Sadhguru on the link between mental health and food


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Dec 27, 2019
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An insightful article by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on the link between mental health and food..

Meat is a good food to survive if you are out in the desert or the jungle. If you are lost somewhere, a piece of meat will keep you going, because it provides concentrated nourishment. But it should not be a daily food that you eat when there are other choices.

There are many ways to look at this. One thing is animals have the intelligence to know in the last few moments that they are going to get killed, no matter how cunningly or how scientifically you do it. Any animal that has the capacity to express some kind of emotion will always grasp when it is going to be killed.

Suppose all of you come to know right now that at the end of this day, you are going to get slaughtered. Imagine the struggle that you would go through, the burst of chemical reactions within you. An animal goes through at least some fraction of that. This means when you kill an animal, the negative acids and whatever other chemicals are in the meat. When you consume the meat, it creates unnecessary levels of mental fluctuations.

If you put people who are on antidepressants on a conscious vegetarian diet, in about three months’ time, most of them will not need their medication anymore. We have seen this with many people who have come to the Isha Yoga Center.~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Religious philosophies and Ayurvedic medical philosophies in India have also linked fresh vegetarian food with the quality of Sattva. Sattva in turn is associated with happiness, peace, harmony, creativity, and positivity.

Nonvegetarian food on the other hand is associated with the qualities of Rajas and Tamas, which in turn are qualities associated with mental agitation and restlesness, depression and sadness, respectively.

Modern scientific research has also shown that there is a correlation between a vegetarian diet and better mental health and well-being...

Diet choices can have a major impact on mood and mental health, and there is a very good reason for this. Diet affects the health of our gut bacteria, which produce many of the hormones active in the brain. Gut bacteria thrive on fibre, which is only found in whole plant foods. So it is no surprise to find that a plant-based diet can benefit mental health.

In one US study conducted at a large insurance company, participants who were overweight or had a history of type 2 diabetes were either prescribed a low-fat vegan diet or asked to continue their usual diet for 18 weeks. The results showed a significant improvement in mental health, wellbeing and work productivity in those on the vegan diet, as well as lower levels of depression and anxiety.