Siddha Spirituality For Health

Healthy Diet For Glorious Life

healthy diet (स्वस्थ आहार) is a diet that helps to maintain or improve overall health. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate calories. For people who are healthy, a healthy diet is not complicated and contains mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and includes little to no processed food and sweetened beverages. The requirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods, although a non-animal source of Vitamin B12 is needed for those following a vegan diet. A healthy diet, being the most important aspect of healthy and longer life, Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System appeals our vital readers to read the article and understand science as well as religious importance and follow certain inevitable golden rules.

Healthy diet Definition (स्वस्थ आहार की परिभाषा)

Healthy Diet

Healthy lifestyle (स्वस्थ जीवनशैली)

A healthy lifestyle includes getting exercise every day along with eating a healthy diet. A healthy lifestyle may lower disease risks, such as:

A healthy diet consumed throughout the life-course helps in preventing malnutrition in all its forms as well as a wide range of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and conditions.

Healthy dietary practices begin early in life. Recent evidence indicates that undernutrition in utero may set the pace for diet-related chronic diseases in later life. Breastfeeding promotes healthy growth and improves cognitive development, and may have longer-term health benefits, like reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life.

Since a healthy diet consists of different kinds of foods, the emphasis has been shifted from nutrient orientation to the food-based approach. Foods can be categorized according to the function as:

A healthy diet during different stages of life (जीवन के विभिन्न चरणों के दौरान स्वस्थ आहार)

Nutrition is important for everyone. However, the requirement is different for every individual may it be an infant, growing child, pregnant/lactating women, and elderly people.

A healthy diet for an Infant (शिशु के लिए स्वस्थ आहार)

If you have an infant or kid at your place, make sure that they get enough nutrition in their growing years of age. Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding should be started within an hour after delivery and do not discard first milk, as it boosts the immunity of the baby and protects the baby from several infections.

After six months, you can feed your baby with complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed. Complimentary food should be rich in nutrients. These complementary foods can be prepared at home from commonly used food materials such as:

You can feed your baby to a variety of soft foods like potatoes, porridge, cereals, or even eggs. According to WHO:

Infants cannot eat large quantities of food at a single time so they should be fed small quantities at frequent intervals (3-4 times a day). Also, the food should be of semi-solid consistency so that the infants can swallow it easily.  A balanced diet is key to protect your child against nutritional deficiencies.

Malnutrition is defined as”a state of poor nutrition caused by insufficient or unbalanced diet”.

Important points to remember:

A healthy diet for a Growing Child (बढ़ते बच्चे के लिए स्वस्थ आहार)

It is very essential that children get a good dose of energy, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Hence, it is very important to follow hygienic practices while preparing and feeding the complimentary food to the child; otherwise, it might lead to diarrhea.

A well-formulated balanced diet is necessary for children and adolescents to achieve optimum growth and boost their immunity. Balanced Diet, playing outdoors, physical activities of the child are essential for optimum body composition and to reduce the risk of diet-related chronic conditions later in life and to prevent any sort of vitamin deficiency.  Adolescence has various other factors attached to it:

Development of bone mass is going on during this period so the inclusion of dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt) and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and celery which are rich in calcium is a must.

A child needs vitamins for the body to function properly and to boost the immune system. Vitamin A is essential for vision and a deficiency of the same can lead to night blindness (difficulty in seeing in the night).

Dark green leafy vegetables, yellow, orange-colored vegetables and fruits (such as carrots, papaya, mangoes) are good sources of Vitamin A.

Vitamin D helps in bone growth and development and it is essential for the absorption of calcium. Children get most of their Vitamin D from sunlight and a small amount from some food items like (fish oils, fatty fish, mushrooms, cheese, and egg yolks).

Teenage girls experience more physiological changes and psychological stress than boys because of the onset of menarche (onset of menstruation). Therefore, teenage girls should eat a diet which is rich in both vitamins as well as minerals to prevent anemia.

