the sound of ocean waves. This rhythmic sound can help you focus your mind and link your movements to the sound of your breath.

This pranayama helps to balance and calm your mind and reach the inner peace similar to a day by the ocean brings.

Instructions:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position. Relax your body and close your eyes. Let your mouth drop open slightly. Relax your jaw and your tongue.
  2. Inhale and exhale deeply through your mouth. Feel the air of your inhalations passing through your windpipe.
  3. On your exhalations, slightly contract the back of your throat, as you do when you whisper. Softly whisper the sound, “ahhh,” as you exhale. Imagine your breath fogging up a window.
  4. As you become comfortable with your exhalations, maintain the slight constriction of the throat on your inhalations, as well. You will notice your breath making an “ocean” sound, softly moving in and out, like ocean waves.
  5. When you can comfortably control your throat during the inhalations and exhalations, gently close your mouth and begin breathing only through your nose. Keep the same constriction in your throat as you did when your mouth was open. You will continue to hear the “ocean” sound as you breathe through your nose. Direct the breath to travel over your vocal cords, across the back of your throat. Keep your mouth closed, but your lips soft.
  6. Concentrate on the sound of your breath. Allow it to soothe your mind. It should be audible to you, but not so loud that someone standing several feet away can hear it.
  7. Let your inhalations fill your lungs to their fullest expansion. Completely release the air during your exhalations.

Start by practicing Ujjayi pranayama for 5 minutes while you are seated. For deeper meditation, increase your time to 15 minutes.

#6: Sahita Kumbhaka Breath

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We’re often so concerned with our inhales and exhales that we completely forget about the space found between. Kumbhaka is the state of pause, or suspension, between the breaths, and helps us find stillness through focused mindfulness. 

Instructions:

  1. Inhale slowly.
  2. Pause and hold for a few moments at the top of the breath.
  3. Exhale slowly.
  4. Hold for a few moments at the bottom of the breath.
  5. Repeat for five minutes, then return to a normal breath.

This pattern of breathing may feel a bit unnatural at first – after all, we’re typically rushed in our busy lives – but in time you will become more mindful of your breathing patterns (and the stillness found within) and will find that your breath naturally becomes more steady, deep, and intentional with practice.

#7: Samavritti Pranayama

Murcha Pranayama Benefits Image

This pranayama is also known as Balancing Breath or Counting Breath.

When the mind is spinning, counting the breath is one of the most effective ways to slow down. The steady rhythm of the count helps to settle the mind’s fluctuations and reestablish balance. This makes Samavritti Pranayama one of the most powerful types of pranayama for calming your mind.

The most common practice is maintaining a one-to-one ratio. For example, inhaling and exhaling to the count of three. It’s natural to begin at a faster pace and gradually slow down as the mind begins to quiet.

Instructions:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your palms on your lap.
  2. Inhale smoothly as you count to three.
  3. Exhale smoothly as you count to three.  
  4. Continue for three to five minutes, or until you feel mentally and physically settled.

You can practice this type of pranayama any time of day or night, whenever you feel overwhelmed or overstimulated. It will help you to enhance calmness, steadiness, and serenity in body and mind.

Variation:

To enhance the relaxation response, lengthen the exhalations. For example, inhale to the count of four, then exhale to the count of six or eight. 

#8: Humming Bee Breath

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This is one of the best types of pranayama for anxiety relief.

This pranayama is named so because of the humming sound produced at the back of the throat during the practice – like the gentle humming of a bee.

The technique of performing Bhramari Pranayama is quite simple and does not require special training. It can be performed at any time of the day and even after having a meal. Also, it has no age restrictions.

Instructions:

  1. Sit in any position that is comfortable for you with a straight back and relaxed shoulders.
  2. Close the lips, keeping the teeth slightly apart.
  3. Bring the tip of your tongue to the space behind the upper front teeth. Maintain this position throughout the practice, frequently checking to ensure that the jaw remains relaxed.
  4. Close each ears with the thumbs, place the index fingers at the midpoint of the forehead – just above the eyebrows – and reach the middle, ring, and pinky fingers across the eyes so that the tips of these fingers press very gently against the bridge of the nose.  
  5. Take a long, deep breath in through the nostrils, bringing the breath all the way into the belly.
  6. Drop the chin to the chest and begin to exhale slowly, making a steady, low-pitched ‘hmmm’ sound at the back of the throat – like the humming of a bee. Focus on making the sound soft, smooth, and steady.
  7. Keep the body completely still and bring your awareness to the center of the head – to your Third eye chakra – letting the sound fill the head and spread to the body.
  8. At the end of the exhalation, slowly straighten your neck as you inhale again through the nostrils to repeat the process.

