Elimination Diets – How Ayurveda Can Remove Some of the Guesswork
If you have some sort of imbalance in the body and need to do an elimination diet to find out which foods or food groups you are sensitive to, it can be a daunting task. Ayurvedic principles can help you to narrow the choices and therefore cut down on the time and trouble of elimination diets, and get to the core of your problem much more quickly and efficiently…
Whether your imbalance be IBS, eczema, arthritis, asthma, or so many other conditions affected by diet, if you start from scratch with a fast and then start to gradually reintroduce food groups until your condition flares, it can be the work of months before you even start to piece the puzzle together.
Wouldn’t it be useful if you could have a clearer idea of the foods that might be the most likely to trigger your unique physiology into a flare even before you start your elimination diet, so you could maybe leave them until last before reintroducing them? This is where Ayurveda can help.
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian science of self-healing, and it deals with separating body types, foods, seasons, age, imbalances and many other factors into a combination of three types, or doshas, called vata, pitta and kapha.
Determining your Ayurvedic body type from either a visit to a vaidya (an Ayurvedic physician) or from a simple questionnaire such as the one in my book, and then checking to see if a particular food balances or unbalances that particular dosha can obviously narrow down the myriad of choices involved in elimination diets significantly.
For example, if you have arthritis, which is mainly a combination of vata and pitta imbalances and you are a pitta body type, you can check to see which foods aggravate pitta, such as wheat, eggs, dairy, hot spices, citrus fruits etc, and avoid them as they might well trigger inflammation, or, in Ayurvedic terms, aggravate pitta dosha.
You could also use the Ayurvedic guidelines to calm vata dosha, such as regular routine, early bedtimes, gentle exercise, yoga or Somatic Movement Education and meditation to help the diet plan along and further balance the physiology.
In this way you are looking at the situation holistically, which is always the best way to approach health matters, and at the same time giving yourself a huge head start in the complicated puzzle that elimination diets can pose.
For more information see my book, Pure Activity.