Nowadays, children are more inclined towards junk food but it is very important to motivate your kids in teenage to eat nutrition-rich foods. Many children have poor eating habits, which can lead to various long-term health complications, such as:

As a parent, keep making frequent changes in their menu to avoid boredom of eating the same food every day.  Adolescence is the most vulnerable stage for developing bad food habits as well as bad habits like:

In addition to consumption of a nutritious well-balanced diet, appropriate lifestyle practices and involvement in outdoor activities such as games/sports should be encouraged among children as well as adolescents.

Points to Remember:

A healthy diet for a pregnant mother (गर्भवती माँ के लिए स्वस्थ आहार)

Motherhood is a testing phase in every woman’s life may it be physiologically, mentally as well as nutritionally. If you are pregnant or someone in your family is expecting a baby, make sure that they eat well. Additional food and extra attention are required during pregnancy as well as lactation.

Important points to remember:

A healthy diet for an Adult (वयस्क के लिए स्वस्थ आहार)

As an adult male and female, you must take care of your diet. Adults generally complain of a time crunch and with a sedentary lifestyle, it becomes even more difficult to follow a strict diet. Adults should use salt in moderation as a high intake of salt might lead to high blood pressure.

One should avoid preserved foods such as pickles/papads and also canned foods as it contributes to a higher intake of salt. An adult female should take a diet which is rich in calcium (Milk & dairy products) as well as iron (green leafy vegetables-spinach, broccoli, etc.) Limit the use of saturated fats and trans fats such as ghee, butter, cheese, vanaspati ghee and add more fibrous food in the diet in the form of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

According to WHO, a healthy diet for adults contains:

A healthy diet for elderly people (बुजुर्ग लोगों के लिए स्वस्थ आहार)

Individuals of 60 years and above constitute the elderly. Senior citizens need more vitamins and minerals to be healthy and active.

Important points to remember:

Indian Healthy Diet Chart

Role of different kinds of food (विभिन्न प्रकार के भोजन की भूमिका)

Vegetables and fruits (सब्जियां और फल)

Vegetables and fruits are rich sources of micronutrients (iron, calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, carotenoids, and phytochemicals) and macronutrients (complex carbohydrates/fiber).

Some vegetables and fruits provide very low calories, while some others provide good calories as these are rich in starch e.g. potato, sweet potato, fruits as a banana. At least 400 grams (5 portions), of fruits and vegetables per day, should be consumed in the diet by an individual.

Fruits and vegetable consumptions can be improved by:

Different kinds of Fats/oils (विभिन्न प्रकार के वसा / तेल)

Fats/oils are a concentrated source of energy. Dietary sources of fats are classified as:

Edible plant foods have a low content of fat and saturated fatty acids but they are a good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Visible and invisible fats (दृश्यमान और अदृश्य वसा)

Visible fats are those that are separated from their natural sources such as ghee/butter from milk, cooking oils from oil-bearing seeds and nuts. It is easy to monitor their intake.

Invisible fats are those, which are present in almost every article of foods such as cereals, pulses, nuts, milk, and eggs and are difficult to estimate.

Excessive fats in the diet increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The risk of developing these diseases can be lowered by reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of total energy intake, and trans fats to less than 1% of total energy intake, and replacing both with unsaturated fats (MUFAs + PUFAs).

Vanaspati ghee: When vegetable oils are hydrogenated, it converts them into a semisolid or solid form which is called as vanaspati or vegetable ghee. During the process of hydrogenation unsaturated fatty acids are converted into saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids.

As saturated fats and trans fats are risk factors for the development of non-communicable diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity), use of vanaspati ghee should be limited in the adult population. 

Fat consumption can be reduced by:

Salt intake (नमक का सेवन)

Salt is an important ingredient of the diet. Most people do not know the amount of salt they consume. High salt consumption and insufficient potassium intake (less than 3.5 g) contribute to high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of less than 5g of salt per day.

Salt consumption can be reduced by:

Sugar intake (चीनी का सेवन)

Free sugars increase the risk of dental caries and can lead to overweight and obesity. The intake of free sugars should be less than 10% of total energy intake.

Sugar consumption can be reduced by:

Whole grains (साबुत अनाज)

A whole grain contains all edible parts of the grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm.  A diet rich in whole grains like whole-wheat, brown rice, oats, unprocessed maize, millets has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer. Whole-grain diets also improve bowel health by helping to maintain regular bowel movement and promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.

