Humanity has always been interested in achieving and maintaining youth, as well as prolonging longevity by slowing the aging process. For years, the quest for the fountain of youth has been long and arduous, yet many of us are left with more questions than answers. However, what if the answer is not about reversing age, but about aging gracefully? That’s where the Ayurvedic diet comes in.
Rather than making grand promises of eternal youth, this diet instead focuses on the principles of balance and harmony – promoting optimal health and well-being in the present moment and beyond. Ayurveda starts from the premise of prevention, meaning it is more focused on creating long-lasting well-being and longevity rather than treating.
We’re all searching for the fountain of youth, intentionally or not. Something that will significantly slow down the aging process inside-out. From creams to surgery, we’ve tried it all, but Ayurveda holds true the belief that the secret to immortality lies in something as simple as our diet and lifestyle.
The holistic teachings of Ayurveda
The word Ayurveda comes from ayur, which means life, and veda which means knowledge, or science. In short, Ayurveda is the science of life. That means that if there’s one place you should take lifestyle advice from, it is from the teachings of Ayurveda.
Perfected over the course of thousands of years, this way of living is rooted in a holistic view of life. Moreover, Ayurveda believes that everything we consume, we become. On a daily basis we consume food, information, energy, and emotions, and the way we process this reflects in our whole being. That is why an Ayurvedic lifestyle is mindful of and incorporates all 5 pillars of holistic health.
In all fairness, immortality is a longshot concept. Our bodies are a vessel of our spirits and undoubtedly it will cease to exist eventually. So rather than looking at physical immortality as the ultimate goal, let’s instead turn to the more attainable purpose of aging gracefully. To me, this concept of aging gracefully is about embracing getting old, accepting the passing of time and its effects on the body, and, maybe most importantly, supporting the body in its process.
So how can you best support your body through the passage of time?
The Ayurvedic Diet for Anti-aging and Longevity
According to Ayurveda, the secret to longevity and vitality is as simple as your diet. The pursuit of a youthful appearance and healthy aging has been popular for years, with various superfoods and fad diets promising the key to achieving it all.
What Ayurveda does differently is its approach based on individual constitutions, or doshas, and focuses on fresh, organic, whole foods tailored to our specific needs. With its emphasis on mindful eating, stress reduction, and natural remedies, Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to wellness that could very well unlock the secrets to a longer, healthier life.
Here are some of the key teachings of Ayurveda for living a long and healthy life.
The is no top 10 chart when it comes to what contributes to optimal health, but if there would be, nutrition would be number 1. That’s to say that keeping a healthy gut environment and feeding our bodies with the right nutrients is vital to our health. After all, food is life.
Not only food though, but rather gut health is life. If your gut environment is not functioning properly, then food can’t be broken down, nutrients can’t be absorbed into the tissues, and toxins, or ama, form in the body. With it, our mental well-being is affected as well as the functioning of all the other systems in the body. Therefore, learning how food works for us and our unique body types is paramount.
If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, I got you covered! Download here the complete nutrition guide to the Ayurvedic diet.
Reducing levels of stress
You might know it already by now, but stress is one of the main culprits of an array of physical and mental conditions. We are increasingly tired and wired to everything around us and constantly playing catch up. Years ago I was there, and trust me, that’s not a place where you can thrive. And that is exactly what you want to do in life – thrive. Taking control of all aspects of yourself and living intentionally and consciously in the world inside and outside is when you truly thrive.
Eckhart Tolle defines stress as the loss of the present moment, which I think is so well put. When you become aware and just live in the present moment is when you consciously make decisions that help you move forward with ease. Easier said than done, I get it. Keep on reading for some simple but effective things you can do to minimize stress and reclaim your present moment.
Abhyanga (warm oil massage) – helps calm the nervous system all while increasing circulation, nourishing your skin, and delaying aging.
Dinacharya (daily routine) – try to keep a daily routine that will help you improve focus, reduce anxiety and stress and increase productivity.
Nasya (oil nasal drops) – helps clear the mind by clearing the nasal passage of any impurities and toxins.
Yoga – helps calm down the nervous system and reduces stress by focusing on the present moment
Pranayama (breathing exercises) – helps increase the oxygen flow to the brain while calming the nervous system
Just as important, properly eliminating toxins and waste from our bodies is vital to ensure long-lasting optimal health. The body has a very well-oiled detoxification system, through the liver and lymph system, kidneys, and colon. Understanding how to support these systems in their natural detoxification process is a sure way of warding off disease and promoting well-being.
More on detoxification and how to support your body in effectively eliminating toxins here.
Create and support balance
Balance is key in all areas of life. A balanced lifestyle and diet are paramount to maintaining well-being, but it goes further than that. So what does that mean, a balanced lifestyle?
Leading a balanced lifestyle means not only exercising and eating right but being mindful of your mental, spiritual, and environmental health too. Exercise is king, we know that by now. Nutrition is the very essence of our being, we know that too. However, often times we overlook some very important aspects that can have a great impact on our overall well-being. Mental, environmental, and spiritual health are equally as important and can have a massive impact on our quality of life.
Read here how to start creating balance in your life.
Rejuvenation and enhanced vitality
We are by now increasingly aware of the damaging effects of free radicals on our bodies. Inflammation and oxidation are some of the major factors that speed up the aging process and create disease. As I mentioned before, Ayurveda has as its main focus prevention and increasing the quality of life. And it does this by relying on the medicinal properties of food, herbs, and spices.
For example, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that stave off inflammation and free radicals. Turmeric and cumin, among others, have anti-inflammatory properties and enhance brain function. Herbs like Brahmi and Ashwagandha have antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals and promote cellular rejuvenation.
I’ve compiled here a list of the most common spices and herbs that help fight inflammation and enhance vitality.
Well, not the proverbial “last words”. In essence, the Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle are the pathway to longevity and anti-aging. We must understand that our bodies are complex and dependent on a range of factors beyond just random food consumption.
This holistic approach emphasizes the importance of physical activity, mental and emotional well-being, and environmental surroundings. It encourages the consumption of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables while minimizing processed and artificial ingredients. At the same time, it focuses on a series of helping techniques and rituals that support the body in its processes and that promote much balance between mind, body, and soul.