Understanding the importance of salt, oil, spices and sugar

New Delhi (IANSlife) Ayurveda teaches that salt is essential for growth, maintaining water electrolyte balance, and proper digestion, absorption and elimination of wastes. It creates flexibility in the joints, stimulates the appetite and helps digest natural toxins, clearing the subtle channels of the body. It has a calming effect on the nerves and emotions, replenishing and energizing the entire body. Salt balances Vata and can imbalance Pitta and Kapha when used excessively, causing premature wrinkles, thirst, skin problems and weakness.

Throughout time, salt (sodium chloride) has played a vital role in human societies. However, excessive salt consumption could result in serious health problems as it directly impacts the energy levels in one body. Salt is typically made up of the fire and water elements and a small amount regulates moisture level in the body which promotes better absorption of nutrients from food, regulates blood pressure and are vital to the functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Eating too much salt can have a range of effects. In the short term, it may cause bloating, severe thirst, and a temporary rise in blood pressure. In severe cases, it may also lead to hypernatremia, which, if left untreated, can be fatal. In ayurveda,it is established that over indulgence or ati of any ingredient can cause various imbalances in the human body. From a holistic perspective anything overused, misused or used in a high amount leads to an imbalance and causes destruction.

Similarly, ayurveda teaches that the Sweet taste nourishes and invigorates the mind, relieves hunger and thirst, increases tissues and improves the immune system. Importantly, it is associated with the positive emotions of happiness, contentment, calmness, cheerfulness, love and satisfaction when eaten in appropriate amounts. But again, in moderation. From an Ayurvedic perspective, we need to consider long-term moderation combined with well-timed and precise restraint. Brown sugar, jaggery and natural fruits are used as an alternative to refined sugar. Natural sources of sugar are digested slower and help you feel full for longer. It also helps keep your metabolism stable.

‘Ati sevanam’ as per Ayurveda might lead to high blood pressure or hypertension involves a disruption of balance in the blood (doshas) one of which is due to excessive salt intake. Whereas high amount of fat intake can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries (blood vessels), on the other hand too many spices may give acute gastritis, while if consumed in moderation it helps us in combating heart diseases, fight inflammation and keeping the body warm especially in winters. Hence the key is to keep consuming everything in moderation and to avoid ‘Atikriya’ (overdoing) of everything. Whether it’s a food or any activity.

Hence the key is to keep consuming everything in moderation and avoid Atikriya (overdoing) of everything, be it food, lifestyle, indulgence or any activity. As recommended by professionals at Vana, an individual should also practice some of the disciplined lifestyle for a content and mindful living. Some of them are :

Daily Exercising for at least half an hour

Avoid excessive exercises

Avoid suppression of natural urges like that of urine

Avoid daytime sleeping

Avoid excessive stress and anger

Avoid staying awake during night and others

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