Importance of Good Health – The 3 Categories of Food and their Effect on our Health and Well-being
As the food, so is the man. The food we eat has a tremendous effect on our health. We all are aware of the importance of good health and the major role that our diet plays in maintaining physical health. But the kind of food we eat also plays a very important role on the state of our mind. Food is meant to provide nutrition and energy to the body. This helps the body to perform efficiently and keep us active and fit. When we consume food for taste or just out of gluttony, the effect can be seen not just on the body but also on the state of our mind.
Let us have a look at the importance of good health from the perspective of food
There are primarily 3 categories of Food viz.
- Sattvic food is that which is fresh, nutritious and easily digestible. It may or may not be tasty, but provides the body with good nutrition. The taste aspect of it comes over time. It is an acquired taste and once we realize the importance of good health, we realize the benefits of consuming such food.
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, mild spices, etc are some of the foods that come under the category of sattvic food. Consuming such freshly cooked food provides the body with good nutrition, digests easily and keeps the body light, active and energetic. This in turn has a satisfying and calming effect on the mind. Our state of mind after consuming such food items is also in a balanced, calm, and alert state.
- When the mind is in such a desired state, we are able to be productive and happy in our day to day activities and interactions. The effect of Sattvic food on the body and mind thus helps us realize the importance of good health.
- Rajasic food is that which is difficult to digest and is at extreme ends in terms of taste. It includes food which is either too oily, too spicy, too sweet, etc.
- Such food may be tasty when consumed and may provide a good ride for your taste buds at that moment. The effect of such tasty food may also linger for some time. However, that which gives momentary pleasure also brings along with it pain sooner or later.
- Non-vegetarian food, hot spices, caffeine, and other stimulants, etc. come under the category of Rajasic foods.
- Such food may provide some level of nutrition and energy the body needs depending upon the climate and amount of physical activity. However, over consumption may irritate and agitate the gut.
- When the digestives system is under undue stress, it may lead to irritation and agitation in the mind. We may find ourselves easily irritable, restless, and feeling uneasy as well to a certain extent.
- If circumstances don’t allow eliminating rajasic food from your diet, the same may be consumed only in small quantities and not to the extent of putting unnecessary load on the digestive system.
- Once we understand the importance of good health, we realize that rajasic food plays a very small role in our overall health and well-being.
- Tamasic food includes stale food, junk food, and packaged food that includes a lot of artificial colors and preservatives.
- Such food does not provide the body with any nutrition and can be considered unnatural to some extent because of its contents
- Even freshly cooked sattvic food preserved for a long period of time becomes stale and can fall under the tamasic category
- Such food can put you in a dull and lethargic mode. This in turn affects the state of your mind by making it unproductive over a long period of time.
- An unproductive mind is a feeding ground for negative and unhealthy thoughts which can then affect your mental health as well.
- Not to mention, tamasic food does nothing for your physical health as well. Hence it is preferable if we can completely avoid it altogether, as far as practically possible.
The importance of good health is incomplete without the importance of good nutrition. Understanding what is yoga also includes understanding the role of food in maintaining good health. However, losing weight by following a crash diet is not recommended. The importance of good health is reflected in a supple body and a strong mind. This comes with following a healthy lifestyle on a regular basis.
When it comes to our health, it is important to look at it from a holistic point of view. It is important to maintain health from a physical and mental perspective as well. Thus, preventive as well as curative measures should include all aspects of health and especially food which plays a very important role in our overall health.
About the Author
Karen is a content contributor at Life Positive. She is a certified yoga trainer and has completed her advanced teachers' training in yoga education from The Yoga Institute. She also has knowledge about diet and nutrition as a part of her yoga education. She is also a law graduate with a specialization in corporate law and has previously worked in corporate governance, legal, and compliance for 10 years.