Nutritional guidelines in the Western world generally recommend that people get the same nutrients on a daily basis. This doesn’t take into account the significant differences in body type (weight, size, age), metabolism, digestion, and lifestyle, and can actually be a detriment to a person’s overall health.
Eastern forms of nutritional science, namely Ayurveda, provide guidelines for people to develop meal plans to provide them with the optimum nutrition for their particular body type. It also provides insight into the particular types of food that should be eaten at different times of the day. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the best Ayurvedic breakfast ideas so you can make yourself a supercharged meal.
What Makes for Good Ayurvedic Breakfast Ideas?
There are a number of things that you will probably want to consider when you’re making your Ayurvedic breakfast. Here are some of the most important things:
Work With Your Dosha
Different constitutions, or doshas, require different types of food in the morning. It’s important to learn your body type so you can best support your energies.
- Vata, corresponding to air and ether, is light and cool. Vatas require sweet, sour and salty foods that are warm, dense, moist and smooth.
- Pitta is governed by fire and water and often need sweet, bitter and astringent foods that are cool, dense, moist and mild.
- Kapha is governed by earth and water, and benefit from astringent, bitter and pungent foods that are warm, light, dry and rough.
Keep Your Agni Going!
Agni, or digestive fire, is an Ayurvedic element that describes your metabolism. During the breakfast hours (during which you are breaking your fast), your agni is in a relatively low state. This means that you shouldn’t stifle it by ingesting heavy foods or anything that could suppress metabolism.
This means that you’re going to want to eat foods that are easy to digest in the morning. Good ideas are cooked fruits and hot cereals. Avoid eating meats, lots of eggs, or anything else that’s dense early in the morning.
Go For Warming Foods
Cold, or cooling, foods and drinks can have an adverse affect on your agni. Things that are physically cold, like refrigerated juice or milk, can certainly put out your agni – but so can foods with cooling properties, such as refined sugar and cucumbers. That said, Pitta types can tolerate more cooling foods than the Vata or Kapha type.
Spice Up Your Life
One of the best ways to promote the development of your agni during the morning is to consume warming spices. These are known to stimulate digestion and agni.
Different spices can even have different effects on different doshas. Here are a few simple recommendations for each dosha:
- Kapha, which is heavy and slow, does well with warming herbs and spices such as cayenne or asafoetida.
- Vata, which is airy and light, could use more grounding herbs and foods like cumin, warm milk or ghee.
- Pitta, which is hot and fiery, could do with cooling spices such as cardamom, perhaps mixed with oatmeal.
Use Herbs for Balance
Herbs are a central part of Ayurvedic medicine and are used to promote health and cure sickness. One of the most important herbal blends in Ayurvedic medicine is Chyawanprash. Chyawanprash is an Ayurvedic jam that was created nearly 5,000 years ago by the respected sage, Chywan, to improve the quality of life and increase longevity. It contains a potent blend of nutritive and healing herbs that is balancing for each dosha type and is best taken at the start of each day. Incorporating this jam into your morning routine will offer a number of health benefits, including balancing your energies for optimal performance.
Breakfast is believed to be the most important meal of the day in the West, and understanding Ayurvedic concepts can further illuminate this. Breakfast is the meal during which we build up our agni, or our digestive fire, so that we can have a healthy metabolism throughout the day.
Hopefully this article has helped you develop a plan for some healthy Ayurvedic breakfast ideas.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)