Ayurvedic DietPreventive Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Diet Plan: Get Rid of any Disease with One Diet

Do you want to prevent all diseases in your life? Or, are you suffering from any disease and want to get rid of that naturally and without any medicine? If yes, then this ayurvedic diet plan can help you to prevent and get rid of all diseases.

Definition: The diet prescribed in ayurveda that can help you to live a happier, healthier and longer life is called ayurvedic diet. The diet plan according to ayurvedic principles is known as ayurvedic diet plan.

This diet plan is suitable for everyone. Anyone can follow this ayurvedic diet plan to achieve his/her health goals or stay happier and healthier forever and live a longer life.

Ayurvedic Diet Plan Concept

According to ayurveda, wrong eating habits are responsible for almost all health problems. Read More: Ayurvedic Diet Principles: Healthy Eating Habits.

When you eat wrong or unhealthy foods, overeat, or have poor digestion, you develop toxins in your body. These toxins are called Ama Dosha in Ayurveda. According to ayurveda, poorly digested foods are the main cause of all diseases. Ama dosha is sticky and heavy in nature. It accumulates in the body and sticks to various channels in the body and blocks them. It results in a variety of health conditions, especially the ailments of the digestive system.

Then this Ama dosha mixes with Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha and waste materials, which give rise to the formation of Amavisha. It spreads throughout the body. Everyone has some weak organs or tissues. Where Amavisha finds a weakness, it causes the disease of that organ. For example, if it finds a weakness in the gall bladder, it causes gallbladder stone. If it finds a weakness in the lungs, it causes lung disease. If it finds a weakness in kidneys, it results in kidney disease or kidney stone.

When Ama dosha and Amavisha mix with environmental toxins, it results in Garvisha. Garvisha includes all types of poisons that result in various diseases. These diseases including diseases from pollution, microbes, and chemicals.

Therefore, you first need to remove already formed Ama Dosha from your body. Then you need to stop its further formation in your body. Following these steps, you can ultimately prevent and cure all diseases.

Ayurvedic Diet Plan: Principles

For details, you should read here: Basic Principle of Ayurvedic Diet. Here is brief information:

  1. Don’t suppress appetite.
  2. Only take food whenever you feel real appetite.
  3. Eat two primary meals a day – Morning Meal and Evening Meal.
  4. Don’t overeat.
  5. Eat food in their natural form.
  6. Eat food within 48 minutes of cooking. Don’t store food for more than 3 hours.
  7. Eat food cooked at home.
  8. Eat food with a calm mind.

Ayurvedic Diet: Meal Timings

Almost all classical texts of ayurveda recommend 2 primary meals a day:

  1. Morning Meal – 3 hours after sunrise.
  2. Evening Meal – 40 minutes before sunset.

Some have given timings – approx. 3 hours after sunrise and about 40 minutes before sunset. These timings are perfect in countries like India. These may not be suitable for all countries and in all seasons.

Some ayurvedic texts suggest eating when you feel appetite. Accordingly, I found the following are the best timings:

Meal Timings During Long Days During Short Days
Morning Meal 8 am to 9 am 9 am to 10 am
Evening Meal 5 pm to 6 pm 4 pm to 5 pm

This is the time perfect because your body releases a maximum amount of gastric juice during this time. However, this table is a general illustration and I follow it for myself.

Gap Between Morning and Evening Meals

You can follow according to your convenience, personal circumstances, and appetite cycle. Just remember the gap between morning and evening meal should not be less than 6 hours and more than 10 hours. I have decided this minimum and maximum gap period based on timings of sunrise and sunset during various seasons in India.

FAQs about Ayurvedic Meal Timings

Here are important FAQs about ayurvedic meal timings:

What should I do if I don’t feel appetite in the evening?

प्रातराशे त्वजीर्णेऽपि सायमाशो न दुष्यति। अजीर्णे सायमाशे तु प्रातराशो हि दुप्यति॥३९॥ (AS.S.Ch 11)

You can take your evening meal as per your scheduled time. But remember the following things:

  1. Do not eat before the scheduled time.
  2. Do not overeat.
  3. Eat less keeping at least ¼ part of the stomach empty.
  4. Keep a minimum of 14 hours fasting period after the evening meal. So, you must not eat anything after taking the evening meal. It will help to digest the the food taken in the day properly.
  5. However, you can drink desi cow’s milk or coconut milk after evening meal if required.

