Let food be thy medicine…
Author: Maharishi Ayurveda Date Posted:15 June 2016
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Quote from Hippocrates the father of modern medicine.
“Eating the right foods and spices – and avoiding the wrong ones – could go a long way towards staving off everything from gut ailments to cancer.” Hopkins Medicine Magazine.
Both the wisdom of the old and the new are coming to the same understanding that what we eat can have a huge impact on how our mind and body perform today and in the future.
Ayurveda explains that food contains intelligence, which can be loosely translated as nutritional value. It also includes the quality, freshness and degree of life in the food. Ayurveda calls this prana or life force.
The intelligence of a fruit or vegetable varies widely depending on whether it is fresh, organic, tinned, microwaved, leftover or genetically modified.
The fresher and closest to nature the food is, the more intelligence it contains.
An organic orange has 30% more vitamin C than the average supermarket variety. Fresh, organic spinach has 1,500 mg of iron in comparison to a mere 19mg found in the nonorganic, frozen form.
Food that is leftover, tinned or processed is even lower in nutritional values and actually increases free radical damage no matter how fresh and organic it was to begin with.
Processed foods have been found to contain high levels of lipid peroxides, which produce free radicals that damage the cardiovascular system.
You are what you eat
When we eat food that has been grown with chemicals we are also digesting the pesticides, growth hormones etc. This can create confusion in the body and a load on the liver, as it has to process the toxins along with the nutritional information contained in the food. For optimal health, fresh organic food is best.
When we eat a fresh apple or lettuce we are metabolizing the intelligence of that food. Plants, like humans, need to protect themselves against disease creating pathogens. They produce special chemicals for that purpose. When consumed in the form of a whole food, we digest the intelligence, thus absorbing the plant’s ability to fight off ill-health.
Far from intelligent or nutritious
Genetically engineered food can create chaos in your physiology. Our bodies have evolved with what we eat over thousands of years. When it consumes a new type of food, for example a tomato spliced with a fish gene, our body cannot assimilate it. The genetically engineered organism is not properly digested and creates blockages and confusion in the body. It has been found to cause problems from headaches and allergies, to in extreme cases, disability.
In the eternal quest for the magical food that is low in fat, high in fibre, bursting with antioxidants, sugar-free and tasty, food is becoming more complicated and on the whole less intelligent. Sugar is often replaced with aspartame and while it may not increase your calorie intake it has been found to impair memory functioning.
Claims that food is 98% fat free may sound to be very healthy, but it also depends on the type of fat it contains. Mono-saturated fats such as olive oil and rapeseed oil are more easily utilised by the body, whereas polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable oil have been found to cause oxidation. The body requires certain fats and when consumed in a balanced diet, will not create undue weight gain.
If you are feeling like you need a degree in nutrition just to feed yourself, simply go back to basics and eat simple, fresh, whole foods. Mother nature knows best.
This week’s tips
1. Eat seasonal fruit and vegetables with larger quantities at lunchtime when you can digest them best. Eat lighter evening meals by 6-7pm.
2. Support your digestive strength so you can fully digest what you eat. Take Agni Balance one third of a teaspoon prior meals 3 times day (especially during winter) to boost a cold or support sluggish digestion.
3. See the best foods to favour and those to reduce or avoid during winter.
Vata Balancing Foods
4. Favour Vata Organic Seasonal Spice Mix and Vata Tea during winter to support optimal digestion. Use Organic Vata Massage Oil to soothe and warm when the weather is cold. Want to know how to give yourself a massage?
5. Get adequate sleep and build your resilience to stress by practicing Transcendental Meditation
Stay warm, eat well and enjoy the winter season.
Wishing you the bliss of balance this week.