Ayahuasca Nutritional Diet
The suggested Ayahuasca dieta involves adopting a light and nutritious diet, primarily composed of plant-based foods while minimizing or eliminating animal products. These dietary guidelines align with the Kichwa tradition’s health principles and play a crucial role in purifying the body before and after participating in the Ayahuasca ceremony.
Throughout the retreat, all the meals provided adhere to the Ayahuasca dieta, thus negating the need for you to be cautious about your food choices.
It is highly advisable to commence preparing your body at least minimum 3 days prior to your arrival.
Please exclude from your diet:
- Red or heavy meats (pork & beef)
- Fish like tuna and eel
- Spices like chilly, peppers
- High amounts of sugar, corn syrup, carbonated drinks like soda (including diet soda), energy drinks, non-alcoholic beer
- Processed foods
- Fermented food like pickles, old cheese, anchovies, kombucha
- Caffeine like coffee, tea, soda and other stimulants like guarana
- Refined sugars
- Junk food
- Salt (if absolutely needed, low amounts of sea or Himalayan salt)
- Oils (if needed olive oil or coconut oil)
- Animal fats like butter, lard
If you plan to participate in a ceremony on the day of your arrival, it’s crucial to ensure that you abstain from consuming anything on the “MUST avoid” list for a full 24 hours prior to your arrival:
- Velvet Bean (Mucuna)
- Strong or aged cheeses, such as aged cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan; blue cheeses such as Stilton and Gorgonzola; and Camembert.
- Cured meats, which are meats treated with salt and nitrate or nitrite, such as dry-type summer sausages, pepperoni and salami.
- Smoked or processed meats, such as hot dogs, bologna, bacon, corned beef or smoked fish.
- Pickled or fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, caviar, tofu or pickles.
- Sauces, such as soy sauce, shrimp sauce, fish sauce, miso and teriyaki sauce.
- Soybeans and soybean products
- Snow peas, broad beans (fava beans) and their pods.
- Dried or overripe fruits, such as raisins or prunes, or overripe bananas
- Avocados, eggplants
- Yeast-extract spreads, such as Marmite, brewer’s yeast or sourdough bread.
- Alcoholic beverages, such as beer — especially tap or homebrewed beer — red wine, sherry and liqueurs.
- Combination foods that contain any of the above ingredients.
Why should you abstain from typically nutritious foods during the last 24 hours?
Ayahuasca functions as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), which interferes with specific foods containing tyramine. The MAOI present in Ayahuasca impedes the action of an enzyme known as monoamine oxidase, leading to an accumulation of tyramine within the body. Tyramine plays a role in regulating blood pressure. In instances where there is an excessive buildup of tyramine due to the consumption of foods like avocado or eggplants, blood pressure might escalate to potentially hazardous levels.
Hence, it is of utmost importance to steer clear of high-tyramine foods for at least the 24 hours preceding the consumption of Ayahuasca. While the occurrence of a fatality resulting from an interaction between ayahuasca and tyramine is highly unlikely, numerous cases of severe headaches have been documented as a possible consequence.
Mucuna, also known as Velvet bean, holds the status of a superfood and serves as a fantastic enhancement to items like smoothies. Nonetheless, it poses a significant risk when combined with Ayahuasca. The seeds across all mucuna species are rich in L-dopa, and this compound is strongly discouraged in conjunction with MAO inhibitors.
The amalgamation of mucuna and ayahuasca increases the potential for serotonin syndrome to arise during the ceremony, posing a notable hazard.
While we highly recommend adhering to a wholesome, plant-based diet before arriving at Yogahuasca Retreat to optimize your overall experience, if adhering to a vegan diet is genuinely not feasible for any reason, we propose the following as a viable alternative:
Organic free-range chicken, light wild-caught fish such as sole, tilapia, bass, trout, halibut, or snapper, and animal proteins such as eggs (hard-boiled, poached, or scrambled).
To ready yourself for the ceremony, ensure ample intake of water and electrolytes like coconut water. If you consider bringing electrolyte sources for the retreat, please make sure they do not contain sugar.