While having a measured meal is a good idea, the body always knows its requirement and instantly gives a signal on over-eating or undereating. The food we eat is used by the body and mind. The excess food accumulates in the body and is the cause of a number of lifestyle issues such as high blood pressure, diseases of kidney and liver, and sleep disorders.
Fresh fruits, freshly-cooked vegetables, non-spicy foods, all are part of sattvic diet and recommended if you are striving towards a peaceful way of life.
Pure and sattvic food has a calming effect on the mind besides nourishing the body. It keeps you focused, and helps eliminate negative thoughts.
Rajasic and tamasic food do not support yogic life and considerably negate the benefits of asanas and pranayamas. Since they agitate the mind and put unwarranted pressure on the body, consuming such food is not advisable in yogic life.
While Rajasic foods which are high in oil and sumptuous for taste buds lead to stress on the mind and puts pressure on the digestive system, tamasic food comprising meat, eggs, and fish dulls the mind. Both are harmful to the digestive system.
Packaged foods, carbonated drinks, chocolates, and excessively sweet and salty food items need to be avoided once on the yogic path.
Another important thing to be kept in mind is the timing of meals. Having breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a fixed time is crucial. While early breakfast and lunch around mid-day are recommended, light dinner before sunset should be preferred. It takes care of the metabolism and makes sure the body remains in balance with nature.
The quantity of food may also depend on age, work profile, and season among others. A person required to do more physical work would need more food than the one solely practicing yoga and meditation as a short or medium-term course. In winters, the body requires more food to keep itself warm and strong while in harsh summers liquids play a significant role in balancing the water content in the body. In the rainy season, foods that keep the liver in good health and increase immunity should be consumed.
Wrong food causes problems at each and every level of the body and mind. So does the right food but taken irregularly. Both manifest in the form of physical and mental illnesses. One should strive towards a balanced diet with the appropriate combination of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
So, having the right food at the right time in the right quantity can do wonders for your overall health.
Another key point to remember about food is having it in a tidy, clean, and pleasant environment. Multi-tasking should be avoided at all costs while eating and attention should be on what you are eating completely.
By following the yogic diet, one can become fit and healthy. One can also see the positive impact of such a diet on mental health. After all, the food we eat has a lot to do with the thoughts we have.