Health Giving Diet
Before we know what is health giving diet we should first know what the purpose of our taking food is.
The purpose of taking food is not merely to satisfy our hunger or for taste. The purpose is also not to fatten our gross body. Our purpose should be to improve our mental and spiritual health besides nourishing our physical body.
The food we choose for health nutrition should have the five qualities. 1. Should be lively, 2 fresh 3. Complete 4. Alkaline 5. Suitable for intestine
We are completely healthy when our body mind and soul, all three are healthy and in harmony. Taking this in to consideration our food is divided in to three categories SATVIK- Primary foods (pure or harmony & balance), RAJASIC Secondary foods (energy or activity) & THAMASIK Negative Foods (stasis or abnormal-inactive).
Primary/Satvik food is good for the health of body mind and soul. Satvik foods encourage balance and harmony in body and mind; we can enjoy a peaceful mind in a fit body and a harmonious flow of energy between the two. Fruits, Vegetables, Leafs, nuts, Sprouts are coming under this category. As name indicates it is the primary food for humans. This food group can be eaten raw naturally without cooking.
Secondary/Rajasic food strengthens the body but is not good for the spiritual growth. They stand at the medium place. Rajasic foods tend to be hot, bitter or sour or dry or salty. If you have a rajasic temperament (Your usual mood, Excessive emotionalism or irritability and excitability), eating these foods can make you feel more restless or stressed. On the other hand, if you are feeling sluggish (Moving slowly, not active or brisk) and lethargic (Deficient in alertness or activity) they can give you increased energy. This cannot be eaten without cooking. Grains, beans, lentils, tubers are coming under this category.
Negative/ Thamasic food are those which affect our health negatively. There are also foods like onion or garlic which are good for health of the physical body but have a bad effect on the mind and spirit. Such foods are known as Tamasik. Thamasic foods tend to be acidic, dry or old. Ayurveda recognizes that eating thamasik food may have a calming effect on an individual who is predominantly rajasic. Meats, eggs, fish, refined foods, stimulants etc are coming under this category.
Hence we see that the “Health Giving Diet“ we mean Satvik food. The characteristics of Satvik food are A) Strengthens the body. B) Checks weakening of body. C) Maintains the proper temperature of the body. D) It is strength giving. E) Digested quickly. F) It is not exciting. G) Enhances memory, life span and beauty and belongingness.
Foods which are primarily satvic in nature include fruit and vegetables, and seeds; and foods that are rajasic include coffee, ginger, spices and chilies; Thamasic food includes garlic, onion and mushrooms.