23 Sep Eat Right for Healthy Living
Eat Right for Healthy Living
Food, water and air are the basic sustaining factors for all that is pulsating with the cosmic energy converted as Bio energy in embodiment.
Anna as in food is one of the gross elements, a byproduct of nature as air and water. In congruence with the subtle elements, they come alive to sustain, to grow and to benefit the embodied.
In ancient times, nature worshippers revered food as Brahman / Nature’s gift to all the embodied. Apt for something that sustains life itself. Cooking was a highly ritualistic process involving scrupulous hygiene, nutrition, frame of mind while cooking and methodology, objective was wholesome sustenance. Simple foods dedicated to Mother Nature and then only consumed by the rest. Olden times, soil was rich with minerals, devoid of pesticides, chemicals and over plowing. Every meal was freshly cooked; there was no loss of nutrients in processing and storage. Grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits were grown with simple organic methods and so, natural products were rich in trace elements and all the nutrients making it wholesome for consumption. Meal times were happy, shared experiences with all the family members partaking with an attitude of gratitude to nature.
Nature is abundantly rich in her variations of food. Man thrived for centuries on natural resources but, his tastes and needs changed slowly as materialism gripped him. The more he meddled with the natural resources the more it got corrupted with the processing and refinement. In his greed to enhance the nutrients and improve the appearance to suit his requirements, poor quality of mutated grains, genetically modified fruits and vegetables are flooding the market. Hormones and toxic chemicals are used without discretion for better shelf life, color, smell, taste, texture. Everything to appease the sense organs nothing much for the body’s up keep.With the result, man is left with poor quality and wrong choices of foods. To put it bluntly, “Food”, has left the home and hearth and riding high on market shelves and street side corners.
Unfortunately, modern woman is no more only the “Lady of the house”, a home maker whose role now has taken a 360 degrees turn as she is forced to leave the kitchen, working shoulder to shoulder outside her home to meet the rising prices and her family’s needs. Pressed for time one is obliged to opt for packaged foods, ready to eat quick fix foods, frozen foods etc. For many families this has become the staple food. Commercially made foods are usually processed to improve its shelf life so lot of preservatives, additives like artificial colors and flavors are added. For sales purpose manufacturing date labels are changed often.
With such sorry state health is bound to plummet to scary proportions. Man is struggling to bring balance with rising technology and dwindling values. This is not the fault of present Junk food cultured youngsters. Most of them grow up with corrupted food habits, lack of awareness of nutrition, peer pressure, living up to fashion status etc. All this and more have prompted many health oriented organizations with awareness of nutrition to bring about healthy changes. One such field that stands tall above all is ‘Science of Yoga’. The following are a few of the pointers it offers on health to those who are focused on holistic health.
Sahi Ahara:- (Right Food)
Yoga offers a simple guideline for right Ahara ingested on daily basis.
- Eat seasonal foods available in the local market.(Fruits, berries, vegetables, Whole grains ,seeds, and pulses)
- As much as possible eat fresh natural foods. (Avid processed, packaged foods)
- Eat food according to one’s life style. (sedentary or active) (Foods rich in proteins like legumes, beans, whole pulses, dairy products and nuts for physically active and foods rich in fiber for sedentary life. Leafy vegetables French beans, cluster beans, yellow pumpkin, green radish, fibrous fruits etc.)
- Eat food according to one’s age group. (Quantity and quality consciousness is imp as age advances. Eat light foods, small frequent meals, early or no dinner just wholesome soups for dinner.)
- Always eat small meals. (helps better in absorption and digestion)
- Eat protein rich breakfast and light lunch and lighter dinner. 9 Awareness of different food groups mentioned above)
- Eat fruits early in the day.( Fruits are rich in nutrients, low in calories, enzymes that help absorption of food, Low glycemic index, primes the body for whole day activities. Increases cleansing process of the gut.
- Keep regular meal timings.(regularity helps the gastric juices function better)
- Eat food in a relaxed frame of mind. (Clear frame of mind during meals helps in better absorption)
- Chew thoroughly before swallowing the food. ( Enzymes in the mouth breaks down the nutrients for easier absorption in the gut)
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude to all those responsible for the food on your plate. (Humility and acceptance paves the way for gratitude)
- Maintain awareness of quality and quantity control. (Educate for better knowledge of food)
- Keep hydrated throughout day.(Fluids should be ¼ part of your meals for healthy bowel movements.)
Yoga conveys understanding and constant vigilance of one’s own Basal metabolic rate (Digestion) and response to various food groups depending on one’s prakrithi (nature). Prakrithi explained as Vatha /gaseous, Pittha /acidic, Kapha /phlegm, helps one to live wisely, avoiding unnecessary health issues.
Example: A person who is Pittha in Prakrithi should avoid all spices, oily foods, sour fermented foods, stale gas inducing foods, late night dinner etc. Drink plenty of fluids, include natural herbs.
A person who is Vatha in Prakrithi should avoid all starchy sugary foods, fried foods and spice, include asafetida / hing, mint and ginger in the diet. Drink plenty of fluids.
A person who is Kapha in Prakrithi should avoid all cold foods, cooling vegetables and fruits. Sip on warm to hot water as often as possible. Opt for hot beverages. Use plenty of ginger and cinnamon in the diet; keep chest, ears and feet warm.
Yoga sends out a strong message:
Cultivating an attitude of awareness and receptivity clubbed with acceptance and consistent implementation is the key to manage one’s nutrition.
“As the food so the mind. As the mind so the man” (Ayurveda).