Dietetic Assessment

For more than 5,000 years, ayurveda has been practiced to promote wellness in India. From the Sanskrit words ayurs (life) and veda (knowledge), ayurveda branches from Hindu scriptures called the Vedas, and has influenced Buddhist philosophy, Eastern and Western health care — and it is beginning to find a place in diet trends. Its practitioners consider ayurveda to be a sacred system that unites natural elements, spirituality and diet. In short, nourishment of the body is tethered to nourishment of the mind and soul.

In Ayurveda, diet is based on seasons. season is referred as 'RITU' and year as 'SAMVATSAR'. One year (Samvatsar) consists of six Seasons (Ritu) i.e. each Ritu consists of two months. The Ancient seers of ayurveda highlighted the relation between season and health and have recommended proper seasonal regimens. The Season affects the physiology of human being, so if appropriate regimen is not followed then one may not cope up with the seasonal changes and fall ill.

Shishir Ritu- (Maagh and Phalgun, About Mid January to Mid March)
Recommended- Unctuous, Sweet, sour taste diet. Meat of animals of damp region Wine, honey, Milk, milk products, sugarcane products, New Cereals, edible oils, hot water.
Restricted- Much Spicy, Bitter, Astringent taste diet Light and cold food.

Vasant Ritu- (Chaitra and Baishakh, About Mid March-Mid May)
Recommended- Barley, old wheat, honey, roasted meat, Beverages such as asava (fermented infusion), sidhu (fermented sugarcane juice),
Restricted- Heavy, sour, sweet, unctuous food

Grishma Ritu- (Jyasth and Aasadha, About Mid-May to Mid July)
Recommended- Sweet, cold, unctuous, light, liquid food Beverages with sugar. Meat of birds, quadrupeds, cold water, milk
Restricted- sour, salty and spicy food

Varsha Ritu- (Shraavan and Bhadrapad, Mid July to Mid September)
Recommended- Food and drinks should be taken with honey, Sour, salty, fatty food Old cereals Like barley, wheat, rice, Meat of Arid animals, Vegetable soup For drinking use boiled cool water.
Restricted- Groat diluted in excess Water of rivers

Sharad Ritu- (Ashvin and Kaartik, About Mid September to Mid November)
Recommended- Sweet, light, cold and bitter food and drinks Meat of Common quail, antelope, sheep, rabbit etc. Cereals like wheat, rice, barley Ghee medicated with bitter herbs Water exposed to the sunlight for whole day and to the moonlight in night in this season is called as 'HANSODAK' and this water should for drinking,
Restricted- Oil, meat of aquatic and marshy animals, alkaline salt preparations, curd

Hemant Ritu- (Margshirsh and Pausha, Mid November - Mid January)
Recommended- Unctuous, sour and salty taste food Meat of borrow dwelling animals and aquatic animals and animals who eat food by snatching Wine with honey, Milk and milk products, Sugarcane and its products, Oil, New rice, Hot water
Restricted- Light food and drinks, Intake of gruel, Starvation

Doshas and Diet:
Ayurveda is centered around three energies called doshas — vata, pitta and kapha. Each person is a unique makeup of these doshas, and that composition is called one’s prakruti.

The doshas govern physical, mental and spiritual health. According to ayurvedic teachings, a person’s prakruti is immutable. Ayurveda advocates preventive care by balancing one’s doshic makeup through diet.

Vata: vata comprises air and ether, and is associated with lightness, dryness, change and creativity. According to ayurveda, people who are predominately vata are spiritual, positive and adaptable when balanced and restless, indecisive and fearful when vata is unbalanced. Vatas are said to have dry skin, and experience stiffness, gas, constipation and coldness when the dosha is unbalanced. An ayurvedic practitioner may recommend warm, wet food like soups, oils and herbal teas.

Pitta: pitta encompasses fire and water, and is associated with sharpness, drive and confidence. Those who are predominantly pitta are reportedly competitive, powerful, focused and expressive. They are leaders and visionaries when pitta is balanced, but may become demanding and arrogant when out of balance. According to ayurveda, pittas may suffer from inflammation, acid reflux and overheating, and a diet of sweet, cool foods such as juice, salads, raw seeds and cooling herbs while avoiding alcohol, caffeine and spicy food may help balance pitta.

Kapha: kapha is associated with oiliness, density, languidness and stability. Kaphas are said to be kind, caring and patient. When kapha is balanced, they are providers and nurturers. Out of balance, kaphas reportedly tend toward depression, neediness and secrecy. Physically, they may suffer from weight gain, high cholesterol and congestive disorders. An ayurvedic practitioner may recommend bitter, light and dry food to balance kapha, including salads, beans, citrus and whole grains, and avoiding salt, overeating and sugar.

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