Improving lives through the medium of food isn’t something new. Promoting health and wellness through specific time-honoured herbs, spices, fruit and vegetables has been a defining pillar of two of the most revered systems of medicine.

Ayurveda regards even the most common of everyday herbs and spices as superfoods that help eliminate ill-health by creating balance for each unique constitution through nutrition. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that organs play a vital role in boosting immunity, so nourishing diets should be planned carefully to help these organs perform at their peak potential, rather than burden them by eating the wrong foods.

Here’s a closer look at both systems.

Simply put, Ayurveda is an ancient traditional system of Indian medicine that covers everything from gut health, diet, nutritional food and microbiome; to yoga and healthy lifestyles that promote mental and physical health. In Ayurveda, disease results when life balance is disturbed, and restoration of that balance expels disease. Rather than work on disease symptoms, this holistic healing system goes to the root cause of the imbalance.

Says Shailu Suresh, Ayurvedic lifestyle practitioner; director, Om Vedic Heritage Centre; founder-president, Ayurvedic Practitioners Association of Singapore, “Ayurveda originated from the ancient Indian Vedic culture more than 5,000 years ago. In Sanskrit, Ayuh means life and Veda means knowledge or science, hence Ayurveda means ‘Science of Life’. Ayurveda forms a holistic basis of understanding food as medicine and staying healthy.”

Suresh goes on to explain that a core concept in Ayurvedic nutrition is the six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent; adding each of these six tastes in each meal means a balanced

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