Do I have to be a vegetarian to follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle?
Ayurvedic tradition does indeed suggest following a vegetarian diet, but the reason for this isn’t because of any dogmatic ideal but because animal protein has very low water content and is therefore difficult to digest. Ayurveda teaches us that health begins with digestion, as the more energy we need to use to digest food, the less energy we have for other bodily processes like maintaining our immune system. When we eat animal proteins like beef and chicken, our digestion has to work overtime to process it. When this happens, we feel tired after eating and even sluggish throughout the day. If you do choose to follow a vegetarian diet, do so not because you feel it’s something you have to do in order to subscribe to an Ayurvedic lifestyle, but because it will help you to feel lighter throughout the day.