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Unlocking the Power of Curd: Ayurvedic Guidelines for Consuming and Enjoying Curd

Updated: Mar 21




Curd lovers- satiate your cravings


The science of medicine- Ayurveda originated in ancient India and holds a deep understanding of Dosha, taking longer periods to balance a huge treasure of knowledge about eating habits for staying hale and hearty.

Curd is one of the popular milk products that’s enjoyed by many along with their meals. The creamy, slightly sour, curd, rich in many benefits, has been a part of our diet and boasts even more properties according to Ayurveda.Our ancestors since the Vedic times. Made by souring boiled milk naturally, curd has a wide variety of bacteria that nurture our digestive system and boost.


According to Ayurveda, the overall immunity boost from fermented food like curd, which is sour in taste and extremely healthy, justifies its consumption, but it should not be overdone for the stomach. It is good for the gut and moisturizes the skin as well. It helps in boosting the immune system, improves digestion, and contributes to weight loss.


A powerhouse of riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and pantothenic acid, curd also has lactic acid which helps in the absorption of nutrients

Curd is sour in taste, hot in nature, is heavy to digest increases fat, improves strength, increases kapha and pitta (reduced Vata) and improves agni


Avoid making these mistakes while eating curd.

·       One should not consume curd at night. The curd is heavy to digest.  It is also hot in potency.  Therefore, when consumed at night, it may interfere with your sleep as extra energy is required for its digestion. 

·       It also triggers the secretion of mucus making the condition adverse for individuals suffering from Asthma, a condition that takes a longer period to manage according to Ayurveda.

·       As per the Ayurveda, curd pacifies vata, but increases kapha and pitta.

Do you know dosha, an important term in Ayurvedic health practice?

During the night, the Kapha Dosha upsurges. Thus, if the curd is consumed during the night, the effect of Kapha Dosha is augmented. In case you cannot refrain yourself from eating curd at night, Ayurveda recommends consuming it in moderation. after adding a pinch of black pepper and rock salt. 

Other options such as ghee, amla, and honey can also be added to curd when you consume it at night.

Alternatively, you can substitute curd with buttermilk. It will help in clearing the mucus secretions.


*Curd should not be heated. if you heat the curd, it can alter its properties which can lead to suffocation and swelling in your body.


*The daily consumption of curd is prohibited in Ayurveda. It is because curd is known to be heavy in nature and increases inflammation in the body. The Ayurvedic experts suggest that the only variation of curd that can be consumed regularly is churned buttermilk that has added spices such as rock salt, black pepper and cumin.

*One should always avoid eating curd when a person has a bleeding   disorder. Thus, if you are someone who has heavy period flow or nasal bleeding,it is considered best to avoid curd at all in your meals.

*As Per Ayurveda, do not mix your curd with fruits as it has the potential to be a channel blocker and incompatible.food. According to Ayurveda, long-time consumption would trigger metabolic issues, allergies, and potentially weight gain.

*According to Ayurveda, curd is incompatible with meat and fish. Any combination of curd should not be consumed without moderation, as recommended by Ayurveda.Cooked along with meats such as chicken, mutton, or fish will produce toxins inthe body.

What does Ayurveda say about yogurt?

Ayurveda views yogurt (dahi or curd) as a valuable food with both nutritional and therapeutic properties. As per Ayurveda, Curd's natural probiotics promote gut health, aiding in digestion and preventing constipation, adding that Ashtanga Hridayam, a foundational Ayurvedic text, suggests that curd boosts strength and promotes muscle tissue formation

Here's what Ayurveda says about yogurt:

Digestive Health: Yogurt is highly regarded in Ayurveda for its ability to support digestive health. Yogurt contains beneficial probiotics, enzymes, and lactic acid bacteria that can help maintain a healthy balance of gut flora, improve digestion, and support gastrointestinal function.

Nutritional Content: Yogurt is rich in essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin), potassium, and magnesium. It provides a good source of easily digestible protein and can be particularly beneficial for individuals who follow vegetarian or plant-based diets.

Aphrodisiac Properties:In Ayurveda, yogurt is sometimes considered an aphrodisiac food that can enhance sexual vitality, reproductive health, and fertility.

