Ayurveda and Diets: Some Clarity

I am vegetarian/vegan. Isn’t this Ayurvedic?

A: Whilst certain diets and those such as juicing, veganism and vegetarianism can be fine for certain people, it goes even far beyond what dosha a person has predominantly and has to be weighed up against various factors such as environment, age, sex, locality, seasonal effects, psychological typing, genetic suitabilities and any psychological disorders in addition to nay disorders and ones metabolism (enzymatic effect).

Thus, Ayurveda recommends such and even various combinations and manners of cooking foods (or not) relative to preparation after all of these are considered during a full Ayurvedic examination by a trained practitioner. Ayurveda recommends meat for some people and abstaining from such for others, depending upon such factors.

This is also that why vegans and vegetarians sometimes argue the higher amount of iron in certain vegetables or greens as spinach, they are harder to absorb than in meats (eastern diets consider methods to properly metabolise and absorb these, as well as heavier supplements); an absence of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an Omega-3 fat, predominantly found in fish, which is useful for eye and brain health among other things, which is lacking in vegan diets.

Certain cultures were vegetarian historically, but Ayurveda views such, relative to suitability over generations, rather than fad-diets and health-implications these may cause. Here, traditionally foreigners in Ayurvedic hospitals were given their local dietary substances (or closest to), so as it didn’t alter with their nutrition as it has evolved. Radical changes (as from meat to vegetarian or vegetarian to meat diets) can cause severe health concerns.

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Is it good not to eat animals?

A: Yes, however, we must remember that many food articles that are deemed karmically ‘evolved’ as animals don’t stop there; many substances and foods that are consumed by those in modern Ayurveda and Yoga movements such as chillies, garlic, onions and wine are considered more evolved or causing issues to the mind in orthodox traditional Brahmin circles of India, who have been habituated to such regimes over thousands of years. If their people took up eating of meats, they would also have issues, just as westerners and others adopting such vegan and vegetarian trends without a full understanding or examination.

Ayurveda understands this as satmya (suitability) and notes that not all foods and substances are good for, nor should be avoided for all races (those in various geographic regions) based on their genetic suitability and evolution. The French Diet for example contains many fats, yet the French have themselves become accustomed to eating such foods and thus consumption doesn’t affect them. They also eat in smaller portions.

Other diets such as the Mediterranean diet are well-known to be useful for a number of disorders from cardiovascular to inflammatory conditions. Yet, again, much depends upon ones own suitability to such, as also relative to diseases. Generic diets, due to food energetics can actually cause issues for many, due to poor metabolism.

Cultural/genetic suitability here must be remembered as the Classical Ayurvedic teaching over emotional virtue-signalling or sanctimoniousness.

Durgadas has explained this in his many books on Yoga and Classical Ayurveda, which are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble etc.

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I have been having raw foods and also kale smoothies for breakfast. I heard this is healthy for me?

A: As noted, the Ayurvedic system works on a different level of energetics to other systems, dietary fads and medical systems. It even treats diabetes according to twenty different types – so there is a lot of specificity in Ayurvedic medicine compared to mere allopathic-based diets and biochemical models.

Hence, many factors are considered in classical Ayurveda and being even beyond one’s biology, which itself can be finely-tuned into many sub-categories also. Thus, even one pitta person in Ayurveda wouldn’t be treated the same as another, given their unique sensitivities and refined nature as well.

Raw foods and those such as kale, whilst can be useful for reducing acidity in the body for example, aren’t always useful in Ayurveda and can be seen to cause complications and even causative factors behind long-term diseases for others. Again, age, sex, locations, climates, environmental impressions and numerous other factors have to be considered, as well as best combinations for you.

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