Ayurveda, a science of health and wellness, is a part of Hindu doctrine. Literally, Ayurveda means Vedas of Ayu, which translates as the Wisdom of Living. Ayurveda is a holistic approach to wellbeing and wellness. It not only treats your physical, mental, and emotional diseases but also has a set of rules for lifestyle and eating for healthy living. Ancient Ayurvedic treaties have extensively elaborated on what you should eat, what you should not eat, which cereals are good, which cereals are not so good, and what you should regularly include in your diet. Ayurveda even mentions when you should eat and in what quantities, which food goes well with which food, and which food you should avoid eating while eating a certain food.
Hindu culture highly regards rice and barley, no rituals are complete without using rice and barley. Anthropologists suggest that barley was one of the first cereals human beings started eating. In fact, barley is also one of the first cultivated grains. People started growing barley in Eurasia about 10 thousand years ago. Since the earliest Hindus lived in the Eurasia region basically in and around the Caspian Sea, barley not only consisted of the staple diet but also was an important part of the rituals.
The earliest Hindus were also nomadic tribes. They constantly moved east, towards the Indian Sub-continent, for better prospects. By the time the nomadic Hindus came to the Indian sub-continent, rice was already widely cultivated in this place. Hindus adopted the natives’ food culture and included rice in their staple diet also rituals. Rice was first cultivated about 9400 years ago.
Cereal as a part of a staple diet
Even though Hindu culture highly regards rice and barley, and Ayurveda as a part of Hindu doctrine sides with that view, Ayurveda also suggests that humans should eat varieties of foods that include cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and milk products. Ayurveda strictly prohibits eating meat products such as eggs, fish, and meat.
A staple diet consists of foods that are regularly eaten and provides necessary nutrients and calories. The staple foods consist of plant-based foods like cereal (rice, corn, wheat, etc.), tubers (potatoes, yam, sweet potatoes, etc.), meat products ( eggs, meat, fish), vegetables (cabbage, spinach, etc. and legumes (beans, chickpeas, etc.). Staple foods vary according to the region. For example, in Africa, staple foods include 46 percent cereal, tubers 20 percent, animal products 7 percent, and the remaining 27 percent of food includes vegetables, lentils, etc. However, in Europe, 33 percent of staple foods consist of meat products, 26 percent of cereals, 4 percent of tubers, and the remaining 34 percent of food includes vegetables fruits, etc. Irrespective of region, cereal forms the major part of staple foods.
Botanists have listed about 21 varieties of grains or cereal so to speak, however, wheat, rice, and corn are three major kinds of cereal. In fact, wheat, rice, and corn consist of 2/3 of the major energy and nutrient source for human beings. Rice is a staple diet in Asia and Africa, whereas Wheat is a staple diet in Europe and America. Corn is widely consumed in Africa and America.
The best staple diet according to Ayurveda
Ayurveda suggests eating vegetarian food. According to Ayurveda, plant-based food is the best food for the body. Ayurvedic treaties explain that plant-based foods not only provide all the required nutrients and calories for the body but also minimize the risk of various diseases, cure different diseases, and also help you live longer. Ayurvedic diet plans include various grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and milk products. While eating grains, you should eat all types of grains instead of sticking to one or two varieties of grain. In other words, instead of eating rice all day long, or eating only wheat-based bread in a three-course meal, you should include different grains in your food. For example, if you ate wheat-based bread for breakfast, you can eat rice for lunch. When you ate rice for lunch, skip eating rice for dinner, instead, you can choose oats, barley, buckwheat, millet, or any other grains of your choice.
Ayurveda suggests eating whole-grain bread. Whole grain means unprocessed grain that includes all essential nutrients. Ayurveda also recommends eating multi-grain bread. For example, instead of eating only wheat-based bread, you should also include barley, buckwheat, millet, etc.
Best cereal according to Ayurveda
As mentioned above, Ayurveda suggests eating varieties of grains instead of eating one or two varieties of cereal. However, it is also true that only three grains of rice, wheat, and corn form the staple diet for human consumption.
Rice Vs. Wheat Vs. Corn
You might also be wondering how rice compares with wheat or corn, or let’s say between rice, wheat, and corn which grain is best for human consumption. To be true, there is nothing such as the best grain, every grain has good things and bad things. However, we can make comparisons based on nutrition and calorie value.