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Food Yoga: The Benefits of Conscious Eating


pillaicenter
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What is Food Yoga

 

Food Yoga is defined as, “a discipline that honours all spiritual paths by embracing their core teaching – that food in its most pure form is divine and, therefore, an excellent medium for expressing our unconditional love and purifying our consciousness. “

 

Food is an integral part of live, it is the first and foremost essential things that helps to sustain life. One can use food as a tool to achieve progress spiritually - maintaining healthy and pure eating habit is a key to successful spiritual life.

 

Food Yoga is all about employing as much techniques possible to make your food pure and healthy and more than that, divine.

 

Food and God

 

In Hindu religion, the practice of offering food to God is very common. The food that is offered to God is referred as, ‘Naivedhya’. The naivedhya is prepared using pure ingredients and are cooked by trained cooks.

 

The naivedhya offering is not same for all the gods, they differ from deity to deity. For example, modhak is offered to Lord Ganesh and urad vada is offered to Lord Hanuman.

 

The neivedhya offered to the Lord is referred as, ‘Prasad’. The prasad is distributed amongst the devotees.

 

Food and Spirituality

 

Hindu religious scriptures prescribe sattvic food for spiritual development. Like men, food too is classified as Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamsic foods. Depending on their character, foods influence people, sattvic foods promote spiritual leaning whilst food with rajasic qualities boost worldly desires and tamsic food makes you lazy and addicted to senses.

 

Examples of Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamsic foods

 

Sattvic foods

 

They are the purest form of food. Sattvic foods calm the mind, rejuvenate body, and improves your spiritual inclination.

 

Benefits of Sattvic Foods

 

·         They reduce chronic disease risks

·         Sattvic food helps to lose weight

·         They promote longevity

·         Aid physical and mental strength

·         Are easy to digest

 

List of sattvic foods

 

Below is a list of well-known sattvic food items falling under various food categories.

 

1.       Vegetables: Spinach, Carrots, Celery, Potatoes, Broccoli, Kelp, Lettuce, and Peas.

2.       Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Papaya, Mangoes, Cherries, Melons, Peaches, and Guava.

3.       Juice : Fresh Fruits Juice, Carrot Juice, Spinach Juice, and Bitter Gourd Juice.

4.       Grains: Barley, Amaranth, Bulgur, Millet, Quinoa, Wild Rice, and Maize.

5.       Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts, Pecans, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Unsweetened Coconut, and Flax Seeds.

6.       Oils: Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Flax Oil, Mustard Oil, and Ghee.

7.       Dairy products: Cow Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, Coconut Milk, and Cashew Milk.

8.       Legumes and Beans: Lentils, Moong Beans, Chickpeas, and Bean Sprouts.

9.       Beverages: Water, Non-caffeinated Drinks, and Herbal Tea.

10.   Spices and herbs: Coriander, Basil, Nutmeg, Cumin, Fenugreek, and Turmeric, and Ginger.

11.   Sweets: Honey and Jaggery.

 

Rajasic foods

 

Rajasic food is believed to be stimulating in nature and may cause physical and emotional stress. Too much of rajasic diet may make life imbalanced.

 

Effects of Rajasic foods

 

·         It overstimulates the mind and body.

·         Can lead to hyperactivity.

·         Contributes to the overexertion of the body.

·         Can cause stress, and anxiety.

·         Can make a person angry.

 

List of Rajasic foods

 

Below is a list of popular rajasic food items falling under various food categories.

 

1.       Vegetables: Eggplant, Onions, Capsicum (Bell Peppers), Leeks, Hot Peppers (Chilis), Potatoes, Radishes, Sea Vegetables, Sprouts, Tomatoes, and Cauliflower.

2.       Fruits: Dates (dried), Guava, Lime, Lemon, Apple, and Banana.

3.       Grains: Millet, Corn, Buckwheat, Oats, and Parboiled Grains.

4.       Nuts and Seeds: Hemp Seeds, Peanuts, Sprouts, and Sunflower Seeds.

5.       Oils: Avocado Oil, Hemp Oil, Peanut Oil, and Sunflower Oil.

6.       Dairy products: Fresh Cheeses, Cottage Cheese, Egg, and Yogurt.

7.       Legumes and Beans: Yellow Dal, Kidney Beans, Navy Beans, and Red Lentils.

8.       Beverages: Coffee, Caffeinated Teas, Decaf Tea, and Coffee.

9.       Spices and herbs: Asafoetida (Hing), Cayenne, Chili, Black Pepper, Garlic, and Salt.

10.   Other: All fermented food, Ice Cream, Olives, Salt, Vinegar, Commercial Almond, Hemp or Rice Milk, all Caffeine.

 

Tamasic foods

 

Tamasic food is not good for body and soul. Intake of tamasic food leads will cause harm to humans in all possible ways.

 

Effects of Tamasic foods

 

·         Causes stagnation in thinking

·         Is a source laziness and lethargy

·         Results in intense mood swings

·         Would reduce life span

 

List of tamasic foods

 

Below is a list of well-known sattvic food items falling under various food categories.

 

1.       Vegetables: Mushrooms, Pumpkin, Onion, and Garlic.

2.       Fruits: Plums, Watermelons, Avocado, Apricots, and all over-ripe fruits.

3.       Grains: Wheat, Rice, extensively refined grains, dried and packaged Pasta.

4.       Nuts and Seeds: All old or exposed to light, Chia Seeds.

5.       Oils: Vegetable Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Canola Oil, and all older than 1 year or rancid.

6.       Legumes and Beans: Urad Dal, Black Dal, Pink Dal, and all canned items.

7.       Sweets: Artificial sweeteners, White Sugar and refined sugars.

8.       Others: Alcohol, all animal flesh (Beef, Chicken, Fish, Goat, Lamb, Pork, Shellfish), barbecued or blackened food, food with preservatives or synthetic ingredients, deep-fried food, frozen food, leftovers, condiments, smoked food, microwaved food.

 

Knowing what to eat is an important step in practising Food Yoga. Now that you have learnt the same, it is time for you to put it into practice.

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