• Ayurvedic Dietary Rules -3

    Posted on by Dr. Shweta Labde

    In the last blog we started with the Aharvidhi vidhaan, where we discussed about the first dietary rule Ushnam ashniyat, now we shall know more about the second rule –

    2. Snigdham Ashniyat – 

    Now we all know ashniyat means to eat, we shall know what exactly snigdha means. A generalized translation of the word ‘snigdha’, may mean oily, (I can notice most of yours eyebrow raised by the word ‘Oily’, and the immediate pop ups into the mind – weight gain, cholestrol, acidity, and lot more).

    As mentioned, that would be a mere translation. The word ‘snigdha’ in Ayurveda has various shades – it explains moistness of the food, food texture and quality which will please the body and mind, definitely it also specifies use of oil or ghee in desired proportion which shall provide the necessary lubrication to the body internally and externally, and not the food – deep fried in oil or ghee.

    Benefits of Snigdha Bhojan (food)

    • Food with proportionate use of oil, ghee or water, provides proper texture and taste to food. Tasty and healthy food is what makes one happy, physically and mentally, and at the same time energizes the body. Imagine having excessive dry meals without any moistness or lubrication , it will definitely cause difficulty in swallowing it and also exert extra efforts on the body to soften and ultimately digest it. So our tradition always stress on serving a spoonful of ghee with dal/rice/roti, etc.
    • Snigdha food kindles the digestive fire and also eases the process of digestion.
    • Vatanuloman – Proper digestion ensures effortless and normal movement of vata and other doshas, thus maintaining the tridoshic balance. Snigdha property of food also pacifies the rooksha (dry), laghu(excessive lightness), chala(excessive and abnormal movement) property of deranged vata. It normalizes the functions of vata dosha by controlling its movements.
    • It provides nourishment of the body at the cellular level. As we know wear and tear of the body is a natural phenomenon, which is a continuous process. The unctuousness (Snigdha) of the foods like ghee, oil, buttermilk, curd, butter, natural oil content foods like coconut, coconut milk preparations,nuts,and meat etc. helps rejuvenation of the body at the cellular level and thus nourishes the body. As the basic Ayurveda phenomenon explains all the wear and tear in the body is a result of vitiated vata and snigdha food pacifies the vata dosha, and serves the purpose of nourishment.
    • Snigdha ahar increases strength of the body, body muscles, bones and the joints.
    • It pleases and strengthens the senses of the body, thus ensures the proper functioning of the sensory organs.
    • Snigdha food also improves the skin glow, lustre and texture. It maintains the skin tone and elasticity. The same is true in the case of hair. The dry and flaky skin looks dull and dark, this can be corrected with proper intake of ghee in our diet. Overall it enhances the beauty.
    • Remember excessive and improper use of anything is always bad. So food should be cooked with appropriate proportions of oil, ghee, etc and with correct cooking methods. Adding a spoonful or two spoons of ghee to your meals seperately is not going to make you fat, but help you, but similarly unnecessary use of processed fats like margarine, butter, excessive eating of fried foods, mayonnaise, cheese etc  is definitely going to harm you.
    • If the food served is dry, you can just club it alongwith supplements like – intermittent sips of water – not the cold aerated drinks – yes it provides the necessary moistness; buttermilk, curd, dals, soups, chutneys, spreads, salad dressings, ghee, butter, etc.
    • So next time You are ready for the meals make sure the food is not only freshly cooked and hot but also Snigdha.
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