Subscribe to our blog
Yoga Blog
Ayurveda Tips on Diet, Sleep and Moderation for better Immunity

Ayurveda Tips on Diet, Sleep and Moderation for better Immunity

Ayurveda, the Science of Life, gives us a robust guideline for a better way of life. These handy tools often determine our health and well-being by impacting our immunity. Ayurveda says every person has a dominating dosha, and each dosha has distinct characteristics as per diet, sleep and well-being. 

The Trayopa Sthambha of Ayurveda refers to the three pillars of health and is further divided into the three Stambhas and Upa-Stambhas, and this is the road to a healthy life. The three Stambhas are Vata, Pitta, Kapha, and the three Upa-Stambhas are Aahara, Nidra and Brahmacharya. 

What does Ayurveda say about a healthy lifestyle?

The three pillars of health are called the Trayopa Sthambha of Ayurveda, and are further divided into the three Stambhas and Upa-Stambhas, and this is the road to a healthy life. The three Stambhas are Vata, Pitta, Kapha, and the three Upa-Stambhas are diet(Aahara), sleep (Nidra) and sense regulation (Brahmacharya).

In this article, we’ll explore the Upa-Stambhas and understand what this means for us in our modern-day lifestyles. 

The Charaka Samhita, an authoritative text, says if the Trayopa Sthambha are maintained in the right, balanced way, then they act as a pillar for nourishment and growth of the body. It provides strength till the end of life. Of course, this refers to overall health and not specifically immunity, as there is no health without immunity. 

Aahara or Diet 

Diet, an often misunderstood topic, is a very vast and deep one in Ayurveda. Today, diet has varied meanings and trends, from Keto to Weight Watchers and many more. But in a traditional sense, it simply means eating what is right for your body and in balance. Fundamentally, Aahara is dealt with under the the 8 aspects of Diet and Nutrition or Asta Aahara Vidhi. They are as follows: 

Quality of food  

Taste, source of food, dosha dominance etc.

Processing of food  

Harvest, storage, how it is cooked etc.


Compatible and non-compatible foods.

Quantity of food

Based on seasons, a person’s appetite, age, nature of physical activity, and eating to 3/4 of one’s stomach volume.

Geographic location

Locally grown food and local cuisines.

Time factor

Seasons, time of day and phase of an illness.

Dietetics rules  

adhering to do's and don'ts while consuming meals.

The characteristics of a person consuming the food  

Dosha, appetite, age, nature of work etc.

When the eight fundamentals are followed diligently, it has a strong impact on general health, and thus the immune system. A simple example is when we follow these rules, our digestion is faster and easier, making gut health better. When gut health is good, immunity is good. It is through proper digestion that our bodies absorb all the nutrients and vital life force energy (prana), required for health and well-being. When we don’t follow these fundamentals, or eat foods improperly or not as per our body constitution, it results in digestion and diseases. 

It is also these right dietary principles and habits that ensure good nourishment to all the seven body tissues. This, thus, determines optimal Ojas (the essence of all seven dhatus/ body tissues). Ayurvedic Ojas can be compared to modern science’s immunity. Ojas protects the body and mind from diseases and gives vigor and longevity. Following the right dietary principles is the main way to maintain optimum Ojas, which helps fight off diseases. A proper, wholesome diet enables powerful digestion which results in stronger immunity, and in this case Ojas. 

Dietary notes 

Consuming a diet of anti-inflammatory foods, like raw fruits and vegetables, hydrates the body and promotes an alkaline environment which prevents pathogens growth. Fresh and healthy foods expedite the removal of pathogens stagnant in lymph fluid and boost lymphatic function. These include red fruits and vegetables, like pomegranates, cranberries, beets, manjistha, cherries, and raspberries. They also thin the bile which aid in the regulation of the immune response in the gut. Consuming a diet rich in omega-3s helps fight inflammation and infectious agents. The lymphatic system is primarily made up of about 95% water. Drinking purified water and lemon water is a great detoxification strategy because it not only hydrates the body but it also encourages an alkaline environment

Nidra or Sleep 

The second of the Upa-Stambha, as elaborated in Astanga Hrudaya, is happiness and unhappiness, proper nourishment or emaciation, strength and debility, sexual powers and impotency, knowledge and ignorance, life and its absence, and it all depends on sleep. 

