When diet is wrong medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct medicine is of no need.
What we eat, not only influences our physical well being, but also our emotions and thoughts. Yoga, does not dissect food into proteins, carbohydrates or fats, instead it classifies them according to the effect they have on the body and mind, into three types – satva, rajas and tamas.
Tamasic food is the kind of food which makes us lethargic or sluggish, while Rajasic food is that which brings about activity or restlessness. Whereas, Sattvic food is the kind which makes you feel light, energetic and enthusiastic.
- Sattvic foods are those which purify the body and calm the mind
- Cooked food that is consumed within 3-4 hours can be considered sattvic
- Examples - Fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, grains, fresh milk , certain spices
- They stimulate the body and mind into action. In excess, these foods can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, anger, irritability, and sleeplessness
- Overly tasty foods are Rajasic
- Examples – Spicy food, onion, garlic, tea, coffee, fried food
- Tamasic food are those which dull the mind and bring about inertia, confusion and disorientation
- Stale or reheated food, oily or heavy food and food containing artificial preservatives fall under this category
- Example – Non vegetarian diet, stale food, excessive intake of fats, oil, sugary food,
We might eat the right kind of food in the right quantity but if we are irregular with our timings then the whole system goes for a toss and the natural rhythm of the body is hampered. Therefore it is of prime importance to eat food at the same time everyday and eat it at regular intervals.
It is said that the state of the mind of the person cooking/ eating also affects the food. The energy in the food cooked by someone while he/she was angry will definitely be lower than that of someone who cooked it with a feeling of love, contentment and gratitude. Listening to some soothing music or chanting while cooking and eating can help retain the Prana (life force energy) in the food.
Yoga also prescribes a more personalized diet according to the nature of our constitution. Food that might be favorable for someone might be harmful for a person of another constitution. It is best to consult an Ayurvedic physician to decide what kind of food is necessary for you and which should be avoided. It is definitely worthwhile to pay some attention to the food that we eat as the ancient Indian texts say that we are what we eat!
Dr. Vaidya Sarita Bajpai, BMS, will be giving Ayurvedic consultations in Montreal between April 19th and the 23rd. To book an appointment email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Sarita will be also giving a conference on Ayurveda on April 19th, 6:30 pm to 8:30pm at our centre. To reserve contact us by email: email@example.com.