Diet, Nutrition and Yoga

vitamins | minerals | home

Before we get into the heart of what a good diet is and how it can help you avoid illness, I would like to say that in some cases, in spite of adopting and strictly following the most pure and nutritious diet, some people will still get ill. Sometimes the reason for this is the natural relationship between the mind and the body where in the mind is always in a dominant or controlling position over the body. Therefore what is in the mind, it's belief structure, is even more important to the overall health and vitality of the body than what foods may be consumed. So if you are ill, despite a good diet and good life habits, your illness may be caused by some undiscovered psychological factors.

It may also be important to take into account the influence of Karma, Your Karma may play a very significant role in the presence or absence of disease. There may be some past life experiences that are effecting your present life. Sometimes an illness may be chosen even before you are born. In some instances the chosen illness may then become the main focus or theme for a life, illness gives some an emotional challenge and opportunity that they otherwise could not have. Remember you are eternal, this is but one of your lives and so seen in the perspective of eternity even a life of illness can have deep meaning and significance for your soul.

Regardless of how psychology and karma can influence health, most people will want to find out the best possible ways of caring for themselves in order to prolong life and maintain good health. Food is central to good health, it is medicine you take every day and so is the most important factor in maintaining good health and in avoiding disease. In the process of trying to establish good eating habits, it is not necessary or even desirable to become food obsessed, that is, weighing, measuring, analyzing your food, rather if you adhere to a general principle of right eating you can achieve much more stable results. Eating fresh whole natural foods, in balanced proportions, is the only diet that most of you will ever need to follow. There are some foods such as Noni which can contribute greatly to your health and can be used as a supplement.

There are several reasons that the the body needs or desires food, one is to supply it with energy so that it can continue its normal functioning. The body also needs food to repair tissues and organs. These are the two primary reasons for eating food, but since the body, as pointed out, is subservient to the mind, the mind also creates reasons to eat. For instance, food is often used as a substitute for love and affection, or a means to relieve tension or fear, or it may also be used to relieve boredom or depression. These are not good reasons to eat and so all these psychological factors must be dealt with before a good diet can have any lasting effect. Please read the sections in this site called Beliefs and Meditation for some guidance in this area.

Before I address what specific foods are recommended by the philosophy of Yoga, it is important to discuss the relationship between over eating and ill health. It is essential for you to learn to control your consumption of food. By controlling the amount of food you consume, and this is regardless of what kinds of foods you may be consuming, you can contribute significantly to a long and healthy life. Over eating is one of the primary causes of disease and early death. It has been proved in study after study of the most long lived people of the world that the most common denominator in each individuals life styles, is the fact that they all eat very sparingly. So the lesson here is if you want to live long, eat less.

Yoga advocates occasional fasting, especially when you fall ill, in doing so you give your digestive system a rest. You can observe natures own precaution of fasting in the animal kingdom. Animals stop eating and rest when they fall ill, they rest and fast until their body naturally repairs itself and they are well again. Fasting on raw fruit and vegetable juices, from a few days to two weeks, is a common yogic remedy for may ailments. When you begin to fast you may feel very uncomfortable or even ill during the first few days, this is because of the many toxins which are being released into your system, but soon after this phase your energy and vitality will return. Caution: Do not go to extremes with fasting, prolonged fasts need supervision.

Now according to the principles layed out in the Yogic philosophy there are three types of food, namely, ( Sattvic Food) which is considered pure food, (Rajasic Food) which is considered stimulating food, and (Tamasic Food) which is rotting, diseased or decaying food. (Sattvic Food) is both soothing and nourishing to the body and is considered the best food source. These foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, uncontaminated milk or cheese products, as well as nuts and whole grains. (Rajasic Food) is very stimulating to the body and can arouse the emotions, they may bring about a state of nervousness or dis-ease. They cause circulatory disorders like high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries and uric acid diseases. Spicy foods, meats and processed foods are considered to be Rajsic. (Tamasic Food) is any food which is overly ripe and decaying, this is the most toxic state of any food and it will poison the body and cause immediate harm.

Most important is to avoid refined, processed or packaged foods. Use real stone ground whole wheat breads made without synthetic ingredients, and for the prevention of disease avoid all white sugars, white flour products, including soft drinks, desserts and bakery goods.


(1) Exercise to stimulate your circulation, this may be any form of exercise but the best exercise is the exercise provided by Hatha Yoga.

(2) Proper breathing to absorb a good supply of oxygen to fuel the body and deliver amply supply of Prana.

(3) Relaxation for both the body and the mind. Good sleep, ample day time rest and meditation.

(4) Natural wholesome food preferably organic and Sattvic.

(5) Clear thinking and the cultivation of natural concentration of the mind.

Food Categories

(1) Proteins or Nitrogenous Food, Meat, nuts, beans, peas, milk, cheese, contain a large percentage of nitrogenous matter or proteins.

