In ancient times, people were used to being healthy either by body or mind or spirit. Nowadays, people are less healthy than before and are more prone to diseases at a fast pace. Some of the essential factors which contribute in improving health are as follows:
- Healthy Food
- Disciplined lifestyle
- Exercises & Physical activities
- Awareness & Meditation
There are so many more factors but all of them can’t be listed. All of the factors listed above aren’t properly followed by people in the modern era. Modern lifestyles have changed the whole scenario. Today people have no time for their health. Most people living in urban areas don’t perform exercises or physical activities, which are actually required to burn calories per day to meet the norm issued by the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), which should be roughly around 2100 kcal for urban areas & 2400 kcal for rural areas per day.
Modern lifestyles have made us so lethargic by providing facilities at our fingertips that we don’t need to put much effort into the work we do.
On the other hand, everyone usually has a hectic schedule, so one can’t manage to take out some time for meditation which is good for their mental health.
Another most important element is food which is the most essential factor affecting health. Let’s discuss it widely.
There’s a famous quotation, you might have heard:-
“जैसा खाओ अन्न, वैसा बनेगा मन”
This means, “as you eat, so you become”. Your mind nourishes by the kind of food you give to your body. A sound body needs a sound mind.
In the traditional books of Indian Philosophies & Ayurveda, it is considered that there are 3 qualities (guna) of food as –
- TAMASIK guna in food develops the quality of inertia, lethargy, laziness, addiction, apathy, confusion, anger & so on. This guna is present in onion, garlic, meat, fish, alcohol, other non-veg items, etc.
- RAJASIK guna in food is considered to be overstimulating, exciting, huge variety & heavy to digest. Its name says it all, as the royal dining manners of Rajas of old times. Brinjal, Tea, Coffee, Radish, Salt, Black lentils, chilies & aerated drinks, etc. are some of its examples.
- SATVIK guna in food is considered to be the easiest digestible. These include organic, natural, plant origin, seasonal and raw foods which purify the body and nourish the mind and spirit. For example raw vegetables, salad, fruits, nuts, seeds, natural oil, legumes, pulses like yellow lentils (Moong Dal), whole grain, Bajra, Jowar, Dairy products like cow milk, curd, ghee, etc. Satvik diet is also called “Yogic Diet” or “Mitahara ”, which provides positivity and energy through organic & healthy food.
There must be a proper balance of these 3 gunas in an individual’s diet to live a healthy life.
Some Organic Foods One Should Include in Diet:
Green leafy vegetables have antioxidant properties & also are rich in multiple vitamins like A, B, C & K, and fiber. These are good for eyesight. Spinach (palak), fenugreek (methi), gourd (lauki), turnip (shalgam), bitter melon (karela), cauliflower, peas, etc. are good examples.
Most of the fruits are citrus fruits, rich in vitamin C & fiber which not only fight against many diseases, also improve appetite & give an individual the blessing of healthy life. Fruits like apple, pineapple, kiwi, orange, gooseberry (amla), guava, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate, sweet lemon (mausami), papaya, mango, etc. are rich sources of vitamin C whereas banana is rich in Calcium & is a complete food in itself. Some of these fruits have vitamin A & B which maintain energy levels in the body. Coconut water & Aloe vera are rich in vitamin E. Watermelon & Muskmelon are rich in fiber & help to improve hydration in summers.
Salads are rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and Calcium. It helps in improving appetite, relieves abdominal problems, protects eyesight, provides hydration & so on. These are well known for their antioxidant properties also. Example: cucumber, beetroot, carrot, etc.
Pulses are rich in amino acids & are other sources of protein other than milk. These are good for eyesight, bones & muscles. Pulses are such as yellow lentils – moong dal, masoor Dal, chickpeas, cowpeas, etc.
Sprouts are the germinated spores/ seeds, which produce newly developing parts & grow further. This sprouting process can take a few days at home. Moong beans, chickpea, soybean, pea, lentil sprouts, etc. can be used to make sprouts. These are complete foods in themselves. These are rich in protein, anti-oxidants, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergenic properties, which help in dropping the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), and reduction in obesity & type 2 diabetes. These lack calories, carbs & fat & are rich in iron & folate. These can be taken with salad.
Nuts are rich in calcium, and protein & have multiple nutrients. Nuts like groundnuts, peanuts, soybean, fox nuts (phool makhana), hazelnuts, etc. are rich sources of calcium & protein required for a healthy body. Dry fruits like almonds, raisins, pistachio, walnuts, dates, dry dates (chhuhara), figs (anjeer), etc. also boost immunity & fight against many diseases.
Maize flour, pearl millet (bajra), jowar, etc. are some good examples of grains. These days, there are so many people who are suffering from gluten intolerance (gluten allergy) because of chemical-based wheat flour.
Seeds & Spices:
Seeds & spices like cumin seeds (jeera), fenugreek seeds (methi dana), coriander seeds (dry dhania), black pepper, cinnamon, mint powder, cardamom, black cardamom, fennel (saunf), turmeric, cloves (laung), etc. are good examples of them.
Curry leaves, mint, coriander, bay leaf (tej patta), tulsi leaves not only enhance food flavor but also, boost health.
Milk & its products:
Milk is an essential part of the diet which is rich in protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3 & Calcium. Milk & its products like curd, ghee, butter, cottage cheese (paneer), etc. are the best sources of energy & more making bones & muscles stronger. Ghee, butter & curd act as lubricants given to the body for better nourishment. For making the body healthy, it is good to use organic cow milk & its products.
Other food items:
Lemon, lemongrass, ginger, rock salt, jaggery, & so on.
Organic Diet & Culture:
Our country India’s geographical location is very balanced in itself as most parts of our country has a tropical climate & a balanced environment where there are 6 seasons in a year. Either in summers or in winters, people don’t face extreme climatic conditions for much longer period. Meanwhile, other countries like UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Canada, the USA, Russia have either extreme hot or extreme cold climatic conditions where they need a good amount of Rajasik & Tamasik food to survive. Whereas, India doesn’t need much amount of Rajasik & Tamasik food to survive. There are lots of organic Satvik varieties of foods which provide the nutrients our body needs.
Balance of Diet:
- Excess of everything is bad. Have a good amount of satvik food but remember, either it is satvik or rajasik or tamasik food, there should be a healthy balance between them.
- Excess of Rajasik & Tamasik food can lead to anger, laziness & self-doubt. Ultimately, the mind & body of an individual gets sick.
- It’s not about withdrawing the use of rajasik & tamasik food. Some of the Tamasik & Rajasik foods are good because of their medicinal properties. For instance, onion, garlic, pepper, etc. are used to cure many symptoms of diseases. Such food should be taken wisely but not in excessive amounts.
- Another famous quote you might have heard, “Eat food as a medicine otherwise, you’ll have to take medicines as food.” Most importantly, food intake should be like a medicine intake, like whenever needed, in a particular amount. Just to live a healthy life, have food in a balanced amount in which it is required or else you may fall ill.
- Another saying is, “Good food means good mood.” Here good food is natural, organic & healthy food, which not only digests easily & fastly, also keeps you happy.
- These days, food which is supplied in our country has so many harmful chemicals, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides & so on. Such chemicals harm the body instantly or slowly & cause many diseases. So, it is advisable to switch to organic & satvik food.
- Unfortunately, the facts indicate that Indian people are more likely shifted towards western food & culture. Instead of using our country’s own organic food, people started following western lifestyle & culture & are happier having western food which is not meant for our body. Whereas, western people have started using more organic products. They have started following a disciplined, natural, organic, plant origin, seasonal, healthy diet.