So the first of the Eight Limbs of Yoga is the YAMAS or ‘Don’ts’:
BRAMACHARYA, non-misuse of energy
The second of the Eight Limbs of Yoga is the NIYAMAS or ‘Do’s:
ISHWARA PRANIDHANA, recognising that there are higher energies
If children were brought up to REALLY understand these five Don’ts and five Do’s, the world would change forever. If adults lived by these five Don’ts and Do’s, children would REALLY understand them.
On this ‘Yoga Prescribed’ blog, we have had a romp through a variety of foods which have medicinal value. Yoga teaches us to be aware; to listen to our bodies. The more in touch with the body that we become, the more we are able to read the signals. I develop a headache in a specific place if there is not enough oxygen in the room. I develop a headache in a different place if I am dehydrated. In both cases, the headaches disappear immediately once I have fixed the problem. Listen to your body.
Including a variety of foods in the diet will take care of your nutritional needs. Eat a rainbow of vegetables. If you are drawn to a certain fruit or vegetable, eat it. Your body is telling you what it needs at this moment. For instance, you might find that you are fancying carrots and oranges. Yes, you might need betacarotene and vitamin C, but on a more subtle level your sacral chakra could be out of balance. You might need more of the colour orange in your life. Listen to your body.
Always remember that the way you eat matters, too. Yoga teaches us about the three gunas. These are qualities or constituents of nature. Eating in a rush is rajasic. When you are busy, busy, busy, it is not an appropriate time to eat. Eating because you’re bored and indolent is tamasic. You’re feeding your emotions, not your body. However,eating when you are calm and balanced is sattvik. You have time to consider your food and what your body needs. You eat slowly and with appreciation. Listen to your energies…Listen to your body.
‘Food is medicine’ is an ancient Chinese proverb, and it is still so true today.
Yogurt has been around forever. I got into making my own when we lived in the States. Live or ‘bio’ yogurts contain health-giving bacteria which synthesise B vitamins, biotin, folic acid and B 12. They keep the bowels regular and increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium. The good bacteria in live yogurt kill the bad bacteria that cause food poisoning. It is essential to eat a yogurt everyday when taking antibiotics.
Yogurt is an excellent source of vitamin B, keeping up the spirits, and calcium. It also supplies vitamin D , which is essential for the absorption of calcium. Buying plain yogurt gives you a clean canvas. You can add your own organic fruit, so you know exactly what is in it.
Indian Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe turmeric for eyesight, rheumatism, arthritis and liver problems. It is a spice which should be in daily use as it provides substantial amounts of highly protective and immune-boosting antioxidants. Research has shown that one of its natural constituents, curcumin, is very powerful in cancer prevention and treatment.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. It is grown for its root, and is used extensively in curry recipes. Make sure you have this wonderful medicine in your spice rack!
Tomatoes were introduced to Europe by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. They are rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids such as betacarotene and lycopene. They contain vitamins C and E, and so protect the heart, the circulatory system and the body against cancer. They are low in sodium and high in potassium, thus are helpful with conditions such as high blood pressure and fluid retention.
Canned tomatoes lose very little of their nutritional value, so always keep some in the larder. The lycopene contained in tomatoes protects men against prostate cancer. Tinned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato ketchup and sun-dried tomatoes are all important nutritionally. They protect men and women against heart disease. I love cherry tomatoes! So much nicer than sweets!
In Britain, semolina is mainly used in desserts, and I well remember how much some children hated semolina pudding at school. I rather liked it! In the States it is popular as a hot breakfast cereal, and in Italy it is used in savoury and sweet recipes. Couscous is popular in North America. This is made by combining fine semolina with water and flour.
Semolina is a good source of starch and contains protein. It is also a useful source of manganese and phosphorus. It is easily assimilated and popular for those recovering from illness and operations. Semolina is a winning addition to a vegetarian die,t as it forms complete protein when combined with pulses, milk or vegetables.
Spirulina is a naturally digestible food that aids in protecting the immune system, reducing cholesterol, and in the absorption of minerals.It supplies nutrients which cleanse and heal, but also it curbs the appetite. Thus it is ideal for those who are fasting. Someone suffering with hypoglycemia may find spirulina helpful as its high protein content helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
Spirulina is grown in hot climates and produces twenty times as much protein as soybeans grown on an equal size piece of land. It is rich in vitamin B12, which is really important for vegetarians. Some research demonstrates that it cures liver cancer.
Have a look for spirulina in your health local health stores!