Saturday, December 17, 2011

Part 2: Watch what you eat, as it becomes you!!

*This article has been summarized from a talk by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev - Founder of the ISHA FOUNDATION*


Here is the 2nd part of the previous post

One of the issues that has confused me for the last 5 -10 years is: Why should I be vegetarian? And to be honest I am still plagued by this question on and off. Here is my case as, why it is good to follow a veggie diet (as reasonably as possible). For comparison lets look at the bodily constitution of animals - herbivores and carnivores and then draw a hypothesis.


If you look at the digestive system of animals, herbivores and carnivores have different digestive systems. For carnivores the length of alimentary canal (AC) is 3 times the body, since meat stays longer in the system it makes sense to have a small AC. Moreover, their teeth and jaws are meant only for cutting, no grinding occurs in the mouth so they do not chew food. Henceforth, the major digestion happens in the stomach. On the contrary for herbivores the teeth have 2 functions: 1. cutting and 2. grinding. And so the incisors and molars are developed but not the canines. Furthermore, the alimentary canal is 6 times the length of the body, vegetables travel through the system faster than meat thus the long length works fine. 





Now if we compare the human system both the AC and teeth are structured as herbivores i.e. the AC is 6 times the length of the body and canines are not prominent. Thus, it makes more sense to follow a vegetarian diet as the system is geared towards that type of food. Secondly, too much of non - vegetarian food reduces the flexibility of the system (personal experimental observation). And last but not least whenever an animal is being slaughtered/killed it goes into a state of shock/nervousness this leads to an increase in the acidity content of the cells - consuming such meat will lead to inexplicable conditions of anxiety and tension in you. 


It takes longer to digest meat and thus any food that remains in the system for a long time leads to bacterial growth and lethargy, unless one is physically very active. Thus, if you are not able to give-up meat 100 %, you can make some rules for example: eating meat only after intense physical activity like 10K etc. 


If these reasons do not  motivate you to be a vegetarian then think about the effects non vegetarian diet has on planet earth - I will not write about this stuff as there are sufficient number of resources online. 


Now the question is, how to categorize the food, well the answer lies in the yogic culture where food is always looked in terms of pranic energy (life energy) i.e. certain foods have the capability to increase or decrease the energy and certain foods do not do anything they are just for taste. Here is a partial list:


Foods that Decrease Energy: Garlic, onion, asfoetida, chili, eggplant, coffe, tea and other neuro stimulants and intoxicants.
Note: Chili includes both green and red chili, though peppercorns are fine.


Foods that Increase Energy: Nuts, fruits, vegetables, sprouts


Foods with no effect: Potatoes, tomatoes


Moral of the story is: Exercise, watch your diet, do some pranayam/yogic kriya etc and the body will be like a breeze. If we watch our food habits and eat more consciously 50 - 60 % of major ailments will be gone. Why is it important, as only when the body is comfortable you will seek something higher.

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