With the existing pressure of modern-day lifestyles, we struggle to sleep. Statistics show a shocking percentage of Americans resort to sleeping pills or streaming late-night shows on their phones to try to sleep. The ability to drop thoughts and happenings from the day and get a good night’s rest is like a dream. What most of us don’t realize is, it is the most important aspect that determines our life and lifestyle. 

Some of the factors related to sleep which cause ill-health are

1. Sleeping at an improper/irregular time

2. Excessive sleep

3. Lack of sleep

4. Staying awake late at nights

When we sleep, our bodies reset and repair the stress and strains of the day. Ayurveda also recommends we align our sleep timings with the cycles of day and night. 

Anti-inflammatory molecules, such as cortisol and catecholamines, also peak during awake active times. Inflammation would cause serious cognitive and physical impairments if it were to occur during wake times. And, inflammation may occur during sleep times due to the presence of melatonin. Inflammation causes a great deal of oxidative stress and the presence of melatonin during sleep times could actively counteract free radical production during this time.

When we don’t sleep, this healing doesn’t happen. It leads to exhaustion and breakdown. Loss of sleep causes body aches, heaviness of head, yawning, lassitude, exhaustion, giddiness, indigestion, stupor and problems with circulation, including clogging of the lymphatic system. When the lymphatic drainage does not happen regularly, it causes a drop in immunity. Lack of sleep also increases the cortisol level in our bodies, which increases stress. And, stress, as we know it, is a cause for many diseases and disorders. All of this, over a period of time, disrupts the circadian rhythm of the body and results in strong regulatory effects on immunological functions affecting both innate and adaptive immunity.

Sleep deprivation is, thus, detrimental to immune function. Immune response to infections may result in changes to the sleep cycles. In people suffering from sleep deprivation, active immunisations may have a diminished effect and may result in lower antibody production, and a lower immune response, than in a well-rested individual.

Brahmacharya or Sense regulation

Brahmacharya is the regulated activities of the body and mind for the growth of the individual. It includes all the activities which are hita to the body and mind. It also means avoiding the unhealthy engagement with the senses or Asatmya Indriyarta Samyoga(wrong, excess or under engagement). Hence Brahmacharya is considered as the important Upa-Stambha among all which has its influence on all the Stambhas and other two Upa-Stambhas.

Brahmacharya is the ideal regulated activity of the sense organs, motor organs and mind. This is carried out by means of following: 

Dinacharya - Daily cleansing/ maintenance routine

Rutucharya  - Seasonal routines 

Sadvritta  - Right social conduct

Over-indulging in sensory pleasures can cause an imbalance in the body and mind. Ayurveda promotes the quality of Purity (Sattva) in everything we do to maintain this balance, ease and lightness in every level of our being - body, mind and consciousness. The way we engage in an activity, the amount we engage and how we engage is as impactful as the activity itself. Certain energies and activities are needed to build Ojas. When Ojas is depleted, the body and mind are in disharmony and susceptible to diseases.  

Some of the benefits derived from Rasayana therapy, ( is a part of Ayurveda specifically dedicated to enhancing immunity through various herbal preparations and treatments), can also be derived from Trayopa Sthambha, especially Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya is referred to as Aachara Rasayana - an observational practice against medicated treatment.

Ayurveda Tips on Diet, Sleep and Moderation for better Immunity
Shvasa Editorial Team

Vestibulum condimentum nisi vel dolor pretium, vitae auctor ante ultricies. Vestibulum non nisl lectus. Nulla egestas, eros id dictum malesuada, leo erat lacinia sem, at vestibulum diam tellus nec risus. Ut pulvinar quam et semper efficitur. Fusce a venenatis diam. Suspendisse congue feugiat nulla, vitae suscipit neque. Aenean mattis, justo quis rhoncus sagittis, tortor mi porttitor leo, in auctor diam diam a ex.

Practice yoga with the world's best teachers - LIVE
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.