There are eight important rules for intake of food to achieve positive effects on health and avoid negative effects.
- Prakriti: It is nature /properties of food e.g split black gram is heavy (Guru) while split green gram is light (laghu) in nature.
- Karan: Karan denotes methods (cooking, fermentation, adding essence) adopted to change the properties of food for easy digestion, good absorption and to get maximum nutrition from food e.g Swinna Santaptaoudana (boiled dehusked hot paddy) is laghu (light) and Prithuka (pressed paddy) is guru (heavy) in properties.
- Samyoga: It is combination of one or two food items. But some combinations are harmful like consumption of ghee and honey in equal quantities which is not recommended.
- Rashi : Rashi means quantity of food. Quantity affects the preparation and may be decided in the following ways:
- Quantity of a complete recipe prepared by adding different ingredients.
- Quantity of each ingredients used in preparing a recipe.
- Desha: Desha is a place of cultivation and consumption of food. Food items and drugs grown in Himalayan regions have good quality and it may be healthy for people living in Jangla Pradesh (dry lands) as described in Ayurveda.
- Kala: Time is related to health and disease conditions. Diet should be taken in accordance to the Agnibala (capacity of digestion) of body. In diseased conditions, it should be according to the disease and for healthy persons it should be as per the season.
- Upyogasamstha : Upyogasamstha means rules for eating food. It depends upon complete digestion of food. As per Ayurveda one should take another meal after complete digestion of the first meal.
- Upyokta: Upyokta is the one who consumes diet. One should avoid intake of such unwholesome diets which become adapted due to repetitive intakes.