Contraindications: While yogurt is generally considered beneficial in Ayurveda, it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly individuals with certain health conditions or dietary restrictions. Those who are lactose intolerant, have dairy allergies, or follow strict vegan or dairy-free diets may need to avoid or limit their intake of yogurt.


What does Ayurveda say about GREEK yogurt?

Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine originating from India, generally emphasizes the importance of dietary choices in maintaining balance and health. While Ayurveda primarily focuses on whole foods and herbs, it doesn't specifically mention Greek yogurt as it is a relatively modern food product.


According to Ayurveda, foods are categorized based on their taste (rasa), heating or cooling effect (virya), and post-digestive effect (vipaka), among other factors.

Greek yogurt is typically sour in taste, which in Ayurveda is associated with the fire element (Agni) and can stimulate digestion.

The post-digestive effect of Greek yogurt is sour, which can help stimulate digestion and clear accumulated toxins (ama) in the body.

Greek yogurt is high in protein, calcium, probiotics, and other nutrients, making it a nourishing food choice for many individuals. However, those with imbalances or sensitivities should be mindful of their consumption, as excessive intake of dairy products may aggravate certain conditions, such as excess mucus production or digestive issues.


What does Ayurveda say about dairy?

In Ayurveda, dairy products are considered valuable foods with both nutritional and therapeutic properties. Dairy, known as "Dugdha" or "Ksheera" in Sanskrit, encompasses various milk-derived products such as milk, ghee , yogurt (curd), buttermilk, and paneer (cottage cheese). Here's what Ayurveda says about dairy:

·       Nutritional Value: Dairy products are rich sources of essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamins (including B vitamins), minerals, and fats. These nutrients are considered vital for supporting overall health, bone strength, muscle development, and energy production in the body.

·       Digestive Health: Dairy products are believed to have a nourishing and strengthening effect on the digestive system in Ayurveda. Milk, in particular, is considered a complete food that is easily digestible and provides a source of sustenance and hydration.

·       Ojas Building: In Ayurveda, dairy products are believed to nourish and build Ojas, which is considered the essence of vitality, immunity, and strength in the body.

·       Balancing Vata and Pitta Doshas: Dairy products are generally considered nourishing and grounding, making them beneficial for balancing Vata dosha, which governs movement and nervous system function. However, excessive consumption of dairy, particularly heavy or creamy varieties, may aggravate Kapha dosha or increase ama (toxic buildup) in the body. For Pitta dosha, dairy products such as milk and ghee are considered cooling and soothing, making them beneficial for alleviating excess heat, acidity, and inflammation.

·       Therapeutic Uses: Dairy products are used in various Ayurvedic therapies, formulations, and remedies for their therapeutic properties. Ghee is often used as a carrier for herbal medicines (Anupana) and as a base for Ayurvedic formulations (Sneha). Milk is used in Ayurvedic preparations such as decoctions (Kashayams), tonics, and medicated drinks to enhance their nutritive and therapeutic effects.

Which fruits can be eaten with curd according to Ayurveda?

Avoid incompatible combinations: According to Ayurveda, certain fruit combinations should be avoided when consuming with curd. For example, curd should not be combined with watermelon, melons, citric fruits or other watery fruits, as this combination may cause digestive issues or fermentation in the stomach.


Can we eat curd and jaggery together according to Ayurveda?

Curd is considered sour, heavy  in nature, while jaggery is sweet, heating, and light. According to Ayurvedic principles, combining foods with contrasting qualities can potentially disrupt digestion and create imbalances in the body. Therefore, the combination of curd and jaggery is generally not recommended for regular consumption.


Is milk hot or cold according to Ayurveda?

In Ayurveda, milk is generally considered to have a cooling or cold energy (virya). This means that milk is believed to have a cooling effect on the body when consumed. Milk is often recommended for balancing excess heat or Pitta dosha in the body due to its cooling nature.

What combination to avoid with curd?

·       Fruits: Ayurveda generally advises against combining curd with fruits, especially sour fruits such as citrus fruits (e.g., oranges, lemons), berries, and tropical fruits (e.g., pineapple, mango). The combination of curd with fruits is believed to create a conflicting mixture of sour and sweet tastes, which may impair digestion and lead to fermentation in the stomach.

