Here are some practical hints on choosing the right diet and management of eating habits.

If we could learn some things about food energies, if we knew how to eat and drink healthily according to our constitution and our mental, emotional and physical condition, we could avoid illness and conserve our strength, energy and good mood.

In Chapter 12 of Charaka Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic medical text, Charaka has described in great detail the secrets of Pathya, the concept of healthy, balanced diets for all conditions.

He says there are three pillars of life: Ahara or diet, Nidra or sleep, and Brahmacharya or celibacy.

So you can see how people suffering from sleepless nights could benefit from eating a wholesome diet.

Many people's sexual appetite increases after eating spicy curries, meat, chocolates and pizzas and drinking alcohol.

These are kapha and pitta foods water and fire energies which stimulate the sexual centres of the brain.

Ayurveda boldly declares that medicine is ineffective on the body if the patient does not eat a wholesome diet, as medicine does nothing to build the body's tissues, strength and immunity.

Whatever food we eat should be well digested, otherwise it causes toxins. Hence the need for digestive herbs and spices in our cooking.

Vegetables, meat, rice and lentils should be cooked with ginger, cardamom, oregano, mint, cumin, dill, turmeric and coriander.

After dinner, drink herb teas containing mint, cardamom, ginger, lemon balm, cinnamon, or black pepper with lemon and honey to ensure good digestion.

Coffee or tea is unwholesome and toxic immediately after a meal.

Ayurveda prescribes the live, natural yogurt drink lassi after a meal. Prepare your own by blending half a cup of live, natural yogurt with a glass of water and adding a quarter teaspoon of rock salt, ground coriander and cumin powder.

If you want to, you can garnish with whole cumin seeds and sweet neem leaves lightly fried in sesame seed oil.

This is considered to be a stomach settler and detoxifying drink.

According to Ayurveda, the most important factor in healing the body is the fire of metabolism, or agni the enzymes and hormones which control the assimilation and transformation of food into body tissues and blood cells.

If this is strong, there can be no illness in the body.

If you would like to know more about holistic Ayurvedic cooking for good health, contact Asmita about her classes on 01273 563340.