Whenever we are not well and visit a doctor, he generally suggests a blood check-up and if someone is diagnosed with some deficiency related to protein, vitamin, Iron, etc our entire focus shifts on having that food which are rich in those particular nutrients, we feel that by having these in rich quantity we will be able to replenish them and in that way, we shift our focus only on the food, but have you thought about this that in the same family of ours other adult person is having same food but are not showing a deficiency of the same nutrients which we are lacking in ourselves. The reason can be our own metabolism which is not able to extract the vital nutrients from our daily food intake and thus creating problem for us. Unlike modern understanding nutritional aspect of food, Ayurveda follows a slightly different approach in which having food is not enough, one has to know the below-mentioned factors in order to understand the nutritional aspect of the food.
1. Prakriti (Nature)- Every food as some basic nature which may be heavy, light, cold, hot, etc and generally we link this nature of theirs with their nutritional value but below mentioned factors can completely change their nature.
2. Karan ( Processing) - This factor can entirely change the property of food, like simply adding some water into curd followed by churning and making buttermilk entirely changes property of curd. As curd is known for causing obstruction of channels, water retention in the body where as buttermilk is known for removing blockage and water retention from the body.
3. Samyoga(Combination) - This can be explained by a simple example of Honey and Ghee, both are excellent for body but in Ayurveda it is clearly mentioned that when taken together in equal proportion it proves toxic for the body. This shows the combination of two good foods can prove harmful for the body, so knowledge regarding the combination of food is essential.
4. Rashi (Quantity) - One should eat until the feeling of satiety arrives, which can be easily understood if one eats with full attention towards the food.
5 & 6. Desh & Kaal (Place & time) - both these factors can be understood by taking into the fact that nature gives everything as per location and season. One should eat what is available in a particular season in that particular place rather than having something which is exotic.
7. Upoyog Samantha (Rules in dietetics) - One should follow this simple rule which says eat when hungry and drink when thirsty. One should understand that no matter how good food you are eating, but if you are eating it without feeling hungry then it won't serve any purpose.
8. Upayukta (person consuming food) - The same food can have an entirely different effect on two different individuals. For, eg, if someone is habitual of spicy food he won't be facing any problems with that whereas for some one it might lead to high discomfort. So we can clearly understand that it's not only food which matters but these 8 factors are very much important in deciding the nutritional aspect of the food.