Guiding Light: You are what you eat

Eating protein-heavy diets, especially animal protein, can spike the cortisol levels in our bloodstream 30-60 mins after a meal, also resulting in an increase in blood pressure

Ritesh AswaneyUpdated: Friday, August 05, 2022, 10:16 PM IST
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Life is full of little miracles, which are easily overlooked unless you stop and think. One that Sadhguru often cites is what happens when you eat a banana, it turns into a part of you, rather than you turning into the banana! It therefore becomes very important to be mindful about what you put into your body, as it affects everything from how you feel in the present to how you experience life in the longer term.

Cortisol, popularly called the stress hormone, helps us manage our stress levels. Studies have shown that eating protein-heavy diets, especially animal protein can spike the cortisol levels in our bloodstream 30-60 mins after a meal, also resulting in an increase in blood pressure. Meat also has a denser genetic memory than plant-based foods, which impacts us, even if on a more subtle level. Add to that the hormones that are secreted in the moments leading up to slaughter, so with that mouthful, you’re also ingesting all that chemistry and trauma.

As we start to encounter the different manifestations of the climate crisis more frequently, it’s also worth noting the environmental impact of our dietary choices. For example, 1 kg of beef takes 15,000 litres of water to produce, and add to that its impact on the greenhouse gases, which contribute to warming our already simmering planet.

In the Talks with Ramana Maharishi, which catalogues the Maharishi’s conversations with visitors to the ashram, he says, “The quality of food influences the mind. The mind feeds on the food consumed.” The Maharishi advocated the virtues of consuming sattvic foods, which are high in pranic energy, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and emphasised on the importance of eating right to support spiritual practices.

Dietary choices are less about morality, but more about the effect they have on the quality of your consciousness, especially if you are a spiritual seeker. So if you’re investing time and energy into sadhna, consider combining that with a sattvic diet and witness your mind feel calmer, meditations deepen and your spiritual experiences soar to the next level.

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