Water and beverages (पानी और पेय पदार्थ)

Water accounts for about 70% of human body weight, which is lost from the body through sweat, urine, and feces. Enough of safe water should be drunk to meet daily fluid requirements.

Milk is a wholesome food and beverage for all age groups. Its proteins are valuable supplements to most vegetarian diets. It is a rich source of calcium (poor source of iron) which helps in the building up of strong bones. Thus milk is a good source of proteins, fats, sugars, vitamins (except vitamin C), and minerals. Milk fats are saturated fats hence those who have to take a low-fat diet can consume skimmed/toned milk.

Toned Milk is a blending of natural milk and made-up milk. It contains one part of water, one part of natural milk and 1/8 part of skim milk powder. Since milk fat is of the saturated type, those who have to be on a low-fat diet can consume skimmed/toned milk.

Natural soft drinks (natural fruit juices), which provide in addition to energy, some vitamins (beta carotenes, vitamin C) and minerals (potassium, calcium). As natural fruit juices are rich in potassium, they are ideal beverages for persons suffering from hypertension.

Artificial or synthetic soft drinks are prepared by using preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors. Soft drinks are usually carbonated, which contain phosphoric acid which may affect the enamel of teeth. 

Beverages like buttermilk, lassi, fruit juices and coconut water are better options for beverages than synthetic drinks.

Tea and coffee: Consumption of tea and coffee is advised in moderation. Tannin present in tea and coffee interferes with iron absorption hence they should be avoided one hour before and after meals. Teas particularly green and black are good sources of flavonoids.

Sports Beverages: Regular sports drinks contain energy-yielding carbohydrates plus electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, and chloride for providing energy and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance.

Energy Drinks: Energy drinks provide carbohydrates and caffeine (70 to 85 mg of caffeine per eight-ounce serving) and some drinks contain B complex vitamins, amino acids and herbal extracts such as Gingko.

Alcohol: Excessive alcohol intake weakens the heart muscle and also damages the liver, brain, and peripheral nerves. It also increases serum triglycerides. Avoid alcohol and those who choose to drink should limit its use.

Processed foods (प्रसंस्कृत खाद्य पदार्थ)

The foods that are subjected to technological modifications are called processed foods. 

Instant foods, fast foods, street foods, unhealthy foods (Junk foods) [प्रोसेस्ड फूड, तत्काल खाद्य पदार्थ, फास्ट फूड, स्ट्रीट फूड्स, अस्वास्थ्यकर खाद्य पदार्थ (जंक फूड)]

Instant foods: Foods that undergo special processing for ready to be served once dissolved or dispersed in a liquid with low cooking time such as noodles, corn flakes, soup powder.

Fast foods: These are calories rich foods e.g. burgers, pizzas, fries, hamburgers, patties, nuggets, Indian foods like pakora, samosa, Namkeen, etc. 

Street foods: Ready to eat foods and beverages prepared and, sold by hawkers or vendors in streets or other public places, such as Chaat, Gol Gappa, Samosa, Tikki, Noodles, Chowmein, Burgers, etc. Food hygiene is an important issue in street foods.

Unhealthy foods or Junk foods: These are energy-dense foods with high sugar/fat content and low nutrient value in terms of protein, fiber, vitamin and mineral, such as Salt Chips, Chocolate, Ice-cream, Soft drinks, Burgers, Pizzas, etc.

Unhealthy Food

The religious importance of Healthy diet (स्वस्थ आहार का धार्मिक महत्व)

All living beings rely on food for strength and nourishment. Food is an essential aspect of life. For individuals to lead a healthy and happy life, our scriptures have recommended certain dietary norms like:

  • Don’t eat unless hungry
  • Never eat at times other than the stipulated mealtimes
  • Not eating leftovers
  • Making seasonal changes in diet
  • Not eating food given by those who have earned it by unrighteous means
  • Offering prayers before eating etc

Everyone should consume Sattvik (Sattva-predominant) Bharatiya food items prepared at home. They are fresh, easy to digest and result in good physical, mental and spiritual health.

