In Ayurvedic medicine, food is far more than fuel – it is vital for our physical and spiritual health, with certain foods helping to heal ailments and boost the immune system. The principles of this ancient healing system perfectly reflect Hippocrates’ famous quote: ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’
In Ayurveda, certain ingredients are prized for their healing power. When used alongside Ayurvedic principles of balance, these Ayurvedic superfoods can leave you feeling fantastic. Here is our guide to the top five.
Ginger has long been prized for its healing properties. From morning sickness to stomach problems, this superfood root has been shown to soothe the stomach and relieve nausea. Ginger should therefore form an important part of an Ayurvedic diet. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, it can naturally stimulate appetite, improve digestion, and even soothe join pain. It's a great anti-inflammatory superfood and goes well teas and savoury dishes.
Ashwagandha is one of the most important medicinal herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha offers similar adaptogenic properties to the ginseng and is often considered its Ayurvedic counterpart. This mean it’s a fantastic remedy for the stress, insomnia and strains of modern day life, helping the body cope with stressful situations while also boosting energy and relieving anxiety. It's also been shown to support adrenal and thyroid health.
Cinnamon is often used in Ayurvedic practice to help increase the bioavailability of other herbs. It's a great warming spice and has numerous health benefits. In fact researchers have identified 41 different protective compounds in Ceylon cinnamon, making it one of the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world. Cinnamon’s nutritional clout means it also as some pretty impressive anti-inflammatory credentials too. There is also growing research that it may help reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
You should be well aware of the healing properties of Turmeric by now. This superfood offers all-round support for the brain, joints, skin and immune system and boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. As well as being used for thousands of years as a natural medicine, in recent years the power of Turmeric Curcumin has been backed by plenty of clinical studies, making it a superfood you can really trust.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Turmeric powder is eaten in curries, added to golden milk and even made into a paste and used as a topical treatment for arthritis and skin conditions. Make sure to consume Turmeric with black pepper and fat to boost its effectiveness.
In Ayurvedic healing, Garlic comes into its own in the colder months. In the cold and damp, fiery Garlic is used to help treat and ward off colds and flu. Thanks to its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, it’s a great superfood to boost the immune system and keep you healthy throughout the winter season. Simply add it to soups, stews and broths – you can even eat it raw if you feel up to it!
Ayurveda prizes natural ingredients that boast plenty of health credentials. If you add a wide selection of these Ayurvedic superfoods to your everyday diet, you’re sure to feel the benefits.