Ayurvedic Tips and Reminders

Food for Focus

We are discussing the “six tastes” in Ayurveda and how by incoroprating them into your daily diet you can attain improved health and well being. Energy and metabolism all depend on what you eat, when you eat it and how you eat it according to Ayurveda.

“Bitter is better”, “eat your greens” are some common phrases about eating bitter taste.

In Dr. Andrew Weils’ article in the Huff Post he states:

“Bitter foods stimulate the liver to produce bile, which is an important part of optimal digestion. Bile emulsifies fats and renders nutrients — especially fat-soluble ones such as vitamins A, D, E and K — more available. Another way to express this: Bitter foods challenge the liver. They make it work and help it to remain healthy, just as muscles challenged by exercise function better than ones that atrophy from underuse. A liver frequently challenged by bitters can efficiently process the occasional sweet treat, but inverting that bitter-sweet intake ratio — as far too many Americans do — leads to fatty liver disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.”

For me, this is the crux of the bitter story. By eating bitters you are giving your liver the exercise it needs to detoxify your body, just as you would exercise your muscles to better improve cardio function.

Here are five foods to incorporate for the “bitter”taste:

1. Arugula-   I like to make an Arugula salad with some cooked beets and feta cheese.

Olive oil dressing with vinegar/ apple cider vinegar or balsamic- add tsp of dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and a tsp of local honey ; my favorite dressing.

2. Bitter melon– a fruit that can be found in asian markets

3. Basil–  Basil pesto is one of my favorites to add to just about anything- chicken, eggs, turkey, or simply on a piece of toast.

Take a bunch of basil and pick the leaves off the stems ( wash first-  kids like to do this), then put in small cuisinart with a few cloves of garlic, lemon, olive oil and some pine nuts or walnuts, s and p, parmesan cheese ( a few Tbsps), then blend to a paste. Add olive oil as needed.

4. Here’s a new one for us to try; fenugreek seeds.

Simply cooking with fenugreek seeds ex. saute in ghee or olive oil then add to steamed veggies.

5. Tumeric-  My favorite way to eat tumeric is to put 1/2 tsp organic tumeric in almond milk before going to bed. It has become our nightime ritual. ( I add stevia to the drink which is also bitter).

And if you are short of time for cooking a  green drink with dandelion, kale, lemon, parseley will suffice.

Basically, your front lawn!

With studies showing that liver cells renew every 150-500 days, that gives great hope in making steps today that will affect your health in the near future.

So, I hope you truly enjoy your bitters and know that you are giving your liver , your body’s filtration system, some great exercise for optimal health!

My best regards,

Gedalia Genin

Ayurvedic health Specialist

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