This article is inspired by Arun’s comment on my post lose weight, get ageless vibrant health and radiant beauty with anulom vilom pranayam where he asked about food to eat while practicing pranayama. A brief reply to the comment cannot do justice to this important topic hopefully this article does. I would be grateful if more readers can give inputs as we all are on a journey towards good health while overcoming many challenges along the way. We need to help and support each other to win this uphill battle against unhealthy lifestyle diseases. I have faith together we can win and I invite all the readers to contribute their ideas as every bit of knowledge can make the struggle a lot easier.
I have written a few articles (some are mentioned below) about food that support weight loss, one can have these foods while practicing Yoga and Pranayama.
To enjoy maximum benefit out of your daily Yoga and Pranayama Practice one must follow a Satvik Diet also known as a Yogic Diet.
Satvik Diet is diet based on ancient wisdom of sages of India for whom Ayurveda, Yoga and Pranayama where important part of a healthy lifestyle. They religiously followed ahimsa (non-harming) hence the diet was purely vegetarian. They also believed in having freshly cooked meals and stale food was considered as an invitation to diseases. As per Indian Culture, food is given Divine importance and it is treated with upmost respect.
Satvik diet encourages foods grown and ripened naturally. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables should cover up your plate more than any other food if you want to eat clean and healthy. It is also advisable to avoid overcooking vegetables to preserve their nutrients. Please try to consume as much raw vegetables as possible as they can give you tons of nutrients and fiber that helps in weight loss.
Processed and factory made food are bad for us. Our body cannot make sense of them. Avoid eating any ready to eat or semi-cooked meal, which are usually loaded with harmful chemicals and preservatives. We cannot digest most of these chemicals and they end up messing with our hormones. Processed food is mostly unnatural and harmful, if taken regularly can cause serious health issues.
I would highly recommend a Satvik diet and lifestyle for Yoga and Pranayama practitioners. Following is a list of food one should have and avoid for a healthy lifestyle. I encourage everyone to contribute to the list to grow our knowledgebase.
9 Foods to have while practicing yoga and pranayama
1. Naturally grown and ripened fresh fruits and vegetables
2. Whole grains and beans
3. Seeds and Dry Fruits
4. Fresh Milk, Ghee, Curd, Buttermilk
5. Herbal Tea, Green Tea
6. Jagerry, Sugurcane Molasses
7. Herbs and Spices such turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, mint, basil and all spices found in any Indian Household
8. Plant based oils like coconut, peanut, sesame, sunflower, olive oil and such
9. Rock Salt
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need. – Ayurvedic Proverb”
9 Foods to Avoid while practicing yoga and pranayama
1. Processed foods,
2. Canned foods and ready to eat or semi cooked meals
3. Junk food
4. Artificial sweeteners (they are useless and harmful have jagerry instead)
5. Non Vegetarian foods (Meat and fish of all types, including eggs)
6. Cold drinks(including the diet ones), Soda, Boxed juices
7. Fried and fatty foods
8. Refined white flour (maida), white sugar
9. Stale, over cooked foods or Microwaved foods
Food is definitely medicine. As per naturopathy, right type and quantity of food can heal diseases and make the body stronger.