Veg or Non-Veg Food ?
Ayurveda says Aahar (Food), Nidra (sleep) and Bramhacharya (celibacy) are three pillars of healthy life. Today we are discussing regarding Aahar; comparing to recent changes in daily diet intake.
As discussed in previous articles Aahar is given importance to sustain life let’s have a look at what is aahar in short.
One that is consumed is aahar; it is the one responsible for the existence of all living animals. It is the source of Bala (strength), Varna (Complexion), Oja (immunity) in life. It is among reasons for formation, maintenance and destruction of life in universe. It gives body and mind its vitality, health and efficacy to sense organs to work. The imbalance of diet is reason for diseases in living world. Aahar is beneficial only when it increases strength and maintains living body, satisfies hunger.
As we know, all these benefits are only gained if Aahar is consumed at proper time and required quantity. Let’s have a closer look from point of view of meats. By now we are also familiar to statement Quantity of diet depends on various factors i.e. Age, Occupation, Season, Environment, Quality of food which is to be consumed and exactly these are criteria which are being neglected these days.
Today a major population is seen consuming meat based diet, but this kind of diet is giving rise to many diseases or health concerns. It doesn’t mean that meats are not good for health but quantity matters.
Now having discussion with Ayurvedic diet point of view. It has never stated to be only vegetarian. It has descriptions of various meat example chicken, mutton, fish, etc. But Ayurved gives a golden rule for diet which solves major queries as stated before. If diet is taken at a proper time and in a proper quantity one gets benefits. Person with a sedentary life is supposed to have food, which is light in digestion and yet satisfying. And one having daily good amount of exercise, and good digestive fire should go for heavy digestive food to avoid any diseases. As Ayurveda explains qualities of different meat it also states meat is heavy to digest, hot in potency and one which might create excess unctuousness in body & hence should not be eaten on daily basis and not by everyone. One can have meat in diet once or twice a week depending on requirement and that also during day time is more advisable as person has certain activities left for day after lunch as compared to absolute no more activities after dinner or supper time which there-by help in more digestion and utilization of meat. Also, one needs to add some amount of spices while cooking meat to make it easy for digestion and increase it taste as well. However, it should be only added to optimum quantity or may result in burning sensation. Also, the way to cook meat i.e. roasting helps to digest is more better rather than only boiling.
Even in preparation of meat the ingredients which are used are not supposed to be taken daily, examples of such ingredients are curd or vinegar which are used for marination. Though it makes meat palatable it renders bad effect on body, and these together put up excess load on digestive fire.
However, that doesn’t mean one should never eat meat, but meat being heavy for digestion it cannot be taken on daily basis by anyone. Clear meat soups are always good options for people with special requirements like after surgery but only if he or she can digest it.
For that matter, we can very well consider other sources as well e.g. Milk, Legumes, seeds. Through legumes, seeds are not source of complete protein they can be combined with sprouts to act as complete protein. Daily intake of milk also helps to get a protein requirement fulfilled. Vegetables like Broccoli, Peas, asparagus. Lentils of variety like red, black, yellow etc. Soya beans, sprouted beans, seeds like pumpkin and chia seeds, nuts all equally contribute for daily protein intake in different quantities. They also give us a variety (in food term) in daily diet. Also, they can be consumed in different forms to add variety (in flavour form), can be tailored according to need and geographical variations and person’s requirement according to age, working-style etc.
To conclude I would say, increase in demand of meat has not lead to increase in good quality supply of meat. Thus, it renders damage to our body as well as it destroys the food chain of living world when seen from a broader spectrum.