Ayurveda and Non-Vegetarian Diet

“Let food be your first medicine and kitchen be your first pharmacy.”
Ayurveda says “we are what we eat”. And as the saying goes “ A small amount of anything is considered a medicine, whereas too much of anything is considered poison.” and the same applies to Non-Veg food as well.
A common misconception is that Ayurveda is a vegetarian system, which is not really the case. Ayurveda believes moderation is essential for perfect health and does not restrict any particular type of diet.
This idea that Ayurveda and non-veg or animal proteins don’t go well together is simply not true. Ayurveda primarily prescribes Sattvic diet which is a simple balanced diet, mostly Lacto-vegetarian, freshly made with balanced tastes. In a few cases, meat and meat broth is prescribed as a treatment for a variety of diseases, especially during recovery.
Many ancient Ayurvedic texts have categorized all edible things on the planet in a more detailed manner than any other science could. This also includes various types of meats recommended mainly for medication than for feast.
Categories of edible things
Dhaanya varga (whole grains)
Shaaka varga (leaves)
Maamsa varga (meat)
Phala varga (fruits)
Kantha varga (tubers)
Lavana varga (spices)
Krithanna varga (prepared food)
Aushada varga (medicines)    
Now let’s understand why and how meat can be incorporated into an Ayurvedic diet to get the maximum benefit from it.
Changing to a vegetarian diet all of a sudden, especially if you are used to meats and eggs can cause lasting harm to the intestines. So one should understand that it can take years to make the switch to a vegetarian diet and any rash or sudden changes will only have adverse effects. Each animal product is characterized by quality in Ayurvedic writings, and meat is suggested as medicine for various disorders.
Ayurveda believes in a unique notion that “similar property substances or food promotes or increases the same qualities in the body.
For example, Meat, in general, can nourish rakta dhatu – i.e. blood and it also increases muscle tissues in the body. . Like bone marrow broth is advised to many people because it is helpful in recovery after a prolonged illness.

According to Ashtangahridayam, which is an important Ayurvedic text, it is suggested that we should keep a few rules in mind before consuming meat, some of them are:

According to Ashtangahridayam, which is an important Ayurvedic text, it is suggested that we should keep a few rules in mind before consuming meat, some of them are:
  1. Whenever possible, choose organic, hormone-free meat to get the maximum nutritional value of the meat.
  2. Prepare fresh meat with spices and minimum artificial substances.
  3. Eat it in moderation, meaning avoid eating meat on a regular basis if not necessary.
  4. Consume meat of young animals avoiding the meat of old, ill, and diseased indicating that only fresh meat should be used.
  5. Skip the milk, curd, buttermilk, etc just before or after eating non-vegetarian foods.
  6. Avoid eating more than one type of meat at a time.
  7. During the rainy season, abstain from eating fish, seafood, and meat.
  8. Try avoiding barbecuing, deep frying, and using alcohol while cooking.
  9. Cooking meat with mild spices and eating in the form of soup is considered best.
  10. You should also be mindful of your dosha type while including meat in your diet.
Still not sure of your Ayurvedic Dosha? Try our Dosha quiz to know more!
According to some ayurvedic concepts, meat increases muscle mass, thus the qualities of various meats can be employed to improve health, cure diseases, and maintain wellness in a specific situation.
Here are some commonly consumed meats and their Ayurvedic properties:
  • Fish: is considered Hot and heavy, reduces Vata Dosha, and enhances strength. If cooked in the wrong way, it can increase the unwanted Kapha Dosha.
  • Goat: This meat is thought to be the most compatible of human tissues, and it is included in a variety of dishes, including soup. This is the only type of red meat that Ayurveda recommends on a regular basis or as part of a medicinal diet.
  • Chicken meat: Chicken meat boosts strength and muscle mass. It can help to balance the Vata dosha.
  • Pork: Pork meat is hard to digest. Pork meat, when digested properly, is said to be nourishing and good for weight gain.
Ayurveda describes red meat as being particularly nutritious in terms of building muscular mass, strength, and endurance, among other things.
A few other points to keep in mind while following a non-vegetarian diet is:
  • Lunch is the ideal time of day to eat meat, as Agni, the digestive fire, is most active between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Adding spices like cayenne and black pepper can be beneficial as they are digestive spices.
  • Consumption of meat should be done, keeping your dosha type in mind
Ayurveda believes that everything has both positive and negative consequences and that we can limit the negative impacts and reap the most benefits out of anything. And the same applies to a non-vegetarian diet as well.
Still, wondering about your dosha type and dietary routine? Read more here!
Saumya Singh

Saumya is a writing enthusiast & a lover of literature who enjoys to write and tell stories. She holds a Master’s degree in English and has a keen interest in the world of Ayurveda.

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