Each one of us have unique capacity for food and work. The identification of right balance between our food intake and work output is necessary for healthy body and mind. Too much food or too little food can create worries. Also, too much effort or too little effort in line with the food intake may also create sickness. Tirukkural talks about the balance between food and work as follows.
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Capacity of Digestion
Ancient Indian Scriptures say there is a fire within us (“Jatara Agni”) that digests food that we have. This fire can be experienced in the form of body heat. Some of us have a higher digestive capacity than others. Also, depending upon our age, the quality of digestion also varies. A person in late Teens and early Twenties have a higher capacity and better digestive power compared to another in their Fifties. So, the same meal acts in different ways in different people. The awareness about our digestive capacity is key in maintaining good health.
Certain food material is easier to digest than others. It is common knowledge that non vegetarian food requires a lot of work to digest. Also, fruits and vegetables rich in fibre is used for easier elimination. Each food substance recommended by Shastras have a responsibility to undertake. Our forefathers ate meat and fish as well. But, it was never in the same frequency and quantity as we have today. Material riches made us indulge more in action packed meals. But, that has not resulted in a healthier generation.
After a full meal, it is recommended to not eat anything till complete digestion of that meal. Our ancestors were not in favour of the culture of snacking on small bites. It can be seen in the health standards of our Grandparents and our peers today. Diabetes, Blood Pressure issues, Joint Pain, Lower Back Troubles and related illnesses are creeping in right during our Twenties. An observation of lifestyle and food habits would reveal the reason for these problems in our lives.
Many of us do not have right schedules for eating. We do not have fixed schedules today due to comfortable and flexible work hours. There are people who sleep during the day and work nights, claiming it is more productive then and a lot relaxed as well. However, our ancestors worked with the day. They woke up before the rising sun and stopped work at sunset. Nature works in certain patterns. Human beings followed the natural patterns once. Development and progress destroyed these patterns of centuries.
Our bodies signal the time to have a meal with hunger. Right quantity of food had at the right time results in developing hunger. Often, it is necessary to have certain exercise regimes to fuel this hunger as well. A person who keeps a good schedule and has right amount of food is in tune with hunger cycles of the body. This is how nature works in us. Animals do not eat when they are not hungry. They stop eating once the right amount has been taken as well. They never overeat. Except for pet animals, we never see obese beings in nature. They know what is right for them. Somehow, human beings have lost that connection temporarily. We feel these connections will come back with time.
The Enemy called Taste
Greatest beings of all times are those who have transcended their senses. The twenty first century so far has been a period of indulging too much in senses. We like to indulge in sights, sounds and tastes like humanity has never indulged before. Experiential marketing, where people pay to experience things in larger than life proportions is yielding great dividends. Having food for taste is important for businesses to succeed, and health to suffer.
Indian Meals that is rich with sweets, masala, spices and other ingredients have a science of quantity. There is a fixed proportion of tastes and substances required. There are also certain rules about combinations of these ingredients as well. Olden people knew these combinations and quantities. But, we seem to forget these rules of right eating and blindly follow taste. The most selling dishes in any restaurant is the tastiest one rather than the healthiest one. For enhancing tastes, even chemicals and harmful substances are used that results in serious illnesses.
How aware are you about the right food habits?