Eat Foods that Revitalize the Mind
In Hindu view, the mind is a material entity and attains intelligence by its proximity with ătman. Being material, the mind consists of a substance which is the essence of the food consumed. According to the Chăndogya Upanishad 6.5.1, the food, when eaten, becomes divided into three parts.12 The grossest portion of the food consumed is eliminated as waste matter by the organism. The middle portion is transformed into bodily structure, and the subtlest portion serves to build up the mind. "We are what we eat," is the common adage. "Our food and eating habits determine in no small measure our environs and general outlook on life," says Dr. Rajendra Prasad, first president of India. "A man who wants to control his passions does so easily if he controls his palate," says Mahatma Gandhi.
According to the Bhagavad Gîtă 17.7-10, foods are of three kinds, săttvic, răjasic, and tămasic. Săttvic foods are sweet, soft and nouri-shing. They promote life, vitality, strength, health, joy, cheerfulness, and render the mind calm and thoughtful. The săttvic foods include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, and milk products. Răjasic foods are bitter, sour, saltish, hot, pungent, and very spicy. They produce pain, grief, disease and make the mind restless, unsteady and uncontrollable. The răjasic foods include fish and chicken, spices, tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer and wine. The tămasic foods are those which are stale, putrid, impure, require lot of energy to digest, and are made of the lifeless matter. They fill the mind with anger, inertia and dullness. The tămasic foods include red meat (such as beef and veal), deep fried foods, and hard liquor.