(2) Carbohydrates, Wheat, rice, oats, other grains and potatoes are mainly composed of carbohydrates.

(3) Hydrocarbons or Fats, Nearly all protein foods and vegetable oils contain hydrocarbons or fats.

(4) Minerals, Organic mineral elements such as iron, potassium, lime and soda, etc., come mainly from fruits and vegetables.

These four categories of food are essential in the diet to maintain body functioning and to repair body tissues. Minerals serve as eliminators, antiseptics, blood purifiers, and producers of electromagnetic energy. Vitamins are highly complex in nature and each one of them has a special task to preform in the proper functioning of some particular organ or group of organs, Vitamins also control the use of minerals. Without vitamins the body can not use minerals effectively, and without minerals vitamins are also less useful. A proper balance of vitamins and minerals is necessary for the functioning of the endocrine glands and in the formation of hormones. Carbohydrates provide fuel for the body and Proteins help in the building and repair of tissues. All four categories are absolutely necessary to human life, and nature the great chemist that she is, has provided us with all these elements naturally combined in the plant and animal kingdom.

This diet is specifically recommended for losing weight and for getting rid of addictions to sugar. Millet is an Earth food in the system of elements. Eating millet will thus, over time, help release the craving for sugar. Also note that not enough protein creates sugar cravings. So include other protein if you cannot eat tofu or soy.

The Millet Tofu Diet

Here are the basics of the millet diet. For a more detailed description with recipes developed This diet normalizes blood sugar levels. I believe this aspect helped me overcome cravings that have made dieting so difficult for me in the past.The millet diet is "excellent for losing weight, but also excellent for hypoglycemic and diabetics".

Daily Food Plan as described in The Millet Diet

Breakfast: 1 - 2 cups of fruit. Strawberries, apricots and pineapple are recommended but any fresh fruit or frozen fruit with no sugar or syrup added.

Main Meal: to be eaten at lunch or before 4 PM. One pound of tofu, one cup of millet, any steamed or raw vegetables. Cottage Cheese may be used sparingly. Part of the tofu allowance or vegetables may be used for snacks throughout the day.

After 4 PM: eat only fruits and tea

Beverages: Hot or cold lemon water is recommended. Use no honey or sweetener. You may use commercial non-sugar sweeteners like 'equal' or 'sweet & low'. You may drink herbal or decaffeinated teas, again with no sugars. Do not drink more than 2 cups of decaffeinated coffee per day. Diet decaffeinated soda is allowed. Yogi tea may be taken but limit milk intake no more than 1/2 cup of non-fat or skim milk per day. Also be sure to drink 8 full 8-oz glasses of water. Says Bibiji Inderjit Kaur "Water is a great internal cleanser, conveyor of nutriments and emotional balancer -- all very necessary while dieting".

Calories: 1 lb. of tofu and 1 cup cooked millet add up to 540 calories per day. You can still eat plenty of fruits and vegetable and keep your daily caloric intake at about 1000 calories.

I adapted the diet for myself by starting the day with fruit or sometimes applesauce with a teaspoon of spirulina mixed into it. spirulina is nutrient rich green food harvested from the sea. Several commercial brands are available in most health food stores. I buy good tofu in packages that are about a pound and cook my daily meal with 1 cup of cooked millet, the daily pound of tofu and whatever veggies I have handy. I vary the seasoning using curries, garlic, and tomato sauce (check the label to find tomato sauces with no sugars or fats). I use a cast iron skillet and cook with olive oil Pam.

Pam is a commercial product available in most groceries. It is spray oil used for fat free cooking and comes in different flavors. Other brands of spray oil products are also commonly available. I flavor with Bragg another commercial product. Bragg's is a liquid soy protein flavoring, similar to tamari also called liquid aminos. Other spices I use are lemon pepper, or oregano. I use lemon juice or vinegar sometimes to add zest to my prepared meal. One cup of dry millet makes four cups cooked so I cook it up four cups at a time making daily food preparation very simple. When I want something sweet I eat fruit. If I want bread I eat a banana. I have not restricted my fruit intake at all.

I divide my tofu-millet veggie meal into two parts eating one part of it around noon and the other part around 4 PM. The diet calls for no caffeine. I cheat a little here and drink green tea and occasionally splurge with a diet coke. I use soy milk in my tea but limit the quantity to not more than one half cup per day. A few times I have felt extra hungry after 4 PM and have had some extra tofu but I really try to stick to the 4 PM rule. I often make an evening snack of fruit salad by cutting up fruit in applesauce and spicing it with cinnamon or ginger. The great improvement in my health and energy level are my incentive to stick to it.

Please click onto either the Vitamins or Mineral heading to find out about each Vitamins or Minerals Physical Properties, Physical Effects, and their Food Sources.

Written by AVANANDA

vitamins | minerals | home

All Rights Reserved 2000-2004 © Eden MultiMedia