Food And Mood

Are you feeling unduly angry or too happy for words??? Well,maybe what you ate has answers to these questions..

Read on...

What we eat has a huge influence not only over our physical well being, but also over our thoughts, and ultimately our emotional and spiritual well being. The yogis of ancient times knew this, and have written many classical yogic texts. Unlike modern scientists, yogis were not interested in the chemical content (protein, vitamins, etc...) of the food.

Instead, food is traditionally classified according to its effect on the body and mind, using the three Gunas:

Raja &

Sattvic foods

"Sattvic" foods is that which is pure, clean and wholesome. A sattvic diet is one that gives life, strength, energy, courage and self-determination and generates equanimity,poise and holy tendencies.It also gives us the subtle nourishment necessary for vitality and consciousness. These are clean burning foods that leave little or no residue on the nervous system,

Sattvic foods include cow’s milk , butter , ghee, cream, cheese, curd prepared from cow’s milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and beans, wholesome unrefined grains, almonds, groundnuts, coconut, tender coconut water etc.

Rajasic foods

"Rajasic" foods are the irritants and stimulating foods and are very hot, bitter, sour, dry, or salty. These foods generate passion and boisterous tendencies. They destroy the mind-body equilibrium, feeding the body at the expense of the mind. Too much rajasic food will over stimulate the body and excite the passions, making the mind restless and uncontrollable.

Historically, rajasic foods were always of good quality and freshness, hence the origin of the word "raja" - kingly, or fit for a king. Such foods would encourage aggression and domination.

Rajasic foods include hot substances, such as spices or strong herbs, stimulants, like coffee and tea, fish, eggs, salt and chocolate, tamarind, oil, white sugar, fried foods, sesame seed(gingelly seed),certain vegetables like radish brinjal, drumstick, cucumber etc. Eating in a hurry is also considered rajasic.

Tamasic foods :

"Tamasic" foods lead one to a state of inertness, dullness, and sloth. These are known as the "dead" foods which contain no vitality or life. They generate exciting and impure thoughts. These foods are heavy and cause irritability and restlessness .Alertness and concentration is very difficult soon after eating tamasic foods.

A tamasic diet benefits neither the mind nor the body. The body's resistance to disease is destroyed and the mind filled with dark emotions, such as anger and greed.

Tamasic items include meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic, fermented foods, such as vinegar, and stale or overripe substances, half-cooked and twice – cooked articles. Overeating is also regarded as tamasic.

Many of the foods we use today can be classified as “tamasic” as they contain heavy preservatives and artificial additives.

Another important aspect to note is that the nature of the food can be changed. Cooking is the most obvious way to change the nature of food. Grains become sattvic only after cooking. Honey becomes tamasic (poisonous) with cooking. The nature of a food also change by being in combination with other foods and spices, or if it is stored for periods of time.

How and when we eat is also important. One should not eat too late at night.There should be a gap of at least two [ preferably 3 to 4] hours between supper and sleep.

Food should be freshly prepared and eaten with attention, respect and gratitude.

While one should eat to live, rather than live to eat, food should be tasty, so as to be appreciated.
The attitude of the person preparing the food is important as well, as the mood of the cook permeates the food.

By understanding these qualities of food we can bring health, harmony and happiness into our lives.