Kalongo Hospital in Uganda is on high alert. Medics are facing the pandemic amid an already precarious healthcare situation, in a country with only 55 intensive care beds.
Food and energy. The wonderful thread connecting the sun, energy and nutrition
Every living being has a different and individual relationship with the energy contained in food. The intimate connection between all living beings with the sun can inspire our search for wellness.
There’s a wonderful thread connecting the sun, energy and food. The photons of the sun, oscillating like all forms of energy, penetrate the soil, plants and animals and then become the energy of every living being.
As an immunologist I’ve always thought it’s unlikely that human beings can produce antibodies against food that impede the necessary relationship between food and the living beings that eat it. With regards to evolution, if our body had produced antibodies against this energy, against food, the human race would have become extinct in a short amount of time. The antibodies against food that can be easily measured nowadays are used by our body to regulate and modulate our relationship with food, they don’t obstruct its transformation into energy.
Just consider that the energy you’re using to read these lines comes from solar heat and the force produced through its transformation by the Earth and our body. And that this makes your reading more fascinating and, most of all, establishes a stronger link between every living being (humans included) and the sun.
Every plant, cereal or crop in general, exactly as every animal on Earth, needs the sun to grow and many cultural and philosophical traditions have named this energy, which is contained in food, in different ways. For example, the Yogic tradition recognises the presence of a type of energy called prana in every food product.
How to stay healthy with yoga: the prana lying in every food product
I read my first book on Hata Yoga (yoga for wellness and health) when I was a teenager. I had found it in a bookcase at home. It was a volume by Yogi Ramacharaka published in 1920 and I think it was one of the first books on this subject to be translated into Italian. One of its suggestions, which I embraced in the following years of my career, is on the importance of the energy contained in every food product regardless of what a population is used to eating. The fundamental source of yoga as a way of staying healthy is recognising the prana contained in every food in order to completely absorb its energy while eating it.
This idea shouldn’t be considered a general rule, as it says that every person has a unique and personal relationship with food.
Looking for the link between food and inflammation
This kind of open-mindedness encouraged me to conduct a number of studies with my group, GEK, on people’s personal relationships with foods that can cause food-related inflammation that depend on how – not what – we eat.
Our team considered that if every living being has an individual relationship with food and this is organically produced, it’s clear, for example, that the problem isn’t gluten but its excessive consumption. This individual reaction is also triggered by rice abuse, if one replaces gluten-rich products with it, consuming large amounts of it.
It means that the energy of the sun is the most important part of food and that every woman and man should learn how to consume a large variety of well grown and well prepared foods. Today, except for junk food, the era of good or bad food in itself has come to an end. A food item that is carefully cultivated and well prepared makes living beings burst with the energy they need. This is proof of the fact that it is possible to become tolerant to a food again after this has triggered an inflammation in the body. You just need to follow the same rules of weaning, thanks to which every newborn becomes accustomed to the food energy that nature offers and learns how to make it the source of its strength.
Eating is magic
This is how you can understand that eating creates magic, which accompanies practice, awareness and emotion.
And I like to remember that the quality of what we eat has had a significant impact on human health for years. Every time you include healthy foods in your diet (such as fruits and vegetables, whole cereals, whole bread, fish, fresh dairy products, vegetable milk or beverages, non-toasted oily seeds), you reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases or cancer.
A study published in 2002 by the International Journal of Epidemiology demonstrates that those who consumed between 9 to 17 healthy foods a day had a 42% lower mortality rate (independent of the causes) compared to those who ate fewer healthy food items (Michels KB et al, Int J Epidemiol. 2002 Aug;31(4):847-54).
Consuming a cup of whole cereals, oily seeds and soy milk, with whole bread, a fruit preserve with no added sugars and a piece of fruit is an excellent way of being part of the group with reduced mortality risks.
Our relationship with food and energy is balance in motion
In my article on food as a signal I already wrote that the relationship with food is that of balance in motion, the expression of a dynamic, meaningful relationship that goes beyond cold food calorie tables or a mechanistic perception. Today we know that the quality of a food item isn’t all about the levels of calories, protein, fats and other micronutrients, it becomes the expression of the messages that that food sends to our body.
Food is not just matter, it becomes a link between people and the environment. The Yogic tradition that identifies the prana that food contains is currently being proven scientifically. Today we can say that food is joy, history, signal and relationship in full compliance with science.
The evolution that has occurred in the past few years also helps us understand that the quality of food goes hand in hand with its sustainability if we consider the social and ethical sphere and not just the individual one. Being alive in a desert world is not the reason why we eat healthily.
Food and energy are like a symphony of colours, tastes and feelings; a sound that dynamically and vividly penetrates every living being; a relationship that adds the richness of human changes – that transform photons into joy and emotions – to the energy of the sun.
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