Sadhguru Answers Queries About Food Choices, Mental Health, And More

Sadhguru Answers Queries About Food Choices, Mental Health, And More

In this Ask Sadhguru column, spiritual leader Sadhguru answers queries regarding life, spirituality, and more

SadhguruUpdated: Saturday, October 07, 2023, 12:34 AM IST
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Question: How does one make the right food choices?

Sadhguru: Every few years, a different theory emerges on what kinds of foods to eat, and some people start following it religiously. Food should not be made into some kind of religion. It is not about what you or someone else believes in, but about eating sensibly. Essentially, food is fuel. To refuel your car, you choose the appropriate fuel for optimal performance. You could put kerosene and the car would still work, but not very well. Similarly, when it comes to food choices, to choose the appropriate fuel, you need to know what type of machine you are.

There are many aspects that need to be considered in this context. One important factor is that in the Yogic culture, we classify foods as rajas, tamas, or sattva. Tamas means inertia. If you eat food with the quality of inertia, it will make you dull. In the Yogic culture, we always consume cooked food within 1.5 hours after it comes off the stove. Any later and inertia sets in, and you lose your dynamism. If you are interested in your well-being and that of your children, you must ensure that the food you eat is fresh.

Another aspect is that your body is just an accumulation of the food that you have eaten. There is a certain intelligence, memory, and genetic code in the body that determines what the food that you eat is converted into. For example, the same apple, depending on who eats it, becomes part of the body of a woman, a man, or a cow.

As life evolves, the information and memory an organism carries get increasingly complex. In the Yogic tradition, we always said you must eat what is furthest away from you, genetically. In that sense, plant life is furthest away from us. If you must eat non-vegetarian food, we advised the consumption of fish.

After a century of saying the best thing to eat is meat, doctors in the West are now saying that meat consumption can lead to cardiac ailments and cancer. We have been saying this in the Yogic culture for ten thousand years that if you eat foods with a complex genetic code, your system will break down in some way. We arrived at that not by doing million-dollar research, but just by observing what happens in our system when we eat.

So, do not make food some kind of a religion. If it is a question of survival, eat what is available. But when survival is taken care of, you must eat what is best for your system.

Question: How should one take charge of one’s mental health

Sadhguru: Human pleasantness can be looked at in many different ways. One simple way of looking at it is that every human experience has a chemical basis to it. What you call peace, joy, love, turmoil, tranquility, agony, ecstasy – everything has a chemical basis to it. Even health and ill health have a chemical basis. Today, the entire pharmacology is just about trying to manage your health by using chemicals. A physician’s job is to try and manage an orchestra of chemistry. Even mental illness is largely being managed by chemical input from outside.

Essentially, health means a certain level of pleasantness. We are trying to manage pleasantness by putting chemicals into the body. It is said that seventy percent of the adult population in the United States is on some kind of prescription medication. It is the most affluent country, with an enormous choice of nourishment and lifestyle options, but seventy percent are on prescription medication!

The human body is a very complex chemical factory. Managing it from the outside is very difficult. You could manage it from inside, but you must have access to it. Yoga gives you access to the very source of creation throbbing within you. There is an intelligence within you that can transform a rice grain or a banana or a piece of bread into a human being. With a piece of bread, you manufacture the most complex mechanism on the planet! If even a drop of this intelligence enters your daily life, you will live magically.

The most phenomenal engineer is within you. It is from this basis that we offer Inner Engineering – engineering your inferiority to take charge of life. The very way you are born, the way you live, think, feel and experience your life – everything can be determined by you.

(Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author) 

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