Why does the body need a healthy diet? (शरीर को स्वस्थ आहार की आवश्यकता क्यों है?)

In Satyayugman lived for thousands of years without food and water. During that period, his body was active on its own Chetana. The activities of Maya (The Great Illusion) kept increasing with the passing of the Eras, meaning activities pertaining to RajaTama increased. The Chitta (Subconscious mind) becomes inactive due to spiritual practice.

Due to a lack of spiritual practice, the Chitta started becoming active again. This led to an increase in the activities of worldly desires in the Chitta and the awareness about contentment reduced; this, in turn, created desire for experiencing contentment. Hence, the body began to feel the need for a diet.

Why is food is termed as ‘Purnabrahma’ (Absolute Brahma)? [भोजन को ‘पूर्णब्रह्म’ क्यों कहा जाता है?]

Brahma is ‘Me’. The ichha-laharis (Waves of will) in a person are the source of desire. Desire is the source of contentment. This process is a part of the body, meaning, part of the Divine form which also includes Panchapran (Five vital energies), etc.

The nourishment of this part means contentment; this contentment creates the need for food. Food provides nourishment, which itself is a function of Deity Brahmahence, it is termed as ‘Purnabrahma’. That which is not incomplete is absolute! That which absolutely nourishes the body is food. 

The objective of eating a healthy diet as per Trigunas (त्रिगुणों के अनुसार स्वस्थ आहार खाने का उद्देश्य)

  • Sattva Guna: Eating food because it is a duty towards the body.
  • Rajo Guna: Attaining happiness by consuming food.
  • Tamo Guna: Believing that one lives only to eat or eating food to keep the envious or demoniacal attitude awakened.

Since the Saints are beyond the Trigunas they eat food only as Parechha (Other’s wish) or Ishwarechha (God’s wish). When compared with an average individual, the proportion of trigunas in Saints is negligible. Hence, it is said here that the Saints are beyond the Trigunas.

Rules regarding Healthy diet (स्वस्थ आहार के बारे में नियम)

  • आहारार्थं कर्म कुर्यात् अनिंद्यम् । Meaning: Money should be earned through good deeds only for the purpose of livelihood
  • Be happy with looking at food and always praise the food
  • Do not eat anything between meals
  • Eat only when hungry
  • Diet should be as per our own constitution [Vata (Air), pitta (bile), Kapha]
  • He/she can fall ill if eats despite a lack of desire
  • Eating food, sufficient for the body’s needs prevents illness
  • Eating food in quantity sufficient for the body’s needs is a medium
  • उष्णं स्निग्धं मात्रावत् जीर्णे वीर्याविरुद्धम् इष्टे देशे इष्टसर्वोपकरणं नातिद्रुतं नातिविलम्बितम् अजल्पन् अहसन् तन्मना भुञ्जीत आत्मानम् अभिसमीक्ष्य सम्यक् । – Charak Sanhita, Vimansthan, Adhyaya 1, Sutra 24

Meaning: Meals should always be hot, with a sufficient amount of oil, and optimum in quantity. A meal should not have uncomplimentary mixed items or combinations e.g. milk and fruits. We should sit in a good place for meals. The utensils for the meal e.g. a plate, bowl, spoon, etc should be clean. While dining, an individual should take into account his constitution and eat food with concentration. While having meals, it is preferable to avoid unnecessary talk and laughter.

  • नोच्छिष्टं कस्यचिद्दद्यात् नाद्यादेतत्तथान्तरा । न चैवात्यशनं कुर्यात् न चोच्छिष्टं क्वचिद् व्रजेत् ।। – Manusmruti, Adhyaya 2, Shloka 56

Meaning: We should eat meals only at designated times in the morning and evening. Avoid eating food at odd times. Never ever overeat. We should avoid moving around with unwashed hands and mouth after meals.

  • We should not eat in the bathroom since the negative energies present there may enter our body through the medium of food
  • The diet for an individual depends on the kind of spiritual practice he performs

Benefits of eating fresh foods (ताजा खाद्य पदार्थ खाने के लाभ)

If we develop a habit of eating fresh food, we will have good health. The waves emitted by them are good for health and contain minimum infection of germs.