This is one breathing cycle. Start mastering this pranayama with 7 breathing cycles and gradually increase to 20-30.

The Bottom Line

Uncertainty can be stressful. Therefore, make sure that you doing everything to help yourself to manage stress and anxiety. Even 10 minutes a day spent on pranayama practice can do miracles for your mental health. Use the above types of pranayama to calm your mind and stay balanced. Remember that only a balanced mind can solve any problem and make the right choices!

Stay safe, stay calm!


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Emotional Eating: What Do Your Emotions Taste Like?

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Have you ever thought about how your cravings are connected to your emotional state? The fact is that we don’t always eat just to satisfy physical hunger. Many of us also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or to reward ourselves. It is pointless to promise yourself that you will never eat anything sweet again because in most cases, the reason lies much deeper than the lack of willpower. In this article, we will share with you what emotional eating is and how your emotions are connected to your cravings.

What Is Emotional Eating?

Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions. In other words, using food to fill emotional needs, rather than your stomach.

Unfortunately, emotional eating doesn’t fix your emotional problems. In fact, it usually makes you feel even worse. Afterward, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but it also leads you to feel guilty for overeating.

Excessive craving for a certain type of food indicates that some of our emotional needs are not met. You may have noticed that certain life experiences make you crave certain foods.

Each emotion has a certain “taste”, and therefore, by eating certain foods, you can strongly influence your psycho-emotional state.

Emotional eating is proof that food is not only a source of nutrients for the human physical body but also it is capable of shaping its emotional potential of the psyche. Simply put, food gives strength to emotions.

6 Flavors Of Emotional Eating

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According to Ayurveda, there are six tastes of the food. In general, the six tastes inform the body with the following cellular information:

  1. The sweet taste is responsible for grounding, strengthening, nourishing;
  2. The sour taste – for cleansing and purifying;
  3. The salty taste – for balancing and regulating;
  4. The bitter taste – for detoxifying and mineralizing;
  5. The astringent taste – for anti-inflammatory and cooling;
  6. The pungent taste – for warming and stimulating.

If all these tastes are present in a balanced state in your meal, such food provides you with health and happiness. If this harmony is disturbed (which often depends on the way we process our emotions) then diseases come.

Let’s talk about each of these flavors and the emotions they are responsible for.

Sweet taste

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Sweet is associated with satisfaction – “sweet life”, “sweet taste of success”. At the same time, when we eat too much sweet food, it leads us to greed.

Also, being in a state of laziness, we often crave for something sweet. The sweet taste can be useful, but the excess of sugar in the body reduces the protective forces, the metabolism and functions of the liver, pancreas, and small vessels are disrupted.

It was noticed that people who don’t want to solve their problems, like to eat a lot of sweets, especially in the evening.

On an emotional level, the abuse of sweets can increase desire and passion, leading to obsession.

The sweet taste is equivalent to a warm embrace. In terms of emotions, when we eat sweets, we feel cared for. A reasonable amount of sweetness calms the mind and body and gives a sense of stability and security.

To reduce the craving for sweets, you need to analyze your life more deeply and ask yourself the questions:

  • In what life situations do I lack sincere care and peace of mind?
  • How can I change this?

Sour taste

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On an emotional level, sour taste warms and “grounds”. Wine is a great example of a product with a sour taste. From the point of view of Ayurveda, the love of wine is explained by the fact that it calms, expands blood vessels, and makes us feel connected to the earth. The sour taste also helps to focus the mind. When we lack stability and concentration in life, we are drawn to sour things.

Abuse of sour tastes leads to envy and jealousy.

A pessimistic, touchy person constantly tends to eat sour food. And the sour taste in excessive amounts harms the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, joints, and violates the internal environment of the body.

Salty taste

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The salty taste activates our love of life and increases our appetite.

