In Ayurveda and Yoga, a lot of importance has been given to the diet for good health. Hence, good knowledge about food and diet is essential for a person to remain healthy. Diet is the basic factor to achieve good health. In the absence of rational food habits, it is difficult to remain healthy. In fact, diet is a medicine in itself. It nourishes the body and enhances and strengthens (life-force). With the knowledge of this science (dietetics) we can treat many diseases. The effect of food not only lies on the body but it equally affects the mind. There is a famous saying that ''the food you eat reflects your state of mind.'' Purity of food ensures purity of mind. Inevitably, food strengthens the sensory and motor organs, promotes strength and vitality and nourishes the creativity of mind. Actually, diet can be beneficial for our health only when we eat for the sake of health rather than taste. Always remember, that our life is not meant to eat, instead eating is essential for our life.
Ayurveda says if a person who eats according to his/her body constitution, in an appropriate amount with the properly earned means, always remains happy and healthy. The opposite behaviour leads to many diseases.
Facts regarding food:
Ayurveda described important facts regarding food intake, which is known as a food directory.
- The food should be balsamic (having lubricants like adequate pure oil, ghee.
- The food should be fresh and warm and not packaged or stale.
- The meal should be eaten in a congenial environment.
- Food should be eaten peacefully and not in a noisy environment while watching television or listening music.
- Avoid talking while eating.
- A person should sit cross-legged, while eating.
- Eat food with a happy frame of mind.
- While taking meals, have positive thoughts in mind and praise for the Divine who has given the meal.
- Chew food slowly and properly, which aids in proper digestion of food.
An individual, who takes a compatible and appropriate diet, normally does not fall ill. However, if for some reason he/she is afflicted by a disease, merely controlling and regulating the diet ensures speedy recovery without any medication. Taking the right medication but neglecting a compatible diet makes recovery very difficult in spite of all medication. An incompatible diet and lifestyle aggravates the disease. Therefore, a combination of right medication and an appropriate diet is essential to overcome ailments and regain complete health. It is correctly said that ''a person taking a compatible diet does not require any medication and with an incompatible diet, even medication is of no use".
In the absence of medication, disease can be treated by taking the right kind of diet, but if the right diet is not maintained, all medicines turn ineffective.