Therefore, fresh food is able to provide strength to the cells in the body. On consumption of fresh food, the Raja-predominant and health-bestowing waves spread in the body, the energy of vitality gains strength and the actions gain momentum. The resistance power also increases.

Rules of diet as per the season (मौसम के अनुसार आहार के नियम)

Environment changes as per the season. To cope with these changes, an individual has to incorporate dietary changes too:

Diet for the spring season (बसंत के मौसम के लिए आहार)

In this season, it is beneficial to avoid a diet which consists of heavy, oily-greasy, sweet and sour items. Items like dry, bitter, astringent, and pungent should be eaten.

Activities to be performed during the spring season:

  • Eating 2gm Haritki (Yellow or chebulic myrobalan) powder with honey every day.
  • Eating 15 tender neem leaves with 2 grains of pepper, chewing them slowly.
  • Drinking 15-20 ml juice of neem flowers for 7-15 days in the morning before eating anything. This provides protection from malaria and skin diseases.

Diet for the summer season (गर्मी के मौसम के लिए आहार)

The digestive power decreases during summer. Fatty foods such as milk, butter, ghee should be eaten. Food containing cardamoms, coriander, cumin, sweet, sour and juicy fruits such as pomegranate, Indian gooseberry is beneficial. We should avoid eating food which is either too hot or too cold.

Diet for the monsoon season (मानसून के मौसम के लिए आहार)

This season is a period for raging of Vata and accumulation of pitta components. Hence, it is beneficial to consume all types of juices and hot items. Eating too oily or very dry food should be avoided. Intermittent fasting is beneficial during this season.

Diet for the autumn season (शरद ऋतु के लिए आहार)

In this season, the Pitta rages and accumulation of Vata component takes place. Hence, we should consume a sweet, bitter and astringent juicy diet. Since ghee reduces Pitta, it should be consumed more, but fatty and oily food items should be avoided.

Diet for Hemant season (हेमंत ऋतु के लिए आहार)

This is the first part of winter. Therefore, it is beneficial to eat oily or greasy substances, but too cold or dry food items should be avoided.

Diet for Shishir season (शिशिर के लिए आहार)

The diet should consist of sweet, sour and salty juicy items. Spicy, bitter and astringent juicy items should be avoided. There is no restriction on oil and ghee.

Importance of drinking milk, water, and buttermilk (दूध, पानी और छाछ पीने का महत्व)

Drinking milk in the evening (शाम को दूध पीना)

Many negative energies arrive in the atmosphere in the evening through the medium of Raja-Tama-predominant waves. Since night time is completely dependent on the Raja-Tama functioning of negative energies, consuming milk, which is a source of Chaitanya, can protect a person from the influence of strong Raja-Tama-predominant negative energies. 

Drinking water early in the morning (सुबह-सुबह पानी पीना)

Drink water early in the morning (immediately after brushing the teeth); because water bestows merits and destroys demerits. During the night time, the atmosphere becomes Raja-Tama-predominant, and the body and the void of the mouth are filled with these Raja-Tama-predominant waves due to subtle attacks of the negative energies during this period.

Drinking buttermilk at the end of meals (भोजन के अंत में छाछ पीना)

Buttermilk contains waves of Raja component; thus, it provides momentum to activity denoting movements. The Raja component in the buttermilk provides momentum to the process of digestion and supplies energy being generated through digestion at the same time that is necessary for the functioning of the body or congregates it in the corresponding parts as required.


Associated activities for a glorious life (शानदार जीवन के लिए संबद्ध गतिविधियाँ)

Above will not only help you keep healthy but will surely make your life glorious. Give a room for the above activities in your precious life, firmly decide today itself and experience the amazing changes in your life. Don’t have an excuse of time. We all get sufficient time. Remember that “Will will find the Way”, and “Health is Wealth”.

After reading this article, what are your thoughts? Would you please put more efforts into enhancing or updating your knowledge? Let me know your precious thoughts, which I always wait for. 
The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the concerned site owners. Siddha Spirituality For Health is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. However, it is advisable to consult a specialist in the concerned field before availing the benefits. Hence we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


Skip to toolbar