Food is a vital part of the Ayurveda system and an true Ayurveda diet can both prevent and heal disease. Ayurveda is a system of healing that is based on the five basic elements earth, water, fire, air, and ether – and their combinations which are known as doshas. The three types of dosha are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The dosha is your constitutional (prakriti) type and there are three main types as well as four combination types. By eating food according to your (prakriti) type, one can correct any particular imbalances within their body. The food is selected according to such things as its elemental balance, its taste, how it affects the body, and the qualities of the food itself.
The main purpose of the diet in Ayurveda is to nourish the body’s tissues (sapt dhatus) – when each of the tissues is fed, it nourishes and forms the next tissues in succession. To nourish the tissues, the food must be digested and this happens via the digestive fire (Agni) which is seated in the stomach and small intestine (duodenum, grahni). Un digested food as a result of overeating, a poor combination of foods produces unbalanced elements or toxins and a sticky, toxic substance called ama which coats the digestive tract and the tongue and also deposited inside the tissues, forming a breeding ground for various ailments or diseases. By eating the proper foods, you are nourishing your body without creating this toxic substance. We all know that for healthy living we require a balanced diet constituted of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, minerals, vitamins etc.
Here we are recommending foods to balance each of the three doshas.
Ayurveda has considered about the diet in detail. The Ayurvedic diet is one that not only nourishes the body but also restores the balance of 'Tridoshas' which is very much essential for maintaining Health. Depending on our dosha, or constitutional type, some foods can be beneficial, and others should be avoided. These same foods may have the opposite effect on another dosha. The science of Ayurveda teaches that the right diet is the foundation of healing. For maximum health and vitality, the ideal diet is one that balances our doshas.
According to 'Acharya Charka,
"An appropriate and suitable diet in a disease is equivalent to a hundred drugs and any quantity of drug hardly compares to good results in disease without following proper dietetic regimen"
“Diet is wrong medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct medicine is of no need. "
[Ancient Ayurveda Proverb]
Ayurveda classics have mentioned the following principles for living a full span of life with perfect health.
Diet should be regulated taking into account the 'Desha'(territory), 'Kala' (Season as well as the time of the day) etc. One should be in a habit of taking all six 'Rasa' (tastes) in order to prevent nutritional deficiency disorders.