Following the above tips, there will be no harm to eat an evening meal at the scheduled time.

What should I do if I feel appetite after eating a primary meal?

Some people feel appetite again after eating a primary meal. In most cases, it occurs within the first 2 hours after eating a primary meal.

Pitta dosha increases after eating food. It is a natural pitta cycle in your body. It is a false appetite. In fact, Pitta is digesting the food previously eaten.

If you feel appetite even after eating a good amount of food, then it could be a false appetite. False appetite pacifies itself after a few minutes.

What should I do if I feel appetite other than meal timings?

If it is not a false appetite, as discussed in the previous question above, then you can eat healthiest foods keeping a minimum 2 hours gap from a primary meal. The healthiest foods include:

  1. Fruits.
  2. Uncooked vegetables (raw vegetables or salad).
  3. Fresh vegetable juice. (Don’t take fruit juice, instead eat fruits).
  4. Coconut water.

These foods are easy to digest, full of nutrients and suitable for all people.

What do research studies say about 2 times meals a day?

Research studies have shown that eating frequent meals causes insulin resistance and people who eat frequent meals will develop diabetes and other lifestyle diseases later in their life. People who eat 2 times a day have no insulin resistance in their body.

Another study also confirms this. According to the study, the secretion of gastric acid decreases during sleep. Sleep is directly linked with low production of acid secretion in the stomach. Waking in the morning is linked with an increase in gastric acid output. (Ref)

Most people suffering from the acid peptic disease have aggravated symptoms in morning and evening. It indicates an increase in acid secretion in the stomach in the morning and evening. They also feel significant relief from symptoms at night. So, acid secretion diminishes at night. (Ref)

Therefore, you should eat 2 primary meals a day. 2 primary meals a day is an ancient concept of ayurveda. In India, taking meal is compared with Agnihotra Yagya, which is done two times a day. Yoga Ratnakar has given its reference. He says as Agnihotra Yagya is done two times a day, you should also take food 2 times a day.

In villages in Punjab, India, some families still follow this tradition. They eat only 2 times a day. They are healthier than people who are eating 3 to 6 times a day. However, 2 times the meal tradition is disappearing because of the adoption of western culture – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This was not our culture.

Deciding Your Perfect Two Meal Timings

When you are already eating 3 to 6 meals a day, then you have to gradually adjust your body’s clock for two times meal plan. You should listen to your body.

  1. Eat energy dense food in the morning, as per your appetite or hunger.
  2. Wait for the time when you really feel appetite again in the day. For example, if you eat energy dense meal at 8 AM in the morning, you feel a real appetite at 2 PM in the evening, then you should take your evening meal at 2 PM.
  3. In next day, again repeat the same thing, but eat with 15 minutes delay. Repeat this process for a few days until you get a minimum 7 hours gap between morning and evening meal time. Your body starts adjusting the eating clock to two times meal plan.
  4. If you are eating more than 3 times a day, then you should also follow the same procedure, but first, reduce the meal frequency over a few weeks. Then come to 3 times meal plan and ultimately 2 times meal plan.

Ayurvedic Diet: Morning Meal

Morning Meal Energy Dense

Morning meal should be satisfying and fulfilling in nature. Your body requires energy for the whole day. So, you should eat energy dense food in the morning.

You can take fruits, whole grains, legumes (pulses), vegetables and yogurt in the morning.

Morning Food Ratio

अन्नेन कुक्षेठ्ठवंशौ पानेनैकं प्रपूरयेत्।।४६॥ आश्रयं पवनादीनां चतुर्थमवशेषयेत्।। (AH.S.Ch.8)

Solid Foods 1/2 part of the stomach
Water-rich foods 1/4 part of the stomach
Keep Stomach Empty 1/4 part of the stomach
  1. Solid Foods: Whole grains, lentils, cooked vegetables, seeds, and nuts are solid foods.
  2. Water-rich foods: Fruits, fruit juice, vegetable juice, lemon water, buttermilk, coconut water, coconut milk, etc. are water-rich foods.
  3. Keep Stomach Empty: You should always eat less than your appetite. It means you must keep 1/4th part of your stomach empty.

