What's healthy?

Reading the latest health news or diet books can be really confusing. It seems like each week there is a new superfood or dietary cure all that will save us (mostly from ourselves). If only we can eat enough acai berries or drink enough kale smoothies, we will finally achieve health. Until tomorrow when there is something new to eat.

Most nutritional reports and news blurbs focus on the food in isolation- the food’s basic nutritional components. And, to be fair, I assumed that’s all there was to it for a long time. If a food is high in a vitamin or low in something else, it must me ‘good for me’. And what’s good for one person must be good for everyone else.

What these reports don’t take into account, is that food is not macro- and micronutrients in a vacuum. They are substances that are being consumed by individual people with unique constitutions and lifestyles during a particular time of the year in a specific climate. Not to mention how they were grown.

In Ayurveda, how a food interacts with your constitution is more important than its general make-up. What works for person a (during summer) may not work for person b (during summer) or person a during winter or person a during the summer of another year.

This means that even if we eat every food mentioned in the news, we still might not be at our optimal health. Our bodies may also be very confused. Bummer. Or not?

Maybe eating in an Ayurvedic way is freedom from health trends. Maybe this means you have a chance to figure out (by trial and error or by working with someone) which foods work for you now and help you feel your best without feeling pressure to stay on top of each of the latest food trends.

Treat eating like any other experiment. It’s a chance to explore different foods in different seasons and figure out what works for you. And don’t feel so bad if you can’t afford acai berries or don’t really like kale! However, I’ve heard morning celery juice is all the rage right now!

Cecelia BaumComment