The food we eat affects our emotions and mental health
Sadhguru in conversation with Dr. Mark Hyman
Mental health, what has it to do with our food?
It is surely true that everything, be it human an animal or plant,
if we treat it with care and love it grows better is more healthy and vibrant.
The question is, does it affect us if the things we eat are treated with care and respect. Body and mind are connected, but how does the food we eat affect our health?
Do plants feel? Does the anxiety animals feel before they are killed get in our system? Is our food real and natural?
It is sure that the quality of the food we eat is very important.
The Truth About Our Mental Health And The Food We Eat
Sadhguru and Mark Hyman, American physician and bestselling author, explore the connection between the food that we eat and our physical and mental health, as well as possible approaches to change our food system.
Mark Hyman: One of the questions that came from the audience is about the connection between our mind, our mood, our emotional state, our mental health, and the food we eat. Everything from ADD to bipolar disease, to depression could be linked to that. So, what is the connection between our body and our mind?
Sadhguru: The yogic system does not identify body and mind as two different entities. Your brains are part of your body. It is just that what we generally refer to as mind is a certain amount of memory and intelligence. Between the rest of the body and the brain, which has more memory, which has more intelligence? If you look at it carefully, your body’s memory goes back millions of years. It clearly remembers how your forefathers were. The mind cannot claim that kind of memory. When it comes to intelligence, what is happening in a single molecule of DNA is so complex that your whole brain cannot figure it out.
In the yogic system, there is a physical body and there is a mental body. There is an intelligence and memory running right across the body. People generally think the brain is everything just because it handles the thought process. And because of this separation of body and mind, a large number of people in the West are taking antidepressants at some point in their life.
The Effect of Meat on the Mind
The type of food we eat has a huge impact on the mind. An average American is said to consume 200 pounds of meat per year. If you bring it down to 50 pounds, you will see 75% of the people will not need antidepressants anymore. 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.
When you kill an animal, the negative acids and whatever other chemicals are in the meat.
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.
For most of those who have become mentally ill, the illness has been cultivated – there is nothing pathologically wrong with them. Such a large percentage of people cannot be mentally sick unless we are culturing it within our social fabric. We should never let commercial forces determine the quality of our lives. Commerce is there to serve humanity. But right now, we have structured the economic engine across the world in such a way that human beings are here to serve the economic and commercial process. You were mentioning the World Economic Forum. When I was there a few years ago, everyone was referring to India, China, and other places as emerging markets.
I said, “Please don’t refer to people as a market. If you saw them as human beings, maybe you would get the right idea as to what to do with them. If you see them as market, you will do a different thing! This is not a market. These are people.” If you don’t see people as people, if you don’t see life as life, you won’t care what you stuff into them. You will want to sell something that makes maximum money for you.
Mark Hyman: Yeah. It’s true. A number of years ago, I wrote a book called The UltraMind Solution, which is about how the body affects the mind.
I had seen that a lot of mental illnesses and cognitive problems were shifting as I began to treat people’s overall health. What I do is something called functional medicine. It is about the science of creating health, which is very much what Sadhguru teaches.
The quality of the food we eat, and how we eat it is more important than anything else.
When I began to do that and I saw people’s depression go away, and their ADD and their bipolar disease improve, and I looked at the underlying causes, it was most often the food they were eating. In fact, most people are not eating real food – they are eating food-like substances that masquerade as food. If we just stuck to real food, downsized our meat consumption, as Sadhguru says, and had a mostly plant-based diet, I think most of our chronic diseases, including mood and neurologic disorders, would go away. I have seen this over and over again.
Read the about it here > Mind your Food
See also> Are You Ready For Food Consciousness? Eat Mindfully!