Nizha Periaswamy

Yoga is essential to achieve a united body, soul, and mind. Beside asanas (poses), meditation or breathing, food plays an important role in achieving yoga goals.

Yogis believe that food is fundamental to prana (life force). Food that sustains our bodies provide ultimate vitality and health. So it is of utmost importance to choose the types of food to eat that reflect the level of our conscious development.

According to well-known yoga instructor and co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga School, David Life, not everyone can perform a headstand, but everyone eats.

"What you eat has more impact and matters more than whether you can stand on your head," he had said.

Yogic diet is not necessarily about being vegetarian or vegan, but about practising good diet and avoiding food with bad or negative vibes. This includes consuming environmental-friendly food such as farm-reared fish, hormone-free beef, free range chicken, farm-to-table food, vegan, organic, gluten-free, macrobiotic food and more.

Food with bad vives will not only prevent you from achieving oneness (mind, body and soul), but also cause many types of illness, mainly due to low immunity.

Below is a guide to food habits that can improve your immunity:

Remove sugar: Food that contains high sugar, such as canned drinks, pastries, and biscuits should be avoided. This is because sugar can destroy your while blood cells' ability to resist infections for several years.

Avoid additives: Common food additives are found in many food products like frozen meat, crackers, cookies, and fried food. These additives may weaken our immune system against flu and decrease the efficiency of the flu vaccine, through its effects on T cells, which play a crucial role in immune response.

Stay off alcohol: Alcohol dehydrates and weakens the immune system and the body's ability to health itself, researches have shown.

Take garlic and onion: These are rich in antioxidants and selenium, and have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Both garlic and onion are rich in sulphur-containing compounds responsible for many health-promoting effects.

Arm the good bacteria: Our body contains both good and bad bacteria. Good bacterua not only attacks pathogenic bacteria and fungi, but activates suitable white cell reactions against "invaders", and influences your emotional state. Fermented food items such as miso, yogurt, sauerkraut and tempeh, provide probiotics.

Boost the D: Vitamin D is crucial in combatting viruses. Though it will not defend you from catching a virus infection, it certainly helps in lowering the severity of the infection and facilitates faster recovery. The main source of Vitamin D is of course, sunlight. In terms of food, salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as eggs, cheese and mushrooms are rich in this crucial vitamin.

Load up on the spices: Herbs and spices boast of a wide range of health-boosting benefits, and has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacteruial properties, among others. Spices such as pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, carom seed, fennel, nutmeg, and clove are rich in antioxidants, minerals and micronutrients.

Nizha Periaswamy is a yoga instructor and freelance writer.

Photo source: Pexel