Good Foods Help You Move And Groove While Enhancing Your Mood –Siddha Somanomah
At an early age how we engage in our tactile world is through taste, its not uncommon to see an infant take a toy straight to mouth before engaging in play. From birth as we move through life we move further from our natural/original healthy state (prakriti) to our current state (vakriti). As food is something we need day to day to survive, what we consume,digest and assimilate into bodies plays a major role in our health and mentality. As the sense of taste is related to water (liquid crystal which can be manipulated with intention) it carries the six vital classes of nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, minerals, protein, vitamins, and water to the very depths of our bodies.
All we consume ‘flows like water’ too each of our cells bones organs tissues etc, and if the food is stagnant-our bodies/minds will reflect and be a product of this.
The other aspect of taste is ‘Fire’ this element is found in our bodies in the form of sodium. We all need salt or sodium in our bodies, and this i find interesting as our ‘Taste’ is made up of water and fire (salt) thus completing the polarity or our inner universe. (Salt is made up of sodium and chloride. It is the main source of sodium in our diet. Sodium helps to regulate the amount of fluid (Water) in the body. But too much sodium has been linked to high blood pressure and the taste buds becoming dull. Therefore needing more sodium too feel pleasure from food, thus beginning the vicious cycle of excess consumption and creating disease in the process- usually found in processed/take away ‘Tamasic’ foods).
Now as with our earth and our bodies, each ‘Taste/flavor’ has within it, each of the elements and its own aspect too healing;
‘Sweet‘ -Earth + Water Builds tissues, calms nerves Fruit, grains, natural sugars, milk.
‘Sour‘ – Water+ Fire – Fire Cleanses tissues, increases absorption of minerals
–Sour fruits, yogurt, fermented foods.
‘Pungent‘-Air +Fire – Fire Stimulates digestion and metabolism– Chili peppers, herbs and spices.
‘Bitter‘-Air + Ether – Detoxifies and lightens tissues –Dark leafy greens, herbs and spices.
‘Astringent‘-Air + Earth – Absorbs water, tightens tissues, dries fats –Legumes, raw fruits and vegetables, herbs.
‘Salt‘- Water+fire – Improves taste to food, lubricates tissues, stimulates digestion– Natural salts, sea vegetables.
In the west we have become accustom to seeing the doctor for any arising illness. But i have seen that food holds the key too healing our being Physically/Mentally and spiritually.
Here is a simple example – Take the general common cold which is sticky moist and warm (mucus/phlegm). Looking at this from an elemental aspect mucus and phlegm is hot (pungent) and moist (water), with the opposite of the equation being bitter (Air) and dry). So what you would do in this case is to introduce dry/cool foods such as Aloe Vera too dry out the Ama/mucus- which is warm and moist). Then too rid the toxins completely from the system you now introduce hot (pungent) and dry to burn up the left over dried out mucus.
The key too proper assimilation of food into our bodies is through proper/adequate digestion (Agni). In Ayurveda good health is due to not eating excessively (burping during a meal indicates you have had your fill) or eating at the wrong time of day or snacking on ‘Dosha’ aggravating foods. As we have mentioned above , fire is incorporated into the sense of taste. Agni or digestion is the product of this element working well in our system, with the end product being Ojas (Ojas is the sap of one’s life energy which when sufficient, is equated with immunity but when deficient, results in weakness, fatigue and ultimately disease). Having good ‘Agni’ is vital too good health, because if we are not digesting our food we’re creating and imbalance and stagnation- which moves through the body creating dissonance, illness and disease. A Good indication that ‘Ama’ is present is if there is a milky residue on your tongue upon awaking in the morning. A simplified diet should be executed consisting of ‘Sattvic foods such as rice (sweet) and dhal (bitter) for a few days ,while sipping ginger (pungent) tea to flush the system and kidneys.
As food and taste affects our bodies, what we consume also has within it the characteristics too enhance our mood or afflict it.
In Ayurveda there are 3 classes of food characteristics called ‘Gunas’-
SATTVIC– Being Pure and Progressive- RAJASTIC– Lingering, staying the same or stagnant- TAMASIC– Dull Regressive.
Sattvic foods are light and easy to digest they bring clarity and perception have the potential to unfold love and compassion in the individual, promotes the qualities of forgiveness and austerity, it gives a feeling of contentment.
Dairy products such as butter and cheese
Dried peas, beans and lentils
Fresh vegetables and fruit
Ghee (clarified butter)
Nuts and seeds
Organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables
Pure fruit juices
Whole meal bread
We can see that all things grow towards or rely on the light (Sun). Eating foods that are closest to this source, thus getting energy 1st hand will create a more pure state of mind and body. With this said shopping ‘Organic’ will ensure the nutrients are as pure as nature intended. There is a saying humans will try too imitate nature but nature will never imitate humans.
Rajasic foods are hot, spicy and salty
They are irritants and stimulants
All morish or tempting foods come under the category of rajasic
Heavily spiced foods e.g. hot pickles and chutneys which can stimulate the senses
Rajasic foods make the mind more agitated and susceptible to temptation
The mind can become more rajasic, which means it tends towards anger, hate and manipulation.
Stimulants like coffee and teas
Fish and meat
Eating in a haste or in fast un-nurturing enviroment without chewing properly is also considered a rajastic quality.
Tamasic food is heavy, dull and depressing
It induces sleep
Under this category comes dark meat, lamb, pork, beef, (which are 3rd rate energy- The grass gets its energy from the sun (1) the animals get their energy from the grass (2)we can get our energy from the animal (3)
Old and stale food is also tamasic
Only when too much of it is eaten, it causes the dulling effect.
In moderation, tamasic food is considered as grounding and promotes stability.
Avocado, watermelon, plums, apricots
Wheat, brown rice,
mushrooms, GARLIC, onion, pumpkin
Urad dal, black, pinto, pink
Cheese (especially yellow cheese)
As alot of food does not fall into the category of ‘Sattvic’, with all the fast food/frozen food options and preservative filled food. This aspect of diet does take some discipline and confidence; but once you have seen and felt the initial benefits, you will feel more empowered, positive and healthy in every aspect of your being.
Thus concludes my brief introduction into food.
I guess what i am trying too convey, is that food is not just a means for survival it also affects our relationship too our true selves the divine and above all this- the earth which gives us all we need to feel 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.
I can help embody all that I have described above, with dietary guidance and a method called Pancha-Karma (five actions) which is a program for cleansing and rejuvenating the body, mind and consciousness. It is well renowned for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing.