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Food is one of the pillars which sustain health according to Ayurveda. Eating is an awareness which should be developed. Our body is like a clock and body loves rhythm. The more we respect the biological rhythm the more healthy we are. Efficiency of the body depends on the regularity. We all have these certain times of the day when we eat – sometimes we might move that up and down because of our schedule. For those of us who follow certain discipline and time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, when we breech it we may find ourselves uncomfortable.
As per Ayurveda, what is the correct time to eat food?
Eat when you are hungry.
Yes, that would mean that the previous meal has been digested properly and completely, and the body is sending signal by making you feel hungry. But while it will take some time to figure out and understand the signals from our bodies, we should also make sure that we do not end up giving a huge gap between meals. As soon as the body craves for it, we should feed it.
Ayurveda is against the saying Eat breakfast like a king. Best time to have breakfast is between 7:30-8:30, light breakfast.
As per Ayurveda, lunch is the most important meal of that day, which should ideally be eaten at noon between 12 to 2 pm, which is when the Sun is at its peak and so is the Pitta (innate heat) in our bodies, which takes care of the digestion.
Dinner should be nourishing and easily digestible before 2-3 hours of sleep.
As important is eating so is the amount of water drank. It’s best to avoid drinking too much water along with the food. Best is to take maximum a glass of water. To hydrate the body, the best time to take water is 90 minutes before or after the main meal.
If we eat a particular meal at a particular time every day, then our body gets used to it. Our nervous system gets used to it and it will work smoothly and efficiently without any stress. The body will crave for food and feel hungry at the same time every day, and we might feel like emptying our bowels at the same time every single day. Metabolism will be proper with the least amount of toxic by-product of improper digestion i.e. Ama. But when our food timings are all over the place, we end up confusing our bodies – which means that the other processes associated like digestion, assimilation, excretion also get messed up and confused, leading to problems like indigestion constipation and Ama (the endotoxin overload).
Ayurveda suggests that eating the right kind of food at a regular time every day can go a long way in keeping diseases, especially metabolic disorders at a distance, for as long as possible. It will also help in avoiding weight-gain, as food, when eaten in the right quantity and at the right time, will be converted into energy and not fat.