Ideal Morning Meal

You should eat food in the sequence of food category as described in the below table:

Food Category Serving (for adults)
Fruits 1 to 2 servings.
Seeds & Nuts 5 soaked almonds and 5 raisins
Whole Grains 2 servings.
Lentil (Pulse) curry (optional) 1 serving.
Half-cooked Vegetables 1 to 2 serving.
Yogurt/Curd 1 serving.

You can include lentil curry on alternate day or after 2 days. These curries are heavy to digest. The best lentil curry is Mung Dal.

Sample Morning Meal Menu

Food Category Example for Adults
Fruits 1 pomegranate + 1 Apple.
Seeds & Nuts 5 soaked almonds and 5 raisins
Whole Grains 2 multigrain chapatis or 1 chapati and 1 cup cooked rice.
Legume (Pulse) curry (optional) 1 cup cooked curry.
Half-cooked Vegetables 1 cup.
Yogurt/Curd 1 cup.

According to Ayurveda (Yoga Ratnakar), you should eat fruits before all other food items.

Morning Fruits

You can eat the following fruits in the morning:

  • Apple.
  • Apricots.
  • Avocado.
  • Berries.
  • Blackberry.
  • Blue Berry.
  • Cherries.
  • Cranberries.
  • Dates.
  • Figs.
  • Grapefruit.
  • Grapes.
  • Guava.
  • Sweet Lime (Mosmi).
  • Orange.
  • Peaches.
  • Pears.
  • Pineapple.
  • Plums.
  • Pomegranate.
  • Prunes.
  • Raspberry.
  • Sapodilla.

Restricted foods in the Morning

According to Yoga Ratnakar, you should not eat the following foods in the morning:

  • Chironji.
  • Jamun.
  • Ber (jujube).
  • Gular (Cluster Fig Fruit) – Ficus Racemosa.
  • Imli (Tamarind).
  • Taal phal (Targola) also called Ice Apple or Sugar Palm fruit.
  • Dried ginger powder.
  • Coconut Soup and Coconut Meat.
  • Sesame and foods contain sesame in any form including sesame seeds and oil.
  • Mango.
  • Ankol.
  • Banana.
  • Fresh amla fruits (especially unripe).

Other than these fruits, you can eat any fruit in the morning meal. I have provided the most suitable fruit list above.

Ayurvedic Diet: Evening Meal

Evening Meal Nutrient Dense

The evening meal should be light and nutrient dense. So, you should take less foods made of grains and lentils. You should also stop taking of dead animal foods like meat.

Evening Food Ratio

Solid Foods 1/4 part of the stomach
Water-rich foods 1/2 part of the stomach
Keep Stomach Empty 1/4 part of the stomach
  1. Solid Foods: Whole grains, chapatis, rice, cooked vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
  2. Water-rich foods: fruits, raw vegetables or salad, vegetable soup, coconut milk or desi cow’s milk (if available).
  3. Keep Stomach Empty: 1/4th part of your stomach should remain empty.

Evening Meal

Food Category Serving (for adults)
Fruits 1 to 2 serving.
Whole Grains 1 serving (1 multigrain chapati).
Half cooked vegetable 1 serving.
Salad 1 plate.

Sample Evening Meal Menu

Food Category Example for Adults
Fruits 150 grams papaya + 1 pear.
Whole Grains 1 multigrain chapati.
Half-cooked Vegetables 1 cup.
Salad ¼ cup cut beetroot, 1 medium cucumber, 1 medium tomato, 1 cup green leafy salad, 1 spoon of mung sprouts, grated coconut 1 slice.

In evening meal, you can eat any sattvic food, any fruit or any vegetable. These foods are easy to digest. You should eat that foods in the evening meal, which are light to digest for your body.

Note: You must keep at least 3 hours gap between the evening meal and bedtime. Fruits, vegetables, and salad in the evening meal are water-rich. However, they are easier to digest for your body, but they might also increase urination frequency at night if you eat before sleep. Therefore, you must avoid eating and drinking for 3 hours till bedtime.

Also Read: 7 Days Ayurvedic Meal Plan

Taking Milk at Night

If you want to drink milk, then ayurveda has the following recommendations:

  1. You can drink milk at night.
  2. Desi Cow’s milk is best. Nowadays, rarely available!
  3. You should keep at least 30 minutes gap between the evening meal and milk. The longer gap should be beneficial. You can drink milk after sunset. There is no restriction on milk consumption at night.
  4. If you are not able to get desi cow’s milk, you can alternatively drink homemade fresh coconut milk.