·       Hot and Spicy Foods:Avoid combining curd with hot and spicy foods, such as chili peppers, garlic, onions, and strong spices.

·       Honey:Ayurveda advises against combining curd with honey, as this combination is believed to create a toxic substance known as "ama" in the body. When honey is mixed with sour substances like curd, it can undergo fermentation and produce toxins that may be harmful to health.

·       Radishes ,spinach and Mustard: Avoid combining curd with radishes, mustard, and other pungent vegetables. These foods are considered heating and pungent in nature, which may not harmonize well with curd and could potentially disturb digestion.

·       Fish:Avoid consuming curd with fish or seafood, as this combination is believed to be incompatible and may lead to indigestion or gastrointestinal discomfort.

·       Black Gram (Urad Dal): In some Ayurvedic texts, it is advised to avoid combining curd with black gram (urad dal) as it may lead to digestive issues and bloating.

·       Nightshade Vegetables: Nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers are generally not recommended to be combined with curd due to their potential to aggravate Pitta dosha and cause digestive disturbances.


Is curd with sugar good for health?

Curd (yogurt) with sugar is a combination commonly consumed in many cultures and cuisines.

Curd itself is a nutritious food, rich in protein, calcium, probiotics, and other essential nutrients. However, adding sugar to curd increases its calorie and sugar content.


Does yogurt increase Pitta?

Excessive consumption may have the opposite effect and potentially aggravate Pitta. It's important to consume yogurt in moderation and according to individual tolerance levels, especially for those with Pitta imbalances or sensitive digestion.


What is the best way to eat curd Ayurveda?

In Ayurveda, the consumption of curd (yogurt) is considered beneficial when consumed in the right way and in moderation. Here are some Ayurvedic guidelines for eating curd:

·       Eat in Moderation: Ayurveda emphasizes moderation in all dietary choices. While curd is nutritious, excessive consumption can imbalance certain doshas (bioenergies), particularly Kapha and Pitta. It's recommended to eat curd in moderate amounts as part of a balanced diet.

·       Avoid Combining with Certain Foods: Ayurveda advises against combining curd with incompatible foods, such as fruits, fish, meat, and salt. These combinations are believed to disturb digestion and may lead to the formation of toxins (ama) in the body.

·       Season with Spices: Enhance the digestibility and flavor of curd by adding digestive spices such as cumin, coriander, ginger, or black pepper. These spices can help stimulate the digestive fire (Agni) and balance the cooling properties of curd.


Can we eat banana with curd Ayurveda?

In Ayurveda, combining certain foods is believed to influence digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall health. The combination of banana and curd (yogurt) is generally not recommended due to their conflicting qualities and potential effects on digestion.

Bananas are sweet, heavy, and cooling in nature, while curd is sour, heavy, and cold. According to Ayurvedic principles, combining foods with conflicting qualities can potentially disrupt digestion and create imbalances in the body. Therefore, the combination of banana and curd is generally not considered compatible.

Combining banana, which contains natural sugars, with curd, which contains live bacteria cultures, may lead to fermentation in the digestive tract. This fermentation process can produce toxins (ama) and disrupt the balance of gut flora, potentially leading to digestive disturbances.


Does Consuming curd everyday good ?

The daily consumption of curd is prohibited in Ayurveda. It is because curd is known to be heavy in nature and increases inflammation in the body. The Ayurvedic experts suggest that the only variation of curd that can be consumed regularly is churned buttermilk that has added spices such as rock salt, black pepper and cumin.

Do you know the difference between curd, yoghurt and probiotic yoghurt?

Curd:

   - Curd is a traditional dairy product made by fermenting milk with lactic acid bacteria, primarily Lactobacillus strains.

   - It is commonly prepared at home by heating milk to a certain temperature, allowing it to cool slightly, and then adding a small amount of curd (previously fermented milk) as a starter culture.

   - Curd has a slightly sour taste and a thick, creamy texture. It is widely consumed in various cultures and cuisines as a standalone food, accompaniment, or ingredient in dishes.

Yogurt:

   - Yogurt is a cultured dairy product made by fermenting milk with specific strains of lactic acid bacteria, typically Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

   - The fermentation process converts lactose (milk sugar) into lactic acid, giving yogurt its characteristic tangy flavor and thick texture.

