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Clinic > NERVOUS SYSTEM NOURISHING DIET
VATA RELIEVING DIET

Use this diet to help relieve nervous tension, cramps, pain, anxiety, insomnia, bloating, constipation, dryness General treatments: Please just eat what is appropriate for you. If you are intolerant of any food or simply do not like it then please avoid it. This diet is to help raise the digestive fire and enhance the assimilation of nutrients which will help calm the nervous system. Emphasise foods that are warm, soupy and easy to digest. Eat at regular times. Eat to less than full. Practice relaxation.
  • Avoid yeast,refined sugars,coffee, tea, tobacco, drugs, poor quality oils and extremely spicy foods as these aggravate the digestion and the nervous system.
  • Favour foods that are warm, heavy, and oily as these nourish the nervous system.
  • Reduce foods that are cold, dry, and hard as these aggravate digestion.
  • Favour foods that are sweet (e.g. wheat, milk, rice), sour (e.g. vinegar, yogurt, umeboshi plums, citrus fruit), and salty as these are all nourishing.
  • Reduce foods that are very spicy, bitter (e.g. coffee, chillies, green leafy vegetables), and astringent (e.g. apples, beans) as these aggravate digestion and disturb the nervous system.
  • Dairy: all dairy products nourish the nervous system. Always boil milk before you drink it, mix with cardamom seeds and drink it warm. Don’t take milk with a full meal or with fruit. Use organic milk. If allergic substitute with almond or rice milk. Avoid ice cream, powdered milks and soya milk.
  • Sweeteners: all sweet flavours are good for nourish the nervous system. Reduce refined white sugar. Avoid all sugars if bloating is present.
  • Oils: all oils reduce dryness and nourish the nervous system. Emphasise Flax, hemp, sesame, ghee, olive, sunflower, evening primrose, borage and fish oils. Use these internally and externally.
  • Grains: rice (basmati, brown, wild), wheat, oats (cooked) and quinoa are very good for nourishing the nervous system. Amaranth is ok. Reduce intake of barley, corn, millet, buckwheat and rye as these are a bit drying and can be difficult to digest creating wind. Avoid the rest
  • Fruits: favour sweet, sour, or heavy fruits, such as berries, bananas, avocados, grapes, cherries, lemons, limes, fresh figs, peaches, melons, plums, pineapples, mangoes, and papayas. Cooked apples and pears are ok. Soaked prunes and raisins are ok. Avoid dried fruits, uncooked apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries as these can create wind.
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beets, cucumbers, carrots, and sweet potatoes are the best. Peas, green leafy vegetables, celery, summer squash, winter squash, and potatoes are best well cooked in oil or ghee with mild spices. Seaweeds are very beneficial. It’s best to avoid the Brassica family; brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Also avoid Solanaceae family; peppers, aubergines, potatoes and tomatoes. Raw vegetables, especially onions are banned as these all create wind.
  • Spices: Most of them, especially; asafoetida, cardamom, cumin, coriander, ginger, fennel, dill, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, black pepper all help reduce gas and spasms in the digestive system.
  • Nuts: all nuts and seeds are good in moderation, especially soaked.
  • Beans: avoid all beans, except for marinated tofu and mung lentils and occasionally red lentils.
  • Meat and fish: chicken, turkey, eggs and seafood are fine; beef should be avoided.
Kicharee recipe: Try eating kicharee regularly: it is easy to digest and very nourishing.
    • 1/3 cup split mung dal, 2/3 basmati rice (or other grain) simmered in 3-4 cups of water (a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4).
    • Add 1/4 tsp each of organic turmeric, ginger, roasted cumin and coriander.
    • Add seasonal vegetables: spinach, peas, or seaweeds, shitake mushrooms for an all round healing, healthy and agni enkindling meal.
    • The best practice is to cook it on a very low heat in a covered saucepan and DO NOT stir it after all the ingredients are added or it will go mushy.
    • Add a teaspoon of ghee or hemp seed oil at the end.
Healthy eating habits
  • Eat only when hungry.
  • Follow the body and not the mind- listen to your body and what it needs.
  • Treat your digestion like a fire; stoke it with easy to assimilate light meals.
  • Eat to less than full capacity. It is recommended to eat until the stomach is 1/2 full with food, 1/4 full with liquid and to leave 1/4 empty for the digestive process to have some space.
  • Eat simple meals.
  • Eat fruit, including juice away from other foods; leave a 2-4 hour gap.
  • Eat in a peaceful environment; not driving, hurrying or standing.
  • Eat warm and cooked food as this is easier to digest. Cold food, raw food, ice, cold water can weaken the digestive process.
  • Leave 4 hours between breakfast and lunch and 6 hours between lunch and supper. Eating in between meals slows down digestion and must be avoided in intestinal imbalance.
  • Eat the last meal of the day early in the evening. Late eating can cause constipation and indigestion.