Eating Sequence

Ayurveda suggests eating in the following sequence:

Fruits

You should first eat fruits. Include 2 fruits in each meal from different fruit categories.

Fruits Categories:

  1. Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, Bilberries, Cranberries, Grapes, Raspberries etc.
  2. Citrus Fruits: Orange, Grapefruit, Mandarins, Mosmi (sweet lime), Lemon, key lime, Pomelo, Bitter orange, Yuzu, Kaffir lime, Bergamot Orange, Citron, Kumquat, etc.
  3. Pome Fruits: All types of Apples, all types of Pears, Nashi (Asian pears), quince (Cydonia oblonga).
  4. Stone Fruits: Apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, pluots, Apriums etc.
  5. Tropical Fruits: Bananas, Mangoes, Melons, Pineapple, Fresh olive, Papaya, etc.

We have classified 5 categories of fruits above. You should select 1-1 fruit from any two categories. It will be ideal if you can select different categories for each meal – 2 different fruits for morning and 2 different fruits for evening and each fruit from unique category. However, it is not compulsory.

The mandatory thing is fruits must be seasonal and local grown. Don’t eat foods exported from different countries.

Hard Foods (Heavy to Digest)

Some foods take more time to digest in the abdomen. The foods which are heavier to digest are called hard foods. It includes:

  • Food cooked in oils or ghee – all curries, Indian style vegetable cooking in which oil is used.
  • Foods cooked in ghee.
  • Foods that contain any type of oil or ghee.
  • Seeds and nuts.
  • Whole grains.
  • Lentil curries.
  • Chapatis.
  • Oil or ghee cooked vegetables.
  • Rice.
  • Food with less water content.
  • Yogurt or curd.

Soft and Liquid Foods (Light to Digest)

Foods that take less time to digest or water-rich foods are called soft foods. However, it also includes fruits, but fruits are recommended before everything else. So, we exclude fruits from this list.

  • Amla juice.
  • Amla water.
  • Buttermilk.
  • Coconut water.
  • Fruit juice.
  • Lemon water.
  • Tamarind water.
  • Vegetable juice.
  • Vegetable soup.
  • Water.

Note: You should not take tamarind water, amla water and amla juice in the morning on empty stomach. However, you can take it in the evening or after a meal. In fact, ayurveda recommends these food items after a meal.

Multigrain Chapatis

Ayurveda recommends whole wheat and barley for daily eating. Based on this, we recommend the following multigrain chapatis formulas:

Whole Wheat 75%
Barley 25%

However, you can also include other grains in this formulation. Here is an example that we recommend some people living outside India. Personally, I am also using the following multigrain recipe:

Whole Wheat 60%
Barley 15%
Quinoa 10%
Amaranth 5%
Oats 5%
Ragi (Finger millet) 5%

People with a gluten allergy can include gluten-free grains and millets. The following recipe might help:

Buckwheat 65%
Quinoa 15%
Amaranth 10%
Oats 5%
Ragi (Finger millet) 5%

Vegetable Chapatis

In India, vegetable chapatis are famous. Sometimes, they are called Paratha. Indian people grate vegetables and knead them in flour. However, they apply oil or ghee on the Tawa. So, they are mostly fried. Therefore, they are heavier to digest. These types of Parathas are best for children.

But you can prepare vegetable chapati in another way. Don’t apply oil on the Tawa and don’t fry these vegetable chapatis. Such vegetable chapatis are very helpful, especially for people who eat less vegetables.

Dt. Sneha had written article on vegetable chapatis. You can find her recipes here: Vegetable Chapatis’ Recipes.

References
  1. Ashtang Hridaya, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 2, Dinacharya.
  2. Ashtang Sangrah, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 3, Dinacharya.
  3. Ashtanga Sangraha, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 11, Matrashitiya.
  4. Bhava Prakash.
  5. Sushruta Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 46, Annpaanvidhhi
  6. Yoga Ratnakar, Nitya Prabriti Prakar Maah.

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Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh (B.A.M.S., M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants) is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with Ayurveda (including Herbal Ayurvedic Medicine and Ayurvedic Diet). Ayur Times is an initiative of his efforts to bring quality information on Indian Medicine with the highest level of relevancy and scientific evidence.
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