“Animal proteins putrefy very quickly in the intestinal tract. Fermentation takes place in an under active bowel and favours the multiplication of undesirable toxic bacteria, while the friendly acidophilus bacteria may be almost destroyed.” – Dr Jenson, American Nutritionist.
Why Vegetarian Diet is a Better Choice?
There are a number of reasons why you should opt for vegetarian diet :
– Biologically humans are more suited to a vegetarian diet as eating of meat taxes the digestive process as it is believed that the non-vegetarian diet is not easily digestible.
– Consuming meat on a regular basis leads to formation of toxins, which when accumulated in the body as ama can further lead to ailments like gout, kidney stones, skin diseases, rheumatism or gallstones.
– Also being Rajasic in nature, the non-vegetarian diet would promote aggression, violence and angry behaviour.
– The health benefits of vegetarian diet are immense as it is high in fibre, antioxidants and vitamins and also it is low in calories, fat & sugar.
– Vegetarian diet provides with lower risk of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity, as vegetables have more fibre and less fat.
– The vegetarian diet is easily digestible and thus helps in strengthening various organs of the body viz. the pancreas, stomach, liver and intestines.
– The Satvic diet also improves the skin texture, provides with natural glow and also imbibes anti-aging virtues. This is how you can maintain your natural beauty and age gracefully!
– The vegetarian diet which is light in nature also creates a lightness of mind and body, making you emotionally aware, active and positive.
– Also, as the vegetarian diet is comparatively low in fat content, this will keep you full of energy and zeal, whereas the non-vegetarian diet being fat laden results into causing more lethargy, both of the body as well as mind.
What is Vegetarian Diet?
Vegetarian diet includes the foodstuffs that are nourishing as well as easily digestible. This mainly includes healthy, fresh and easily digestible Satvic foods such as seasonal fruits, green leafy vegetables, ghee, milk, milk products, raisins and the food items that are high in protein, minerals and vitamins. This means that the vegetarian diet which has lots of fresh fruits, organic vegetables, balanced intake of grains, nuts, legumes and seeds, provides with sufficient and required amount of protein, vitamins and minerals for health, balance and energy.
Vegetarian Diet maintains Health and Wellbeing
When you consciously opt for vegetarian diet, you can be sure to cash into tremendous benefits of healing not only of your body, but also of your mind and spirit. This is because Vegetarian diet is more acceptable to and nourishing for your body and also it is more easily digestible. And because of the easier digestion, the vegetarian diet leaves you feeling all the more energetic, enthusiastic and light.
Also as the vegetarian diet discourages the accumulation of ama or the toxic matter building in your body systems, there is less chance for you to feel lethargic and become an easy target to lifestyle ailments like indigestion, obesity, diabetes, insomnia and liver diseases. Studies have shown that people following a well-balanced, low-fat and high-fibre vegetarian diet have lower incidence of coronary artery disease, hypertension, obesity and some forms of cancer.
Vegetarian Diet for Balanced Body, Mind & Emotions:
The classification of food in Ayurveda is not according to the essential nutrients but mainly in accordance to the three gunas (qualities) that rules human life ie Satva, Rajas and Tamas. These three qualities have a direct impact on our moods, emotions and our holistic wellbeing. While the Tamasic food leads to lethargy, the Rajasic food initiates activity or edginess, and yet the Satvic food (i.e. mainly vegetarian diet) generates positivity, energy, lightness and balance.
Merits of Satvic Food (Vegetarian Diet)
Satvic food is the fresh & vegetarian diet that includes fresh vegetables & fruits, salads, whole grains, seeds & nuts, milk, herbal teas and water. Naturally grown fresh foods are believed to be full of life force (Prana) which the frozen or canned products lack. Foods that have no additives, but naturally sweet taste as is naturally present in the grains, honey, fruits etc. are also articulated as to be Satvic. Foods grown organically are also a part of Satvic group but foods grown using pesticides and chemicals are considered to be Tamasic. Whereas excessive spices, onions, garlic, mushrooms etc. make the food to be either Rajasic or Tamasic or even both.
What Ayurveda Conveys?
Ayurveda states that healthy human diet is the foundation of healthy living that nourishes the body, mind and soul and is vital in maintaining mental and spiritual balance. According to the Ayurvedic principles, food should be natural, fresh and organic i.e. having life energy (Prana) to benefit the physical, mental and spiritual health.
Ancient text in Ayurveda lays a lot of emphasis on the role of diet in maintaining health of an individual as well as curing disease, for which vegetarian (Satvic) food is considered to be the most desirable for human consumption. This is because the human body is naturally designed for a vegetarian diet which is known to be the best preventive medicine to avoid diseases.
Is Ayurveda vegetarian?
Ayurveda does not promote complete vegetarianism as non-veg diet has a medicinal significance in Ayurvedic science. Although this diet is advised to be eaten in moderation and only under certain circumstances. Though animal protein in the form of meat is not encouraged as it is not essential for human growth and is also known to increase Tamas mental state.
Mentions in Ancient Indian Text
Charak Samhita, the ancient book of Ayurvedic medicine, provides guidelines on how to eat animal and vegetable products. It mentions about the nutritious role of meat in treating certain diseases or in times of dehydration, weakness or convalescence, but does not recommend routine meat eating.
Patnajali Yoga Sutra, an ancient treatise, emphasises non-violence (Ahimsa) as one of the core values of Ayurveda and negates non-vegetarianism on the basis of ethics and cruelty towards animals.
Satvic way of Life
Humans can maintain their health, balance and longevity, and as well have complete nourishment with pure and balanced vegetarian diet. A balanced diet rich in fresh Satvic foods provides the correct quantities of protein, vitamins and minerals for health, energy & vitality. It has been proved that vegetarians who feast on Satvic diet, and also inculcate the Satvic way of living by following the human morals of health and wisdom, can enjoy longer lifespan, have higher bone density and low incidence of disease as compared to non- vegetarians.
The Final Take
Finally, let us understand that whatever the everyday diet comprises of, it should produce good health and balance the doshas. Beyond the issues of health, ethics, economics, karma or religion, vegetarianism can re-awaken the essence of oneness with the living spirit which is omnipresent and help us largely to live life through compassion and simplicity.