Having evolved among the Brahmin sages of ancient India some 3000-5000 years ago, Ayurveda is a holistic system of healing that is a complete medical system. It recognizes that ultimately all intelligence and wisdom flow from one Absolute source (Paramatman). Health manifests by the grace of the Absolute acting through the laws of Nature (Prakriti). Ayurveda assists Nature by promoting harmony between the individual and Nature by living a life of balance according to her laws.
Health is a state of spiritual and physical attainment in Ayurveda. An Ayurvedic diet places great value on organically grown fresh foods, and nutrient requirements are based on daily intakes because adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals are needed daily. The basis of Ayurvedic nutritional theory is the “belief that whatever substances are in the universe (i.e., energy quanta) are also in the body and can unfold sequentially to form subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, tissues, organs, et cetera.” The ingestion and proper metabolism of foods is the “ultimate source of the energy quanta needed to sustain and regenerate healthy human cells and functioning of human systems.
Four nutritional principles underlie Ayurvedic philosophy:
1. Food plays a critical role in disease prevention and treatment,
2. Food’s taste has nutritional meaning,
3. People respond differently to the same foods,
4. How and when one eats is as important as what one eats.
Food plays a critical role in disease prevention and treatment. When food is ingested, it is broken down into its “essential underlying vibratory patterns” to produce healthy new cells, which allows the body to restore a state of balance and wellness. Because no two persons have the same relative balance or vibrate exactly the same, diets need to be customized to meet individual needs.
When imbalances are detected via wrist pulse, foods and herbs that specific individuals need to restore balance are recommended. Whereas Western nutritionists use a “one-size-fits-all” approach for making dietary recommendations, Ayurveda practitioners make dietary recommendations specific to an individual person’s needs. If this approach is not taken, a person could increase or decrease his or her susceptibility to disease according to Ayurvedic nutrition.