Nutrition and health go hand in hand – no rocket science about that. What you eat is what you become. Ancient wisdom talks a great deal on how nutrition effects your health. Ayurveda is one such medicinal system. It covers everything from the impact of nutrition on health to emotional wellbeing. It’s perhaps the most detailed guide to wellness.
Nutrients are the nourishing substances in food that are essential for the growth, development and maintenance of body functions. Essential meaning that if a nutrient is not present, aspects of function and therefore human health decline. When nutrient intake does not regularly meet the nutrient needs dictated by the cell activity, the metabolic processes slow down or even stop.
Perspectives in Nutrition, Wardlow and Insel, 2004
To make the right nutritional choice for your body, you must first know what kind of foods exist, the category they fall into. Later on you can gauge your current food habits based on this.
The basic categories of food
Ayurveda describes all foods within three categories, namely, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Understanding these can help you greatly with bettering the impact of nutrition on your health.
Sattvic foods are essentially foods that are freshly picked or eaten with little or no cooking. Organic vegetables, Whole wheat, grains and fresh fruits fall in this category.
It is said that a Sattvic diet contributes to having a heightened empathy, clear mind, sound sleep and awakened spirituality. As humans we are recommended to follow the Sattvic diet as the base of daily food consumption.
This category consists of meat and animal products. The Rajasic diet consists of all foods that are spicy, bitter, dry and salty to taste. Fish and all kinds of meat fall under this category. Also, acidic or harsh beverages like Cola, Coffee, alcohol and Tea are found here. Even the use of excess amounts of spice in a dish can make it Rajasic.
This type of food contributes to aggression, ego, hardworking nature, perfectionism and desire for power in an individual. People following this kind of diet usually do not have much sound sleep and tend to border on over thinking.
By now you must have seen how drastically nutrition effects your health. Deep fried foods like chips, french fries, meatballs come under tamasic foods. Pickles , all types of preserved meat and hard liquor completes the list of Tamasic foods.
This kind of food is known to inculcate a lack of motivation in getting things done in life. Also, physically, Tamasic foods are known to slow the person. Obsessive desire for sex, overeating and over-sleeping are the side effects of Tamasic foods.
Choosing the right diet
Overall, when it comes to choosing the right diet for you body, remember, that nutrition greatly affects your health. The impact of nutrition is not limited to your physical body but emotions as well.
To lead a happy life, you must balance the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic foods that you eat per day. Health is physical, emotional and social wellbeing. You can be truly healthy only when you balance the three types of foods in your diet, daily.
Featured image courtesy : Food Navigator