What Do Yogis Eat to Improve Mind, Body and Soul?
It is a well-established fact that eating a well-balanced diet is an integral part of having a healthy lifestyle. This is as true for yogis as it is for anyone else who is looking to improve their overall well-being. While there is no such thing as a “yoga diet”, there are definitely foods out there that are more beneficial to someone with a lifestyle that includes yoga. At the same time, there are foods that yogis should try their best to avoid in order to maintain the health of their mind, body and soul.
In the Ayurvedic tradition, there are foods that have been known to contribute to the overall improvement of the mind body and soul. These foods are known as Sattvic or pure, and refer to such foods as fresh fruits and vegetables (excluding onions and garlic), whole grains, nuts, beans, plant based oils and natural sugars. Certain dairy foods such as full-fat yogurt are also beneficial to the health of a yogi, though these should be eaten in moderation as they can sometimes become too filling. Many herbs and spices are also a good choice and can add a lot of flavour to your diet. Herbal tea made with turmeric, ginger or coriander can be highly effective when it comes to flushing toxins from your digestive system.
Foods to Avoid
While a major part of having a healthy, yoga-inspired diet is knowing what foods to eat, it is important to know what foods to stay away from in order to keep your diet, as well as your mind body and soul pure. Processed foods of any kind that are for the most part synthetically produced should be an obvious red flag. These types of foods are known as Tamasic or stale foods and are often heavy and can cloud your mind. They can also make you feel depressed and tired, and as a result can interrupt your healthy daily routine. Similar to Tamasic foods, Rajasic or stimulating foods can also have a negative impact on your overall health. These foods are salty and spicy, and can lead to feelings of stress and excitement followed by a rapid drop in your mood. A quick list of foods that fall under one or both of these categories includes microwaveable foods, fried or fatty foods, meat, fish, eggs and alcohol.
Finding the yoga diet that is right for your lifestyle is a very personal process. As stated before, there is no strict diet that all yogis must adhere to. As we have discussed however, there are good foods and there are bad foods, and finding the healthy balance that fits your lifestyle in a positive way is a part of what it takes to be a successful yogi. It is important to be aware of how your mind, body and soul react to your diet, and what you can do to continue improving your well-being each day.