You choose yoga to stay fit and healthy, but only regular practice of different asanas is not enough. Your diet also plays a crucial role in getting full benefit from your yoga sessions. Have you ever thought why sportsmen and pregnant women need special diet plan? This is for the same reason why you need to plan your diet when practicing yoga.
Our body needs energy for sustenance that we get from whatever we consume. It also means we are what we eat – more clearly, the type of food and its quality affects our physical and mental well-being. This also explains why some people have special dietary recommendations.
Eating is also a practice and a personal activity, but you need to learn that watchful eating is the way to support your yoga practices. Your diet must have essential nutritional system to keep you energetic and active during practice sessions.
Healthy diet for yoga practice are as follows:
There are many myths around what to eat and what to avoid when practicing yoga. There is no general rule or guideline to follow, but what you need is a general idea of do’s and don’ts to develop a healthy food practice:
Eat your breakfast daily
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it helps your body prepare for the rest of the day ahead. Include lots of whole grains, fruits and dairy products in your breakfast to keep your energy level up for the whole day.
Observe your food – see what you are eating
Your diet is an important thing of consideration when take the yoga way. See what you eat more. Are you taking on too many calories, but do not get enough time to burn them? If so, you need to change your dietary habit and consider food that is less fattening and easy to digest.
This is the main reason why people fall sick and gain unnecessary weight. You must know that more people fall sick due to overeating than people who get less food to eat. You should ensure moderation in the quantity of food. If you keep on over eating without actually understanding the principles of eating, you harm yourself both physically and mentally. The golden rule to avoid eating in excess is to not have snacks in between meals.
Eat balanced diet
Balanced diet is essential to stay healthy and fit. A well-balanced diet means plenty of – fresh vegetables, salads, fresh fruits, milk and raw nuts. You must include these items in your diet choices if you want to stay healthy and get more benefits from your yoga sessions.
Add fresh green vegetables to your diet
Make sure to add green leafy vegetables to your healthy diet plan. Ideally freshly picked produces from your kitchen garden provide the best option, but it is not possible always. So, you can get green and fresh vegetables from your local market. Avoid packaged vegetables as much as you can. Greens are a rich source of iron, protein, calcium and dietary fiber.
Eat more salads
You can any raw green vegetables or fruits to your salad. Cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. are some of the healthiest options. Cut these vegetables into small pieces and add suitable dressing of your choice, which should be healthy too. You can use them as the first course of lunch and dinner.
Consume plenty of fresh fruits
They are highly nutritious for our body and their regular intake can give you good health. Include fresh seasonal fruits in your diet. Always remember that raw fresh fruits are always better than juices, as fruits are also rich in fiber.
Include more nuts
Include plenty of nuts in your diet. You can choose almonds, walnuts, cashew, and pistachio. They provide essential minerals, vitamins and proteins. For a regular yoga practitioner, eating a handful of these nuts can provide enough energy and good health.
Drink enough water
We all remember that our body is 70% water, so it is essential that body receives much needed daily dose of water. Drinking plenty of water also detoxifies body and gives a glowing skin. But, always remember to avoid drinking water during meals as it can slow down the digestion. Experts advise to drink water half an hour before or after having your meal. On general note, you should drink 10 to 12 glasses of water every day. Drinking water when you wake up is great for your health.
Have protein rich food
Proteins are building block of our body and hence must be there in the food you eat. Soybeans, asparagus, spinach, lentils and broccoli are rich sources of protein, and easily available. Low fat dairy products also provide enough protein.
Chew your food properly
One of the easiest and healthiest ways to digest food is to chew it properly. Most people eat their food in a hurry and swallow it without properly chewing. You may think that whatever you eat eventually get digested easily, but a barely chewed food create more pressure on your digestive systems, tires it down and take more time to digest. The more you chew, the easier it becomes for your body to digest because properly chewing food mixes enough saliva (containing digestive enzymes) with your food.
Vegetarian or non-vegetarian diet
A common question put by yoga practitioner is – should continue non-vegetarian diet or take on vegan food? Yoga doesn’t necessitate quitting meat based food, but consuming vegetarian diet with enough whole grains is generally recommended for holistic practices.
Quit fast-food and soft-drinks
Fast foods like pizza, burger, jellies and soft drink appease to taste buds, but they are main reason behind increasing obesity among people. These foods usually cause a lot of harm to the body. They are both unhealthy and unhygienic with loads of trans-fats. Similarly, carbonated drinks are extremely unhealthy with high sugar content that may lead to diabetes, dental decay and obesity. If you feel like drinking any liquid, go for a glass of lemonade or buttermilk instead of taking on carbonated drinks. Also, reduce the intake of tea or coffee to one or two cups a day, or if possible avoid it completely.