Ayurveda Column

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Local News

When you need a high-energy fix, do you dive for a coffee, or grab a chocolate, or high-sugar snack?  It may surprise you, but the real energy-boosters are fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and whole grains. These are the foods that are rich in ‘chetna,’ the healing and nurturing influence of nature. They are so alive with nature’s intelligence that fatigue-causing toxins cannot accumulate in the body when you eat them.

Grains for Power

Athletes have long relied on complex carbohydrates in grains for long-term endurance and energy. These are whole grains, such as whole wheat, basmati or brown rice, oats and quinoa. They have been found to lower cholesterol and blood glucose, inhibit cancer-causing activity and harmful bacteria in the intestines.   Being high in fibre they have a detoxifying effect. All of these grains contain copper, an essential trace mineral that improves energy and immunity. Their zinc content boosts ojas, the finest product of digestion that creates lightness, inner energy, immunity and bliss.

Adding ghee or clarified butter during cooking is important because otherwise the grains create internal dryness.

Energizing Vegetables and Fruits

Other high-energy foods include fresh vegetables. Green, leafy vegetables are especially high in minerals and fibre and should be eaten often.

 Fruits are a great source of energy. Starting the day with stewed apples provides fibre and a steady release of energy. If you are feeling heavy and bloated after lunch, try eating a fresh papaya, because it contains enzymes that aid digestion.

 Raisins are among the best of fruits because they enhance sattva (purity), pacify the mind and heart and increase the coordination between them. They are also a rich source of iron, Vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium. Raisins aid digestion and elimination and are best soaked overnight in water.  Delicious when added to breakfast porridge!