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General Dietary Advisory

Healthy living requires conducive and balanced diet which can be achieved by adopting the Ayurveda dietary advocacies, healthy eating behaviour and attitude through an Ayurveda way of living. Ayurveda strongly emphasizes on promotive and preventive aspects of health giving prime importance to "Ahara" (wholesome diet) or "Anna" (wholesome food) as a means to good life, health and wellness. It advocates basic dietary guidelines in terms of appropriate food, incompatibile food combinations, methods of cooking, storage, dining atmosphere, hygiene and etiquette for maintenance of health. Ayurveda has laid down the concepts of dietetics such as Ashta Aharavidhi visheshaayatan (eight factors of dietetics), Ahara Vidhi Vidhan (dietary guidelines), Viruddha Ahara (incompatible diet), Rituanusaara Ahara (seasonal dietetics), Nitya sevaniya dravya (regularly consumable food items), Nitya asevaniya dravya (regularly nonconsumable food items), Bhojana Krama (sequence of food) and sequence of eating food as per Rasas (tastes) for a healthy living. Such Ayurveda advocacies should be followed for improvement in nutrition, quality of life and adoption of positive behaviour change through judicious application of these advocacies.


Based on the Principles of Ayurveda, one should follow 5 'Rights' of AYURPOSHAN i.e

  1. The Right Time,
  2. The Right Quantity,
  3. The Right Quality,
  4. The Right Methods and
  5. The Right Place


  • One should inculcate the habit of having meal on time (Kale bhojana) only on feeling of hunger and after digestion of previous meal.
  • One should take minimum three meals (Breakfast, Lunch and dinner) per day with gap of atleast Two & half hour in each meal.


  • One should consume the optimum quantity of food based on signs of fullness to avoid overeating/ under eating.
  • Imagine 3 parts of stomach (Trividh kukshi) - To fill one part with solid, one part with liquid & keep the third part empty. So one should consume food less than one's satiety


  • One should have easy to digest, pleasant to mind and freshly cooked food.
  • One should consume food comprising of six rasa (tastes). Ayurveda mentions about 6 tastes i.e. Shad-rasa-yukta- aahar [Madhur (Sweet), Amla (Sour), Lavan (Salt), Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent).

Mental State during Intake

  • One should consume food with due respect
  • One should consume food with concentration (Avoid watching T.V. & Talking while eating).
  • Ingest food calmly, neither too slow nor too fast.

Methods & Place

  • One should maintain proper hygiene at the culinary place.
  • One should prefer regional fruits, vegetables, food articles in daily diet regimen.
  • One should practice traditional food processing techniques.
  • Use Iron Utensils preferably for cooking of food except sour food items, garlic etc, if available.


  • Circadian rhythms are biological clocks found in every cell of the body that harmonize the timing of our daily behaviors (e.g., sleep/wake, feeding/fasting) and physiology (e.g., hormone release, heart function). Changing our mealtime from day to day may distress the physiology of the body. Therefore, consuming food at proper time is important for maintaining circadian rhythms thereby promoting health.
  • Mindful eating habits help to improve taste perceptions and proper digestion of ingested food through gut brain axis connections. Thus it is essential to eat with concentration.
  • Seasonal and regional food articles remain fresh, thus taste better and they are also rich in nutrients. Therefore, eating seasonally cultivated regional food items are beneficial for health.
  • Traditional household food-processing, preparation methods, utensils (Iron kadhai/tawa) may enhance the bioavailability of micronutrients in plant-based diets.

Include Spices in daily diet

Include/add spices like Jeera (cumin seeds), Dalchini (cinnamon), Sonth/adrak (dry/fresh ginger), Lashuna (garlic), Elaichi (cardamom), Rai (mustard), Ajwain (carom seeds), Haldi (turmeric), Kali Mirch (Black pepper) etc., as appropriate, in small quantity while preparing food. It will enhance flavour and aroma and also add therapeutic value to the meal. It will help to optimize the digestion so that body will be able to absorb and assimilate the nutrients from the foods one eats. It further boosts natural immunity.

