AYURVEDIC DIET & DIGESTION
In AyurVeda, diet is not limited to the food we eat, but everything taken in through any one of our senses and any mode of perception.
Digestion is not limited to the digestion of our food but also the digestion of our experiences. The environment, people we are with, time of day, our attitudes, and emotions during the moment we eat also affect how we digest what we ingest.
What we listen to and hear, the sounds of our environment, the music, and the conversations we listen to every day, whether intentional or unintentional, have affect on our mind and body.
The more pleasing, calming, or invigorating the sounds—the more satisfied, calm, or invigorated we may feel or become.
Everything we touch and everything that comes in contact with our skin, we are ingesting on some level.
The sensations, feelings, experiences, textures, energies, and chemistry we are also digesting, synthesizing, and assimilating into our nervous system and physiology.
The aromas we inhale directly or passively affect our feelings, mood, emotions, perceptions, appetite, metabolism, and well-being.
The more pleasing the aromas, the more pleasantness we experience.
The aroma of delicious food can increase salivation and appetite. Aromatic plants and essential oils, for example, through the olfactory nerves, can stimulate the immune system, calm the nervous system, or aid in memory formation and recall.
In AyurVeda, there are Six Tastes that influence and balance our digestion, mind, and body.
The tastes of food and beverages have qualities and effect on our elemental makeup. For example, from a scientific standpoint, when we eat something with a sweet taste—the tastebuds with receptors for the sweet taste send biochemical messages to the pancreas for the release of insulin to aid in digestion and absorption.
Everything we take in through our visual field, images, video, environment, light, darkness, literature, and even what we envision and visualize in our mind's eye is a form of ingestion and digestion.
Visual aesthetics stimulate our nervous system and emotional center. Seeing our food stimulates digestion if pleasant and can decrease appetite if unappealing visually.