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April 19, 2008

Health and Meat

Of course meat has it's place in Ayurveda. Partridge meat, for example, is used for semen production and memory. The blood of lions and leopards and the liver of young female animals are all used pharmaceutically too. But these animals are healthy, freshly killed and sacrificed with great ceremony. A far cry from the meat available in your local supermarket, no doubt. Such animals may have lived it's life indoors, rarely excercised, eaten an un-natural diet and been slaughtered weeks ago after watching the death of many other animals and without any great reverence for it's soul.

Which brings me to the affect of meat on our health, one of my main reasons for choosing not to eat it. The meat we eat today hardly fulfils our medicinal needs, and therefore is not hugely beneficial for our health, and in some ways it is detremental. If you do choose to eat meat, which can be a very good choice for Vata for example, there are a few things you can do to help your body along.

Meat is very difficult to digest, so cook and chew it well. Eat it in small amounts and with appropriate spices to balance your dosha and that of the meat. Meat also creates both tamas and rajas, so make sure the rest of the food you eat is very sattvic, peace promoting food.

Above all avoid bad food combinations, there are many foods meat should not be eaten along side, so keep your meat meals simple. Do not mix meat with eggs, milk, fruit, yoghurt or cheese. In fact eat all of these foods at least a couple of hours apart from each other.

But only the most grounded Kapha could live on vegetables alone. For the rest of us, the choice to omit meat from our diets must accompanied by the addition of other good quality sources or protein and fat. Mung beans, nuts, seeds, ghee, olive oil, sesame oil, milk, soft cheeses and fresh young tofu all offer adequate and satisfying long term nutrition, without the need for meat.

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