Why does Ayurveda recommend consuming sweets before meals and not after them?
Many of us crave sweets after having food, but ancient Indian culture recommends us to eat sweets before we start with our full-fledged meal. We all know that our ancestors have all these rules made for us so that our body works efficiently. Obviously there has to be a reason behind this rule as well.
It is believed that ayurvedic eating order is according to taste, i.e. sweet, sour, salt, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Eat foods that satisfy all 6 tastes to stay healthy. Foods with a single taste or few tastes can lead to a range of health problems.
Let's dig a little deeper to know why we have to follow this good old rule, shall we?
"The sweet taste acts rapidly on the taste buds and saliva”. Eating the sweet thing initially empowers the progression of stomach related emissions, It speeds up the digestion process and also helps your taste buds.
Not just that, few studies have shown that if you end your meal with sweets it will react with the acid and you will eventually end up with Acidity, Bloating and Gas.
Unlike today's culture, when people eat sweets as a last course of their meal, Ayurveda suggests eating sweets first because they are dominated by earth and water elements which are heavy by nature and are therefore difficult to digest, at the beginning of meal the digestive power is at its highest level, which allows people to digest sweet foods (sugar, rice, etc.) quickly. As per Ayurvedic tradition, sweets are served first, as eating sweets at the end of a meal reduces digestion, slowing agni (digestive fire) and metabolism. Many diseases, including diabetes, obesity, thyroid disorders, and PCOS, can be caused by slow metabolism.
Fennel seeds or buttermilk can be consumed at the end of a meal to aid digestion and to clean the mouth. In India, a leaf of betel with betel nuts called as paan, can also be eaten
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Author of the Blog: Dr.Ronak Naik
Expert Review By: Dr Smita Pankaj Naram
Co-Founder, Ayushakti Ayurved Pvt Ltd