A fussy, stressed person loves salty food. However, excessive salt is the enemy of the blood vessels of the whole body, bronchi, kidneys, and joints.

In terms of emotions, we crave something salty when we lack self-confidence and enthusiasm, or if we feel that we are constantly giving and not taking good care of ourselves. So if you’re looking for something salty, ask yourself:

  • Am I giving away too much?
  • How can I strengthen my sense of self-love and enthusiasm for life?

On an emotional level, salt abuse leads to greed and dissatisfaction.

Pungent taste

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Spicy food activates extroversion, the tendency to arousal and stimulation, and especially the desire for the intensity of the experience. Overexcitation and hyperstimulation lead to irritability, impatience, and anger.

Craving for spicy food is usually experienced by angry, overly temperamental people.

As a result of the abuse of spicy food, inflammatory processes occur in the liver, pancreas, stomach, heart, and genitals.

The pungent taste in a moderate amount improves blood circulation and increases the heart rate. In a reasonable amount, spicy foods (such as ginger and black pepper) promote more efficient blood circulation and purify the body. But when we are drawn to spicy food for emotional reasons, it is because we seek to temporarily sublimate the feelings of pleasure, excitement, and courage that it inspires.

If you constantly want spicy and spicy food, ask yourself:

  • Is my life too monotonous?
  • What can I do to make my life more exciting and adventurous?

Bitter taste

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Bitter food activates dissatisfaction, which generates a desire for change. Too much bitterness may lead to frustration.

Experiencing sadness, dissatisfaction, and grief, people unconsciously seek to diversify their diet with such bitter products as mustard, rye bread, coffee. Too much bitterness in your food may lead to chronic infections, diseases of the blood, and bone system.

The craving for bitter taste for emotional reasons occurs because the body needs “drying”, it wants to get rid of excess fat and moisture. The bitter taste has a deep cleansing effect. It helps to take the ego under control and to temporarily give up pleasure.

If you have noticed a craving for the bitter taste, this may indicate excessive self-denial. Those who tend to have too many limitations and self-restriction in their lives may begin to experience an increased craving for bitter taste.

Astringent taste

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Astringent taste leads to introversion. Excessive introversion may lead to uncertainty, anxiety, and fear.

From the point of view of emotions, the astringent taste gives us a temporary immersion in ourselves. It cools the body. The excessive craving for astringent products may indicate a desire to isolate yourself from the world. And although this taste gives you a temporary opportunity to collect your thoughts and be alone with yourself, its excess can create an unjustified fear of leaving the “cozy shell”.

Excessive consumption of astringent food leads to diseases of the hormonal organs, bronchi, spine, joints, and bones.

A Balanced Diet According To Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, it is considered important to get a full palette of taste sensations and be able to live all the emotions that arise.

Ideally, a balanced meal should include all six flavors:

  • Sweet taste: cereals, bread, rice, honey, sugar, plant-based milk, most fruit, nuts.
  • Sour taste: vinegar, sour apples, raspberries, plant-based yogurt, fermented foods, citrus.
  • Salty taste: all types of salty food, seaweed.
  • Pungent taste: all types of chili and pepper, ginger, garlic, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, mustard, horseradish, oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint.
  • Bitter taste: leafy vegetables, green tea.
  • Astringent taste: most varieties of lentils and beans, green apples, pomegranates, cranberries, acai berries, asparagus.

How To Stop Emotional Eating?

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To stop emotional eating can be quite challenging. Here are some tips on how you can help yourself to become more aware of what you eat and why:

  1. Try to include a balanced amount of each of all the six tastes in every meal (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent). It can be only a pinch of salt, or a squeeze of lemon, or a slice of pepper but as long as the taste is present, the energetic puzzle will be complete and your cravings will be reduced.
  2. Analyze which tastes dominate your diet and balance out the missing ones. This will gradually balance your emotions and reduce your uncontrollable cravings.
  3. If you want to understand your relationship with food and the reasons for excessive cravings for a particular taste, try to write down your feelings, experiences, and emotions at this moment. And the next time you feel an excessive need, for example, for sweets, let this be an opportunity to shed light on your subconscious. Ask yourself: “What do I really want? What emotion am I trying to “eat”?”.
  4. Try to cook for yourself or eat food prepared for you by a person who loves you. Make sure that you eat only high vibration foods. If you just fill your stomach, you will not be completely satisfied. You need to nurture your body with good energy.
  5. Make sure you are not eating while you are also doing other things – such as watching TV, driving, or playing with your phone. Being distracted from eating can prevent you from fully enjoying your food. Since your mind is elsewhere, you may not feel satisfied or continue eating even though you are no longer hungry. Practice mindful eating by focusing your mind on your food and the pleasure of a meal. Mindful eating will prevent overeating.

