Superfoods for Better Balance + an Ayurvedic Recipe
Imbalance in the body and mind can majorly affect your overall health. Keeping yourself mentally and physically balanced is a vital part of feeling your best. One way to bring more balance to your life is by including superfoods that stimulate a grounding effect on both body and mind. Though everyone has their own bio-individual needs, incorporating foods high in vitamins and minerals that promote brain function, good digestion, and metabolic health is a key aspect to achieving balance.
Originated in India thousands of years ago, Ayurveda is a system of healing that encourages balance within the mind, body, and spirit. In the Ayurvedic tradition, diet and lifestyle practices are recommended based on an individual’s dosha, or type. According to Ayurveda, eating and living in harmony with your type supports balance and good health.
Within the Ayurvedic diet, there are a variety of healing spices, teas, tonics, herbs, and oils intended to make your body feel balanced according to its bio-individual needs. The intention of these Ayurvedic superfoods is to reduce inflammation, stress, and adrenal dysfunction; relieve pain; and enhance digestion and gut health, all to create overall balance in the body.
Here are some of our favorite balancing superfoods:
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps the body modulate its reaction to stressful conditions. Some of its many benefits include promoting healthy cortisol levels and supporting a relaxed and stable mood, leaving you feeling more balanced. In Ayurveda, ashwagandha root is also said to encourage proper hormonal function and promote happiness.
This bright and vibrant spice often seen in Indian cuisine is more than just a powerful flavor addition! It’s also packed with curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich compound that helps detoxify the body. Turmeric is best absorbed by the body when combined with black pepper.
Triphala is a staple to Ayurvedic medicine. It consists of three plants – amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki. This Ayurveda essential contains antioxidants that protect the body from causes of stress and fight chronic disease. It has also been used as a natural laxative to treat constipation. Don’t worry, though! You won’t have to travel long and far to reap the benefits of this superfood combo. Due to popularity, it’s now commonly found online and at most natural health food stores.
Loved or hated, ginger is among the healthiest spices out there. It contains powerful medicinal properties that have long been used to support health. From cold control to cancer prevention, ginger has been used to heal a variety of health matters.
Ghee is the clarified form of butter, meaning it has been separated from the milk solids, producing a nuttier golden fat. Ghee is cooked longer than clarified butter and can cook at higher temperatures without burning. It contains fat-soluble vitamins A and E and promotes heart health. Many Indian and Ayurvedic dishes are cooked with grass-fed ghee due to its anti-inflammatory health benefits.
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate these superfoods into your diet, check out the kitchari recipe below!
Ayurvedic Kitchari Superfood Recipe
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1/2 cup mung dal (split mung beans)
- 1/2 inch grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped leafy greens (kale, arugula, or spinach)
- In a large pot, melt ghee over medium-low heat.
- Once ghee has melted, add rice, mung dal, and spices. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add carrots and cover again, cooking for 15–25 more minutes, until water has evaporated.
- Add leafy greens and mix until they cook down.
- Add additional water if necessary. Consistency should be thick.