“You are what you eat !” may be the most heard, said ,used but less thought and followed phrase by human.
In previous three blogs we had seen the various aspects related to menopause . For reference kindly go through the link for those blogs.
Ayurveda has strong belief in Aahar Chikitsa (using food as medicine).In practice some changes in food habits according to the body type (prakriti) brings very satisfactory results to the patients suffering from menopausal symptoms. Once the patient is categorized in the group whether Vaata Dosha , Pitta Dosha or Kafa Dosha the parameters like patients lifestyle, physical abilities, her geographical , cultural food habits also need to be considered. e.g.A south Indian patient eating fermented Idali Dosa for almost all of her life, cannot immediately leave her food habits. Gradually we have to make her change and adapt some easy and simple changes in her diet in such a way that it will help to reduces the altered Dosha and favors her metabolism.Trust me patient supports the decision. I still cannot forget my followup session with a south Indian patient where i was explaining the recipe of a traditional Marathi delicacy Thalipith(mix cereal flour Indian bread)to her.She wrote it down so religiously and had followed every minor change i made in her diet as she was in Maharashtra for 6 years and need to be followed the diet suitable to the dry weather in Maharashtra.I felt cruel of myself to see her innocent pleading expression when i told her “No tamarind anymore use Kokum”. But afterwards our efforts paid her and she was free from her chronic skin disorder.
In this blog brief examples of food that i generally suggest to my patients according to their prakriti are mentioned .
The list of food which is good to combat any Dosha in menopausal complaints :
- Cow ghee: Regular use of plain or medicated cow ghee in diet is advisable. It reduces the increased dryness in systems and pacifies all three Doshas too.
- Using sesame oil, coconut oil, flax seeds oil frequently while cooking give the benefits of various fatty acids.
- Black currents (black munakka / raisins): Reduces the increased pitta Dosha , takes care of hemoglobin, general weakness etc.
- Dried fruits (walnuts, figs, dates, almonds,coconut, zardalu apricot etc): Bone and joint health is maintained due to rich fatty acids, proteins and various essential vitamins present in these.
- Fresh fruits : Fresh fruits mostly the citrus fruits like Amla, Sweet lemon, Pear (Peru), pomegranate and other seasonal as well as fruits belonging to the local geography should be preferred .
- Using fresh turmeric , dry ginger , basil seeds ( Tulasi bij) , coriander seeds, cumin ,fenugreek seeds are helpful to relieve some of the symptoms in menopause.
- Old red rice ( unpolished rice): When rice is to be used it should be old red rice Usually the rice is restricted in menopausal patients as in many patients it increases the unhealthy sticky nature in various micro channels or systems and causes generalized swelling.
- Green mung(lentil) , yellow mung , lentils are other food that are suitable in menopausal symptoms.
- Red pumpkin,white pumpkin(Kohla/kheera),Okra,Red spinach, and other green vegetables in moderate portion .
- Ragi(finger millet), Red rice flakes are best used to control the weight.
- Shatvari, Shunti Pak (Dry ginger sweet made using various herbs),do wonders when used according to Dosha.
- Cow milk added with pinch of dry ginger /haldi.
Food to avoid:
- Too sour, too sweet, too cold , leftovers
- Ready to eat food, Aerated drinks,high salt preservative added food
- All the food that are mentioned in the incompatible food mixtures in one of the previous blogs. check the link for the references.https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/be-aware-disaster-chef-busy-in-lab/
- Too heavy, too greasy ,too spicy ,cheesy food consumed regularly causes bloating, swelling and unnecessary weight gain.
- All bakery products. Fried chips, fried fish or chicken (steam cooked is OK)
- Outside Sweets, Deserts, Dougnuts are strictly No No. (occasional and moderate home made Kheer, Halwa, Laddu is accepted)
According to individual need i usually give a customized diet plan to my patients and other people willing to follow diet on Ayurvedic principles. The present condition of one or more Dosha s involved need to design and redesign the food.These are the general guidelines. Every individual needs differ so do the diet change.
Lifestyle change or following suitable lifestyle , excercises according to body type is also very important . In next blog we will see it in detail.
(This write up belongs to Dr.Rupali Panse. Image courtesy Internet.)