The Bottom Line

Understanding how emotions and taste preferences affect each other will help you figure out whether you really need a particular taste or whether it is an unrealized emotion that requires your attention. Listen to yourself. Eat a balanced and balanced diet. Be attentive to yourself and treat your body with love!


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Ayurvedic Quarantine Tips On Healthy Eating

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When there’s a pandemic raging outside your front door, it’s natural to turn to sources of comfort, many people turn to food to manage negative emotions, such as anxiety, stress, and sadness. Is it possible to eat properly while in quarantine? Ayurveda knows the answer! If you take a reasonable approach to your food and follow simple Ayurvedic quarantine tips on healthy eating, your body will get the maximum benefit even from such an ambiguous situation as self-isolation.

Ayurvedic Quarantine Tips

When you are spending most of your time at home, it is hard not to be tempted by the fridge that is just a couple of feet away from you. You need a fair amount of willpower not to start “snacking” or having high-calorie drinks. So, the first thing you should do is to commit to sticking with the following Ayurvedic quarantine tips for at least 21 days.

Now let’s take a look at the 10 Ayurvedic quarantine tips for healthy eating that you can use to improve your health during these uncertain times.

Tip #1: Avoid Snacking

One of the most important Ayurvedic quarantine tips is to stop snacking between meals!

According to Ayurvedic principles, there are three stages of digestion that must be completed after a meal. In the first hour after a meal, the Kapha energies are dominant. The body may feel full, heavy, and sedate. Two to four hours after a meal the elements of Pitta govern digestion. During this time, hydrochloric acid increases, internal heat rises, and the meal is transformed into sustenance for the body. Four to five hours after a meal the Vata energies rise. It is during this time that lightness and space return and appetite increases.

When you interrupt the digestive cycle with more food you experience incomplete digestion. Over time, incomplete digestion results in the accumulation of ama (toxins), which may present as a plethora of mild to moderate symptoms. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends three meals each day, with no snacks in between to maintain digestion and keep your stomach stress-free.

Tip #2: Eat Until Satisfied, Not Full

Overeating during Quarantine Image

Not only overeating makes you gain weight but it also increases free radical production in the body, which in turn speeds the aging process. If you stop eating when you are satisfied, but not stuffed, your body receives the nourishment that it needs without the added burden of digesting and unnecessary calories.

Tip #3: Avoid High-Sodium Foods

High sodium can lead to dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, and other symptoms that are not needed during your self-isolation time. If you have no choice but to use canned food with a high sodium level, wash the legumes or vegetables before using them.

Tip #4: Use Spices And Herbs

ayurvedic herbs for immunity image

Try to replace salt with spices and herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, pepper, turmeric, paprika, curry. By adding different herbs and spices to your usual meals you can get a lot of different taste options. This is especially important if you have a limited budget or stock.

Moreover, spices regulate the digestive system, which determines whether food becomes nutritious or turns into toxins.

Also, you should know that spices regulate the balance of doshas. For Vata dosha, choose saffron, basil, fresh ginger, cumin, black pepper, and fennel. Pitta dosha will benefit from cinnamon, mint, coriander, turmeric, fennel, fresh coriander, and cardamom. And for Kapha dosha, it is better to choose cloves, turmeric, black pepper, mustard seeds, chili pepper, and fenugreek.

If you feel that you are at risk of gaining weight during quarantine time, use spices that help you lose weight, such as turmeric, Cayenne pepper, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, mustard, and cumin.

Tip #5: Select Foods for Your Dosha Type

three doshas in Ayurveda image

As you already know, according to Ayurveda, each person has a unique mind-body constitution, known as a dosha. Ayurveda teaches us to select and prepare foods according to your individual dosha. If you still don’t know what your dosha is, take our Ayurvedic Body Type Quiz!

