The traditional system of medicine, Unani lays stress on the importance of diet on health. According to Avicenna, most of the illnesses arise as a result of prolonged disorders related to diet and regimen. There are three aspects of food metabolism, namely digestion, assimilation and residue. All of these must be carried out efficiently for a person to remain healthy. All the dietary systems, including both natural and alternative, assess all the food according to their components.
Components here mean proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, amino
acids, and so forth. In Unani, the food is selected according to its
ability to improve the metabolic activity of the body in general and
specific organs in particular. Moreover, the nutritive value of the food
is also kept in mind while choosing the food. Other than this, there are
a number of other factors, which are kept in mind like the food items
should be in accordance with the temperament of the individual,
appropriate season, age, climate etc.
The food should also be able to produce a balance amongst the four
essential humors of the body. The other aspect of the therapy relates to
the timing of the foods. The breakfast should be taken a short while
after you get up and perform your daily toilet and prayer activities.
The noon meal should be taken after the sun passes the midpoint in the
sky. You can also take a nap for about thirty to forty five minutes,
after lunch. The evening meal should be taken just after sunset,
concluding at least two to three hours before you go to sleep.
Another thing to be considered is that foods should be consumed in the
season, they are harvested in. This is because the body accommodates
them better this way. While it is a boon that all the fruits and
vegetables are available throughout the year, due to technological
advancements; eating non seasonal foods confuses the temperaments and
burdens the metabolism of the body. Besides, there are some eating
habits which should be cultivated for healthy living.
It includes that food to be eaten should belong to the place you live
in, as it contains antidotes for all the bacteria and viruses in your
region. The food should not be eaten unless you have the appetite, and
also should not be delayed after that. Do not stay hungry for long and
then stuff yourself with food. It pressurizes the digestive system. Some
light activity should be practiced after the meal, like walking. After
the initial stage of digestion, tea can be taken.