  • Food cooked in non-iron utensil have less iron content as compared to food cooked in iron utensil. Regular intake of food cooked in iron utensil increases appreciable amount of iron content and preferably food items except garlic, pepper, egg and sour food items etc should be cooked in iron utensils.
  • Spices are certain food ingredients that have been used as flavoring and coloring agents and as preservatives for thousands of years. Apart from this, Spices also possess medicinal properties and their use in traditional systems of medicine has been on record for a long time.
  • Including spices in food preparation has many health benefits likedigestive stimulant action, bioenhancer, hypo-lipidemic effect, anti-diabetic influence, antioxidant potential, anti-inflammatory property etc. 

Drink water for good health

  • Drink warm water (preferably) daily as per your body’s need.
  • Use Copper utensils for storage of drinking water if possible.
  • Avoid drinking too much water immediately before and after meals.

From monotonous food to variety of food

  • Avoid eating the same dishes several times a week. Break out of that rule and experiment with new foods and flavours.
  • Try preparing vegetable or grain you like to eat often, distinctly (saute, steam, boil, roast, or bake), or combine it with other grains, vegetables or herbs for variety.
  • Variety of articles from maximum food groups (Cereals, Pulses, Fruits, Vegetables, Milk & Milk Products) in the diet be incorporated. Non-vegetarian may include Fish, Meat and Meat products as per the requirement.

Region specific Millets

Apart from Gehoon (Wheat) and Chaaval (Rice), include aata of Jowar (Sorghum), Bajra (Pearl Millet), Ragi (Finger millet) Koni dhan (Tiny rice), Sava (Barnyard Millet) , Kodo (Paspalum) etc. in diet intermittently.

Fruits and Vegetables: 

Use seasonal fruits and Vegetables available in your region.

Oil for cooking 

Preferably use cold pressed nonrefined (Kacchi ghani) oil for cooking.

Use regionally available and traditionally used oils for cooking like-Sarason (Mustard)/ Tila (Sesame)/Nariyal taila (Coconut Oil) /Moongphali taila (Ground Nut Oil).

Cereals (Anna Varga): Gehoon (Wheat), Chaval (Rice), Jowar (Sorghum), Bajra (Pearl Millet), Jau (Barley), Ragi (Finger millet), Makka (Maize ), Kodo (Kodo millet), Sanwa (Sanwa millet) etc.
Pulses (Shimbi Varga): Moong (Green gram), Kala Chana (Black Chickpeas), Moth/matki (Moth bean), Masoor (Lentil), Arhar (Pigeon Peas), Rajmah (Beans), Urad (Split black Lentils), Chole (Chickpeas), Hari matar(Green peas), Safed matar(White peas) etc.
Vegetables (Shaka Varga)

Phala–Shaka Varga: Lauki (Bottle Gaurd), Kaddu (Pumpkin), Karela, (Bitter Guard), Chichinda (Snake gourd), Tinda (Indian Round Gourd), Bhindi (Lady finger), Parwal (Pointed Gourd), Torai(Ridge gourd), Lal kaddu (Red pumpkin), Sahijan/shigru (Drumstick), Tamatar(Tomato) etc.

Mool - Kanda Varga: Aaloo (Potato), Shakkar kanda (Sweet potato), Gajar (Carrots), Muli (Radish), Pyaj (Onion), Lashun (Garlic), Adrak (Ginger), Jimikand/ ratalu (Yam), Chukundar (Beet root) etc.

Green Leafy vegetables: Palak (Spinach), Bathua (Chenopodium), Methi (Fenugreek), Chaulai (Amaranth), Sarso (Mustard), Sahijan/ shigru (Drumstick), Arbi ka Patta (Taro leaves), Sunsuniya saag or sushni saag (Water clover leaves), Kulfa, ghol or luni saag (Purslane), Ambadi (Sorrel Leaves) etc.

