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7 Factors to Determine if a Food Product is Good or Harmful - Dr Kirti Paik

CATEGORY: Dr. Kirti's



According to Ayurveda there are seven factors that determine whether a food will either benefit or harm the body. They are Svabhava, Samyoga, Samskara, Matra, Desa, Kala and lastly Upayoga vyavastha.

1. Svabhava, known as natural qualities of the food product. For example milk is cooling and nourishing. Gooseberry is a digestive aid and helps promote healthy digestive systems.

2. Samyoga, known as the combination of at least two foods when taken together. Combining two healthy foods together can create one toxic food which can lead to illnesses. For an example as I have advised in my previous videos, banana should never be eaten with milk and honey should always be taken raw.

According to Ayurveda, these combinations are persisted in dietary habits, this leads to the creation of doshas vitiation, bodily tissues (dhatus) and bodily wastes.

a. Milk followed by fruits and vice versa I have explained this in details earlier
b. Cold and hot substances together
c. Taking sour substances like bread (fermented with yeast) along with milk.
d. Cold water after a hot meal
e. Honey in hot water
f. Milk with salt
g. Banana with milk, yogurt or buttermilk
h. Milk with meat of any kind
i. Chicken with yogurt
j. Clarified butter kept in a bronze vessel
k. Fish with sugar
l. Hot drinks after alcohol, yogurt or honey
m. Cucumber or tomatoes with lemon.

3. Samskara , known as the process such as preparing, cooking or preserving the food. Processing can transform the inherent qualities of a food substance.

The list below shows the procedures advised by Ayurveda.

a. Contact with water such as washing of rice grains
b. Contact with fire or heat
c. Washing and cleaning
d. Place of storage
e.Churning such as churning of yogurt turning it into buttermilk
f. Time its stored
g. Flavouring
h. Impregnation
i. Presentation
j. Container and vessels used

4. Matra, known as the quantity of the food consumed. Even the healthiest food when consumed in large quantities, can be unhealthy for the body. For example, water, it is natural, essential and good for our body. However, when water is consumed in excess, it can lead to indigestion. Therefore, knowing the limits of the quantity and being able to control your consumption is equally vital.

5. Desa, known as the habitant. In other words, the body type of the person consuming. A food that may be beneficial to people staying in dry and hot regions may not be so for those in cold and humid regions. The same way foods that are beneficial to a vata dominant person may be unhealthy to a kapha dominant person.

6. Kala, known as the time of the day or season. Different fruits ripen during different seasons. It is during that season they are rich in nutrients. For example, certain foods that can be eaten during the day may not be suitable for consumption at night.

7. Upayoga vyavastha, known as the manner the food is being eaten. Improper manner of eating can lead to indigestion. Undigested food clogs the intestines, ferments, putrefies and eventually builds up toxins in the body.

To conclude, a food that enters the body goes through a series of processes where it is broken down and converted into different forms. There are several factors that can influence whether the final result or the impact the food one consumes is going to be beneficial or toxic on the body. So it becomes as much important to take care of the above factors, as it is to choose good quality healthy food item.

Tip of the day: Consider these seven factors of food before consumption.

On our next video, we will discuss on the diseases and the 6 stages of it.