Taste or rasa of a food substance is the feeling that we experience when we put the substance in our month. There are 6 types of rasas:
HEATING OR COOLING ENERGY OF FOOD OR VEERYA
Certain items of food have a heating effect on body or are of high caloric value e.g. meat, fish, egg, jaggery, dates, nuts, honey, mango etc. Others like milk, oranges, melon, bananas, curd, cheese etc. have a cooling effect on the body.
When two or three food substance of different taste, energy and post-digestive effect are combined together, agni can become erratic, inhibiting the enzyme system and resulting in production of toxins in the system. Combining foods improperly can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation. This condition, if prolonged, can lead to toxaemia and disease complex.
• Sour foods with saltish, pungent, bitter and astringent tastes.
According to Ayurveda there are 5 types of Nutritional Disorders:
1. Quantitative dietary deficiency, which includes under-nutrition due to insufficient food, and even starvation.
Proper combination of food substances, keeping in view the 5 factors given in the previous article, can enhance the process of digestion and aid in nutrition of body.If the negative effects of food items are known, they can be made wholesome by combining them with appropriate counteracting food items or “antidotes” as given below:
Sharira, the body, is the fourth fundamental part of life. Ayurveda does not consider sharira to be any more important than the subtler parts of human life just described. It does, however, understand the body to be the vehicle through which we can influence these aspects and their connections with each other and the whole. The next several chapters are devoted to the Ayurvedic conception of the human body and the principles which govern its functioning.
Ayurveda stresses a lot at the role of seasons on the body and advises that we must change our daily routine depending on the seasons. This is known as ritucharya. It helps in preserving the balance of the doshas as the season changes.
From the health point of view, the beginning and end of the rainy season are very troublesome. The initial days of the monsoon can cause problems for the body because of the sudden transition from bone-dry heat to days soaked in a downpour. The pre-monsoon gone-dry days are packed with clouds causing intense suffocation, resulting in excessive sweating. The body is weakened during summer, as it is the period of dehydration. The digestive power is also weakened. It is further weakened due to the vitiation of vaata (one of the triads that govern physico-chemical and physiological activities of the body in a balanced state) and other doshas during the rains. The power of digestion during this period is also affected and there is an increase in acidity of the water. Hence, it is advisable to be moderate regarding diet during the rainy season.
This is the time when a lazy wind starts blowing during the day and the winter responds by showing a reluctance to leave while the summer tries desperately to rush in. An ideal time to fly kites, no doubt, but the body too has to weather the change. Our body is programmed to take care of the changes, but occasionally you may have to aid the process of adjustment through food and suitable alterations in lifestyle!