Hi everyone I am new here and have recently graduated as an Ayurvedic consultant and Ayurveda is all about food. Food is medicine and food will greatly influence all aspects of you being, mentally, spiritually and physically. There are two things you have to consider- the Gunas and the Doshas.
Food that is Rajasic will create energy and things like garlic, onions and most spices fall into this category. Rajas is important as energy is important and it is transformative. Tammas is the dull, heavy energy and foods that are old, oily, refined and processed are considered Tamassic. Too much and you will too be dull and sluggish just like what you eat. There is very little prana in this kind of food so you will get very little prana from the food. Like increases like is how things work according to Ayurveda. Sattva is where we want to be and foods that are organic and fresh are full of prana. Sattva is bliss and tranquility and to achieve this we need to eat foods that are high in Prana. Of course yoga meditation, mindfulness and a positive life is also necessary.
The doshas fall into two categories, are our current state of imbalance (Vikruti) and your natural state at the time of conception (Pakruti). The doshas relate to the 5 elements vata -ether (space), Pitta - air, Kapha - fire, water and earth. You need to eat foods that will create harmony according to which doshas are dominant or excessive.
Since I started studying Ayurveda I have seriously changed how i look at food and what I eat, how i cook and my approach to healing. it's an amazing approach to life and I just love the way it shares philosophies with yoga. A great combination. Those ancient yogis/rishis really were amazing people.