Food As Medicine. Choices as Management. Lifestyle as Prescription.
Food As Medicine: Part II Foods
The foods we choose have an effect on our psychology and physiology. To create a good mood we eat certain foods. Our food can either increase particular qualities or reduce them. From an Ayurvedic stand point, food breaks down and has different qualities that comprise it. These qualities stem from the notion of the five elements.
Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Ether.
Having an understanding that all things organic and inorganic are comprised of these five elements….. even our food, allows us to see how these qualities are presented and represented in the food that we eat. Once we start to observe the elements, how they play out in our food and how they affect us on a physiological and psychological level we are better a tune to the foods that will bring us into harmony or take us out of simple contentment. Foods have their own unique makeup, as do we, and the particular elements that are expressed within them cause relate to and have an effect on our mind and body. Not only do specific food groups have particular enhanced qualities but individual and specific vegetables, fruits, meats, beans, and nuts also have unique qualities associated with them.
Understanding our food better and the qualities that exist helps to educate us on the choices that we make. We can see how these choices play into the time of day, the time of year, and also into a person's lifetime. Once we better understand the qualities that are presented in a particular food, we can then make more conscious and mindful choices that either increase or decrease a particular effect.
Once we start seeing the qualities for what they are they become more friends than they are foes. Education, education, education is what it's all about. Making mindful choices that support us all around. Food as medicine is what is it's about. All starting with the basics, the very fundamental elements.
Earth possesses the qualities of dense, stable, cold, heavy, and wet.
Meats, grains, and nuts along with creamy sauces, ice cream, yogurt, eggs, seeds, milk, ghee, root vegetables and sweet tastes are all of these qualities. These foods taken in large quantities create heaviness, obesity, lethargy, and the desire for excessive sleep. On a psychological level these qualities can create depression and lack of motivation.
Fire possesses the qualities of hot, sharp, unstable, oily and light.
The qualities of fire being sharp, oily, and unstable lead us to spicy, greasy and oily, and deep fried foods and sharp, hard cheeses. All of these foods lead to an increase of the fire element within the body and mind. In excess the fire quality brings about looser stools, skin irritations, acne, and rashes. The emotions that stir about are jealousy, envy, anger, and criticism.
Air possesses the qualities of light, mobile, cold, and dry.
Popcorn, raw vegetables, bitter greens, and legumes are some examples of foods that have the quality of air in them. Dry skin, constipation, and joint or muscle pain are some ways that the air quality is played out in the body. In the mind, the emotions of anxiety, overwhelm, nervousness, and self blame play out.
Seeing how Ayurveda views and assesses an individual and their unique make up with these five elements, the food that we eat can also be assessed in the same way. We are uniquely comprised and so are they. So let’s work with this knowledge so that we are able to come away with a better understanding of what our minds and bodies need. From the head to the toes and everything in between.
If you are interested in learning more about your own unique elemental make up, send me an email or check out the website and we will go from there!
Happy & balanced elements make for Happy & Balanced people. In the mind and the body.
Follow our series to get more info. Refer to the previous or see what’s to follow. Next week is Choices as Management.