Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
There’s a topic I’ve been meaning to write about for some time now, so why not this month and next?
Let’s call it Chakra Nutrition. Taking a holistic approach to nutrition is so much more than counting calories and grams, and assessing the chemical composition of the foods we eat. After all, nourishing the physical being is only one aspect of your eating experience. Many times I’ve written about how our relationship to food is a reflection of HOW we live. What and how we eat provides many messages on a deeper level.
So let’s discuss the five elements theory and the chakra system and apply these basic principles to nutrition in an integrated way. This month we’ll look at the first three chakras and in August we’ll cover the other four chakras.
According to Chinese philosophy the universe is made up of two primary forces, yin and yang. The interplay of yin and yang manifests in the five elements that make up all things. It’s symbolized as one large circle with each element being a phase in the natural rhythm of the Universe. The five elements each have a unique nature and spirit and they are often referred to as prana or qi, our life force.
This life force runs throughout our body, with each chakra receiving and expressing this energy. Each chakra activates specific body organs, nerves, and glands and also processes particular emotional and psychological energies.
Aging gracefully and living fully requires exploring not just our physical body but our energetic being, as well. And the five elements theory and the chakra system allow us to to just that.
RED: The Root Chakra
This is the foundation that all other chakras build on and is connected to the physical body. It anchors us to our family, tribe, and universal oneness. This is where we find stability and consistency and meeting our survival needs in the physical world. When this chakra is balanced we feel grounded, our immune system is strong, and we have a general feeling of trust and security.
When this chakra is blocked we may struggle with overeating, obesity, hoarding, and feeling fearful of anything outside of our routine. Associated physical illnesses may include inflammatory issues, depression, and eating disorders.
For this chakra foods rich in protein along with immune supporting nutrients are best. Rich plant-based protein sources include legumes, cooked bitter greens, quinoa and almonds. And of course, RED colored foods too, such as tomatoes, raspberries, apples, cherries, beets, red grapes, and radishes.
ORANGE: The Sacral Chakra
Orange resonates with our second chakra and it correlates to the water element, symbolizing the flow of energy and movement, emotion, and sexuality. This is the energy center of relationships, pleasure, and the ability to flow gracefully with change.
When it is balanced we feel creative and resilient. When the energy flow is disrupted it manifests as reproductive disorders, low-back pain, controlling and manipulative behaviors, and poor social skills.
Foods that nourish this chakra emphasize flow and movement. One of the best ways to nurture this chakra is to create meals and share them with others.
Foods with high water content and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, tropical fruit, and orange-colored foods work best to bolster this chakra. Salmon, halibut, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and cashews are good fat sources. Tropical fruits symbolize pleasure so adding some pineapple, mango, or coconut fit the bill. As for orange foods, use carrots, butternut squash, oranges, apricots, papaya, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe.
YELLOW: The Solar Plexus Chakra
As we move up the chakras we move from earth (root chakra) to water (sacral chakra). Now the third chakra combines matter and movement to create the transformative energy of fire.
The solar plexus is the seat of our will, where we develop our sense of self, our personal power, and the courage to express who we are. When our solar plexus is balanced, we have strong self esteem and respect. We are reliable, act responsibly, and are balanced and playful.
When this chakra is blocked we struggle with manipulative behavior and fears of rejection. We may become overly aggressive or competitive, or we may give away our decision making to others. Physically we may gain weight, feel chronically fatigued, and notice digestive dysfunction.
Naturally occurring carbohydrates such as fruits, veggies, grains and legumes nourish the third chakra. Consuming foods rich in fiber, such as squash, broccoli, lentils, berries and beans, on a daily basis will nurture this chakra. And of course yellow-colored foods, such as lemons, chickpeas, bananas, millet, quinoa and pineapple, resonate with the solar plexus chakra.
Stay away from indulging cravings for processed sugars and artificial sweeteners because they will deplete solar plexus energy and you’ll have trouble coping with stress and feelings of powerlessness.
The first three chakras (root, sacral and solar plexus) represent our physicality. The upper chakras become less physical and more spiritual.
I hope this brief overview helps you understand how interconnected everything is and how each aspect of our being, (body, mind and soul), plays a part in our life experiences. In understanding the five element theory and chakra system we have an opportunity for a personal journey using nutrition as a pathway. We can make food choices that provide us nourishment for both our physical and emotional being.
Next month we’ll complete this look at the chakras and nutrition by focusing on the upper four chakras.
Any questions so far? I find this fascinating and hope you do too!
Until next month, let the joyinmovement flow and may your sense of nourishment grow!