What Is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the ancient system of healing from India. The word ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit roots ayu and veda, or “life” and “knowledge.” The use of spices as "wonder foods" has been in the ayurvedic teaching for thousands of years. Spices are a convenient, therapeutic and flavorful way to keep your diet healthy and healing.
Ayurveda is in many ways a health-care system but also a complete approach to living life. When it comes to weight loss, an ayurvedic doctor or nutritionist can recommend specific spices to include in your diet as part of a program or treatment. Simple recipes that have been passed on by generations are the secrets to weight loss. Also, look for foods that have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and, most importantly, anti-inflammatory properties. Decreasing inflammation helps you lose weight and keep it off.
The Ayurvedic Spice Box
The "spice box,” or masal thani, is a complete arrangement of spices in an Indian kitchen. The exotic colors and aromas of spices can change an ordinary dish into a divine one. Most spices have therapeutic properties, so every meal that includes spices can become an opportunity to enhance your health and well-being.
A powerful and key spice in disease prevention is asafoetida (hing); it has been held in great esteem amongst indigenous medicines from the earliest times in India. It is reputed for properties that expel gas from the stomach and counteract any spasmodic disorders. It is also a digestive agent and a sedative. It can also induce bowel movement. It has antioxidant effects, well known for protecting cells from free radical damage, and also has anti-cancer benefits.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum), or peppercorn, stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. The outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.