Here are some recommendations of food selection for each dosha.

Vata dosha

The Vata dosha is cool, dry, light, and rough by its nature. Eating foods that counteract those characteristics creates balance.

If you have excess Vata energy, choose foods that are warm (in terms of both temperature and spice), hydrating (such as soups and stews), full of healthy fats (like olive oil, avocados), and grounding (healthy comfort foods). These foods will help you to restore balance.

Pitta dosha

The Pitta dosha is hot, oily, light, and sharp. Therefore, eating foods that are cool (like peppermint, cucumber, cilantro, and parsley), astringent (beans, legumes, pomegranate, and green tea), substantial, and mild will help to restore Pitta balance.

Kapha dosha

The Kapha dosha is heavy, cool, oily, and smooth. Eating foods that are light, warm, dry (like beans and popcorn), and rough will help to balance Kapha.

Tip #6: Include all six tastes at every meal

Ayurvedic Quarantine Recommendations Image

According to Ayurveda, there are six tastes, each of which has a unique combination of energy and information to the physiology. When you start incorporating each of the six tastes into every meal, your body receives a bio-diverse energetic palate. This energetic palate supplies the body’s cells with instructions specific to one of the taste categories. In general, the six tastes inform the body with the following cellular information:

  1. The sweet taste is responsible for grounding, strengthening, nourishing;
  2. The sour taste – for cleansing and purifying;
  3. The salty taste – for balancing and regulating;
  4. The bitter taste – for detoxifying and mineralizing;
  5. The astringent taste – for anti-inflammatory and cooling;
  6. The pungent taste – for warming and stimulating.

Try to include a small amount of each taste into every meal. It may be only a pinch of salt, or a squeeze of lemon, or a slice of pepper but as long as the taste is present, the energetic puzzle will be complete.

Tip #7: Don’t distract yourself from eating

Quarantine Food Habits Image

Eating while watching TV became a culture of modern society. Checking your social media or emails during breakfast is a habit almost everyone has. Returning phone calls while eating is a normal thing for us.

However, according to Ayurveda, mealtime is an opportunity to connect with the inherent energy and information of the food you consume. See the colors, taste the flavors, and bring awareness to the sunshine, soil, and earth that have collaborated to create the bundles of the energy that food contains.

Unfortunately, eating with deep awareness is new for most of us. If you are not an exception, and you have no idea how to stop this harmful habit, begin by taking just one meal a day in silence and focusing on each of your senses for a few minutes at a time.

Tip #8: Reduce ice-cold foods and beverages

Agni (the digestive fire) is the digestive power of the physical and energetic body. When it’s functioning well, it is hot, bright, and able to digest food, thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Ice-cold foods and beverages stoke one’s inner fire and dim Agni’s intensity. The Agni of all doshas can be harmfully affected by the consumption of cold foods or drinks. Vata and Kapha doshas, in particular, should lean toward warm foods and beverages while Pitta dosha may enjoy cool (but not ice-cold) beverages and foods. In this way, your digestive power will remain strong.

Tip #9: Eat your largest meal of the day at lunchtime

Ayurvedic Quarantine Tips On Healthy Food Image

Your digestive fire (Agni) is strongest when the sun is highest. By consuming the largest meal of the day at lunchtime, your body is able to use its powerful inner fire to breakdown and assimilate nutrients with less energetic output than at other times of the day.

The noontime is the best time of the day to integrate heavier or difficult-to-digest foods. In this way, your body remains well supplied with energy throughout the afternoon hours.

Tip #10: Don’t eat late in the evening

Ayurveda suggests stopping eating three hours before bedtime. During sleep, the body heals and restores while the mind digests thoughts, emotions, and experiences from the day. If your whole energy is spent on physical digestion, the physical healing and mental digestive processes are halted. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends that the last meal of the day should be light and completed three hours before bedtime to avoid imbalance. In this way, your body will have enough energy to heal and repair itself during sleep.

The Bottom Line

Eating healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic can be challenging. However, if you try to apply the above Ayurvedic quarantine tips you will be able to return to your normal life with a healthy stomach and without extra pounds!


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