by Morgan Webert
Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to live on mung beans and meditation!
While I’m sure that may be how the yogi’s of yore hidden in caves ate, we don’t have to go to such extremes to incorporate the wisdom of the Yogic and Ayurvedic traditions into our modern lives.
There are a few Yogic principles we can take into consideration when choosing our food that will get every little cell in our body chanting OMs of appreciation. I’ll be going over these principles in the next few blogs, but let’s start where all things start; with prana the life force energy.
How much prana is on our plate?
Prana is the life-force energy within everything. All of our yogic practices aim to open us up to this life-force energy to keep us feeling vital and healthy.
Some things have a very high life-force while other have none and are considered dead. We all know that we become what we eat, which means if we eat low-prana food our tissues get less prana, and if we eat high-prana food our tissues vibrate with life-force energy.
Here is a hierarchy of food preparation, the top containing the highest prana and the bottom the most processed, rendering food lifeless.
1. Whole, fresh, sun-ripened, enzyme rich, organic, alkaline food.
- Consumed immediately because once the skin of fruits or vegetables is broken the decaying process begins.
2. Dehydrated or Dried
- Loses 2-5% of nutrient value.
- Dried without chemicals or additives (many commercial brands of dried fruit contain sulfer-dioxide).
- Freshly picked and frozen immediately
- Loses 5-30% of nutrient value (use within 3-6 months).
- Loses 15-60% of nutrient value
- Steamed means the green bean is still a bit crispy (if it’s limp, it’s cooked). The longer the cooking time and higher the temperature, the more loss in life-force.
5. Cooked (high temperatures over 118F for 30 minutes)
- Baked, broiled, boiled, grilled, steamed too long, home canned (the green bean is limp).
- Loses 40-100% of nutrient value depending on how hot and how long it is cooked.
6. Cooked leftovers microwaved
- Loses 90-100% of nutrient value.
7. Commercially canned foods, fried foods and foods with additives
- These lose 100% of their nutrient value as well as have toxins added to them.
Resource: “Ayurvedic Tongue Diagnosis,” Walter Kacera, Ph.D