Osteo Health and Maharishi Ayurveda - By Monica Kar
According to Ayurveda, the thinning of bones or bone mass is a Vata imbalance. In order to help this condition with an ayurvedic diet, then, it makes sense to eat foods that balance Vata dosha and are also rich in calcium.
Since prevention is always better than cure, that would mean keeping the Vata in balance throughout the growing years. Vata is cold, dry and irregular. To balance this, you would need warmth, wetness or the qualities of Kapha and regularity. This would be true of food, sleep, routine... in short, life.
Prevention means, of course, to start this regimen early in life, as most practitioners agree that our bodies create bone mass until we reach our mid-thirties.
This would mean, of course, 3-4 small, regular, daily meals including Vata-pacifying foods, rich in calcium.
Given below is a day's menu which should help. This is only an example, and by no means all-inclusive.
The calcium source that is most revered in ayurveda is white sesame or til seeds. These seeds are extremely "Pitta" in nature. During summer, soak one teaspoon of white sesame seeds in some water and leave them overnight on your kitchen counter. The next morning, drain the water and chew the seeds slowly. During winter, don't soak the seeds. Every morning, just chew one teaspoon slowly. You can top this with a half glass of warm milk, if you like.
- Brown Rice
- Sprouted Mung Dhal (substitute sprouted mung beans for yellow mung dhal).
- Stir-Fried Okra
- Ginger Lassi
Lunch should be the largest meal of the day, eaten at a regular time, in a relaxed, quiet atmosphere.
- Amaranth Grain and Vegetable Soup
This same soup can be used as lunch. Just add black, cooked beans to this to increase the protein value!
- Boil milk with a couple of strands of saffron, cut; pitted dates; and roughly-cut almonds
Make sure the weather is really cold when you drink this, as it can be quite heating! Drink this without straining, chewing the dates and almonds. Anyone with a sleep issue will benefit from this drink. This is usually a great hit with growing kids, as they love the sweetness of the dates and the "bite" of the almonds. It can be served for breakfast!
Milk, as everyone knows, is a rich source of calcium. Ayurveda cautions us on how to incorporate this richness into our diets, however. Milk builds and therefore is wonderful for growing kids, teenagers, pregnant women, nursing mothers and recovering patients, Vata types, and at times for Pittas, as well. Mostly, it needs to be served properly and used in limited quantities. Ayurveda recommends boiling milk before serving.
The addition of warming spices added to the milk, especially during late fall, winter and early spring will be beneficial. The spices to add to the milk, while it is boiling, are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, turmeric root, and cloves. Strain, add raw honey (after the milk has cooled) to dry out the natural Kapha of the milk and enjoy.
I hope this gives you a sample of what kinds of foods are good for Vata types and Vata disorders. What is most important, however, is not to get anxious or tense; to try to stay in a regular routine, getting enough sleep on a daily basis. Most importantly, eat small meals, and sit down to eat, chew and enjoy... no meals on the run for you!
Enjoy your daily routine. This is not a burden, but rather a small way of saying "thank you" to your body for being the incredible phenomenon it is!!!
Wishing you all warmth, sweetness and "Rasa" or good taste in your lives!
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