   - Commercially produced yogurt is widely available in supermarkets and grocery stores in various flavors, textures (e.g., Greek yogurt, regular yogurt), and fat content (e.g., full-fat, low-fat, non-fat).

   - Yogurt is consumed worldwide as a nutritious food rich in protein, calcium, vitamins, and probiotics.

Probiotic Yogurt:

   - Probiotic yogurt refers to yogurt that contains added live probiotic cultures, which are beneficial bacteria that confer health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts.


What is the best time to eat curd?

In Ayurveda, the timing of meals is considered crucial for maintaining optimal digestion and overall health. The best time to eat curd (yogurt) can vary depending on individual factors such as constitution (prakriti), digestive capacity, and lifestyle. However, there are some general guidelines to consider:

·       Morning: Consuming curd in the morning, preferably as part of breakfast, is often recommended in Ayurveda. This is because the digestive fire (Agni) tends to be strongest in the morning, making it easier for the body to digest and assimilate food.

·       Avoiding Night: In Ayurveda, it's generally advised to avoid consuming curd or other heavy foods late at night or close to bedtime. Eating heavy or cooling foods in the evening may interfere with digestion and disrupt sleep patterns. It's best to consume lighter, easily digestible foods in the evening.

·       Avoiding Certain Combinations: Ayurveda cautions against combining curd with certain foods, such as fruits, fish, meat, and salt. These combinations are believed to disturb digestion and may lead to the formation of toxins (ama) in the body.

Who should use curd or yogurt as a diet?

There are certain groups of people who may particularly benefit from incorporating curd or yogurt into their diet:

·       Those Seeking Probiotics:Curd and yogurt contain beneficial probiotic bacteria that can support gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the digestive tract.

·       Individuals with Lactose Intolerance: Fermented dairy products like curd and yogurt are often easier to digest for individuals with lactose intolerance compared to regular milk. The fermentation process breaks down much of the lactose (milk sugar), making curd and yogurt more tolerable for those with lactose intolerance.

·       Those Wanting Bone Health Support: Dairy products like curd and yogurt are rich in calcium, which is crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Including curd or yogurt in the diet can help meet daily calcium needs and support bone health, particularly for individuals at risk of osteoporosis or bone-related conditions.

·       Individuals with Weight Management Goals:Curd and yogurt can be part of a balanced diet for individuals looking to manage their weight.


So, how is a curd made?

Making curd at home is a simple process that involves fermenting milk with beneficial bacteria to create a thick and creamy yogurt-like product. Here's a step-by-step guide to making curd at home:


Ingredients:

- Milk (preferably whole milk for a creamier texture)

- Curd (a small amount of store-bought curd or yogurt containing live active cultures to use as a starter)


Equipment:

- Saucepan

- Clean container with lid for incubating the curd

- Whisk or spoon for stirring


Instructions:

1. Prepare the Milk: Pour the desired amount of milk into a clean saucepan. Whole milk will yield a creamier curd, but you can use low-fat or skim milk if preferred.

2. Heat the Milk: Place the saucepan over medium heat and gradually heat the milk, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Heat the milk until  and  bring it to boil

3. Cool the Milk: Once the milk reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool until it reaches a normal room  temperature

4. Add the Starter: Once the milk has cooled to the appropriate temperature, add a small amount of store-bought curd or yogurt containing live active cultures to the milk. Use about 1 to 2 tablespoons of curd per quart (liter) of milk. Stir the curd into the milk thoroughly to ensure even distribution of the starter culture.

5. Incubate the Curd: Pour the milk mixture into a clean container with a lid for incubating the curd. Cover the container tightly with the lid to maintain warmth and prevent contamination. 

6. Allow Fermentation: Let the milk mixture ferment undisturbed for approximately 6 to 8 hours, or until it sets and thickens into curd. The fermentation time may vary depending on factors such as the temperature of the environment and the desired level of sourness.

7. Check for Set: After the fermentation period, gently tilt the container to check if the curd has set. It should have a thick and creamy consistency and may pull away from the sides of the container.

8. Save Starter: Remember to save a small portion of the homemade curd to use as a starter for your next batch. This will ensure that you always have a fresh and active culture to ferment your milk.



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