Milk & milk products (Dugdha Varga) Include item from Milk group in daily diet, viz, Milk (preference to cow, goat and buffalo), Ghee (Clarified butter), Makkhan (Butter), Paneer (Cottage cheese), Chhaach (Buttermilk), Dahi (Curd), Shrikhanda (Sweet dish made of strained curd) etc.
Flesh foods (Mamsa Varga) If appropriate, include Maans (Meat), Murgi (Chicken), Anda (Egg), Macchli (Fish) and Kekada (Crabs) in diet
Fruits: (Phala Varga) Fresh and Dry Kela (Banana), Khajoor (Dates), Angoor (Grapes), Anaar (Pomegranate), Anjeer (Figs), Kathal (Jackfruit), Mosambi (Sweet lime), Santara (Orange), Aam (Mango), Amarood (Guava), Badara, Shareepha/ sitaphal (Custard apple), Naashapaatee (Pear), Phalsa (Phalsa berries), Sookhe anjeer (Dried figs), Kismis (Raisins), Seb (Apple), Khubaanee (Apricot), Baadaam (Almond), Sookhe khazoor (Dried dates), Amla (Fresh and Dried).

Seasonal Fruits

Month Fruits
January Seb (Apple), Mousambi (Sweet Lime), Kela (Banana), Anaar (Pomegranate), Angoor (Grapes), Amarood (Guava), Badar (Berries), Chickoo (Sapodilla), Ananaas (Pineapple) etc.
February Kela (Banana), Chikoo (Sapodilla), Seb (Apple), Amarood (Guava) , Anaar(Pomegranate), Badar(Berries) etc.
March Angoor (Grapes), Santara (Orange), Kinoo (Mandarin hybrid), Chikoo (Sapodilla), Seb (Apple), Papeeta (Papaya), Kela (Banana), Anaar(Pomegranate) etc.
April Angoor (Grapes), Aam (Mango) , Papeeta (Papaya), Kela (Banana), Santra (Orange), Tarabooj (Watermelon), Kharabooja (Muskmelon) etc.
May Jamun (Blackberry), Lychee (Litchis), Kela (Banana), Papeeta (Papaya), Tarabooj (Watermelon), Kharabooja (Muskmelon), Aam (Mango), etc.
June Jamun (Blackberry), Lychee (Litchis), Aam (Mango), Kela (Banana), Papeeta (Papaya), Aadoo (Peech), Ber(Plum) etc
July Jamun (Blackberry), Tarabooj (Watermelon), Sharifa (Custard Apple), Cheree (Cherries), Aadoo (Peach), Ber (Plum), Naspati (Pear)
August Sharifa (Custard Apple), Anaar (Pomegranate), Papaya (papeeta), Banana (Kela), Pear(Naspati)
September Seb (Apple), Mousambi (Sweet lime), Naspati (Pear), Kela (Banana)
October Papeeta (Papaya), Kela (Banana), Anaanaas (Pineapple) etc
November Seb (Apple), Amarood (Guava), Anaar (Pomegranate), Chikoo (Sapodilla), Mousambi (Sweet lime), Kela (Banana), Strawberry etc.
December Seb (Apple), Amarood (Guava) , Mousambi (Sweet Lime), Anaar(Pomegranate), Kela (Banana), Strawberry etc.

Dietary Don'ts

  • Avoid Staying empty stomach for a prolonged period.
  • Avoid eating late at night.
  • Avoid eating preferably within three hours of previously eaten meal or snack.
  • Avoid deserts after food; instead have sweet items at the beginning.
  • Avoid eating Curd at Night.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and carbonated soft drinks, and switch to locally prepared healthy, vitality-boosting fruit juices, soups, fresh beverages etc..
  • Avoid use of non-stick utensils for cooking: Most nonstick pans are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon. When exposed to heat, cookware becomes a source of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been linked to a range of health problems including thyroid disease, infertility in women, organ damage and developmental and reproductive problems. Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have also been declared as "likely carcinogens".
  • Avoid re-heating of food: Reheating may cause loss in nutritional value and often leads to the chemical change in food which may cause food poisoning and food-borne diseases.

Source : Ministry of AYUSH

Last Modified : 11/29/2023

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