Ayurvedic medicine has been around for millennia, but its popularity in the West is taking off more and more each year. It’s become synonymous with clean, healthy living, and as a result, a growing number of people are seeking to work it into their lives in any way they can. While not everyone can make it to an Ayurvedic spa, integrating the health-care plan into one’s diet is more accessible — and here, it’s increasingly being fused with another wellness trend: CBD.
CBD has captured the attention of America’s foodies, and it’s not just because CBD jelly beans are now a thing. According to a survey of the nation’s leading chefs and restaurateurs, CBD-infused foods and beverages are expected to be among the top gastronomic trends of 2019. Thanks to the extract’s many medicinal qualities, it’s earned a reputation as the health-conscious eater’s new must-have ingredient.
So if you’re one of the many Americans wondering how you can incorporate both CBD and Ayurveda into your daily life, a diet plan is a great way to do it.
The Ayurvedic lifestyle is based on the teachings of an ancient Indian spiritual tradition. Ayurvedic practitioners focus on achieving balance in the body, mind, and spirit, which is achieved through actions like through healthy eating, therapeutic massage, and yogic breathing. The aim is to create a harmonious equilibrium of the three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha), which are considered the elemental energies of life. According to Ayurvedic belief, each person has a unique mix of these doshas, which entails a highly personalized approach to any form of the practice.
Your “Ayurvedic diet” will depend on your particular combination of doshas, but several principles are universal. First, moderation: this doesn’t refer only to your portion size (overeating is discouraged, as you might expect) but also your speed. You should eat slowly enough to appreciate the different flavors of your food, but quickly enough to keep it from getting cold. Mindful eating is also encouraged — some people interpret this as “don’t watch TV during dinner,” while others take it a step further, and refrain from conversation or reading. In any case, the intention is to keep your focus on your food.
Speaking of food, a typical Ayurvedic meal will contain some combination of the six rasas, or tastes. These are sweet (like sweet potatoes), salty (like nuts), sour (like grapefruit), pungent (like garlic), astringent (like green apples), and bitter (like broccoli). The rasas are eaten in sequential order, and at each step, it’s easy to add CBD.
Incorporating CBD into any diet plan is a relatively easy thing to do. Ayurvedic medicine sets out certain dietary recommendations depending on your doshas — these tell you what foods you should eat more or less of. For example, someone whose dominant dosha is “vata” should stay away from raw apples, though cooked apples are fine. Once you know which foods to seek out or avoid, you can start experimenting with CBD-infused dishes.
Cooking with CBD can be as easy or advanced as you like. The first (and perhaps easiest) way to add the oil to your diet is simply to pour some into the dish you’re preparing. If you’re cooking a pot of soup or blending up a smoothie, just add a few drops of CBD and you’re done. Use an eyedropper to ensure you’re not adding too much — as always, it’s best to start low and go slow — and make sure you’re using a full spectrum CBD oil to get the most of its metabolism-stimulating, anxiety-soothing, inflammation-reducing effects.
One word of warning: CBD by itself does not have an especially pleasant taste. That’s one reason it’s commonly added to sweets, where its flavor can be hidden by chocolate or sugar. However, since these types of foods are unlikely to be a cornerstone of your Ayurvedic diet, you may want to consider adding it to other fresh-cooked dishes like curries or hummus.
The good news is that this also is relatively simple. Although CBD does have some quirks — for example, it doesn’t do well with direct heat and it actually evaporates at temperatures above 356 degrees Fahrenheit — it can be a versatile addition to everything from scrambled eggs to almond butter (cooked foods that are high in healthy fats are great candidates for a CBD-infusion, since this will help mask the taste).
Ayurvedic diet plans can be a great way for people of all body types to feel better, whether that means losing weight, eating healthier, or simply being more mindful about their food. Coupled with the proven benefits of CBD, this might be a diet trend worth watching.