It is well known that the healthier your diet, the healthier your body will be. But did you know that nutritional deficiencies can also cause an imbalance in the mind? Sports people eat to ensure optimum performance and we ensure our children have enough calcium for healthy bones. But eating poorly could also lead to mental fatigue, stress and other imbalances of the mind too. This week, we’ll look at how you can eat to care for your mind, as well as your body.
In Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu practice of medicine based on the idea of balance in bodily systems,using diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing, many types of foods and herbs are said to be able to bring balance back to the mind and body. Even though each of our bodies require different types of nurturing, there are some basic foods, which nourish physically and mentally, and can help us all.
Eating the same old food over and over again, or a diet high in processed foods, could lead to an imbalance. Sugar, caffeine, meat and fat are all culprits. Today we look at Roots.
Like the name suggests, root vegetables are grown in the ground and instantly connect you back to nature.
Beets, carrots, celery root (or celeriac), daikon garlic, ginger, kohlrabi (German turnip, turnip cabbage), horseradish, jicama, Jerusalem Artichokes, onions, parsnips, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, turmeric and yams are all considered roots.
Because root vegetables grow underground, they absorb a great amount of nutrients from the soil. They are packed with a high concentration of antioxidants, Vitamins C, B, A, and iron, helping to cleanse your system. They are also filled with slow-burning carbohydrates and fiber, which make you feel full, and help regulate your blood sugar and digestive system. This factor, plus the high-octane nutrients and low calories, make roots excellent for people who are trying to lose weight, or simply stay healthy.
The nutrient qualities of root vegetables are insanely good. They are: disease-fighting, immunity and energy-boosting and they help to calm the body, providing steady energy release, even relieving mental stress which comes from over-consuming stimulating foods.
Ways to eat them: Roast or bake a sweet potato, stewed onions, add turmeric to winter squash, roasted beets. In fact, scientists at Wake Forest University in the US found that natural nitrates in beets increases blood flow to the brain, thereby improving mental performance.Roast your beets then drizzle with honey.
photo credit: Mother Earth Living