Poshan means Nutrition. Chakra means Wheel. The Poshan Chakra introduced by Juvenate Wellbeing, is all about setting into motion the habit of healthy eating; providing the body with all the nutrition it needs.
The Chakra has been encapsulated by tapping on one of the ancient native traditions in India. The tradition of eating with our hands. Almost every tradition or custom followed in India has scientific reasoning and so does eating with our hands. It is the most refined, scientific, logical & spiritual phenomenon and hence has been in practice here for thousands of years.
We use our hands in almost everything we do. An individual's hand can be used as a basic tool to do everything from planting the seed to harvesting, preparing food to feeding ourselves. Therefore, the hand has been used to form the Poshan Chakra.
According to the Vedas, our fingertips are connected to our heart, third eye, solar plexus, throat, sexual and root chakras. Eating with our hands leads to touching the food with our fingertips. This triggers the chakras, helping us tremendously.
Benefits of Eating with our Hands:
- When we eat with our hands, the motion and touch activates the chakras. We become more aware of the food we are eating.
- The texture of food is as important as the sight of the food. Interaction of the food with the fingertips of the hands on the lips, sends strong signals to the brain. This instructs the body to release the digestive juices in the stomach.
- Eating with our hand engages all the senses and you become more conscious of the taste, textures, temperature and aromas of the food placed before you.
- As per Ayurveda, as the fingers put the food into the mouth, we unknowingly curve them to form a yogic mudra/posture that activate the sensory organs that keep prana/ life force in balance.
- Eating with our hands is also hygienic because we are always aware of the cleanliness of our hands and wash our hands before we eat.
- The movements of the hand’s when eating, may assist in promoting better flow of blood. This can positively affect the overall well-being of the body.
The 6 Components of the Poshan Chakra:
The 6 hands of the Poshan Chakra signifies the 6 components at each of the 6 levels.
Level 1 - Grains, Cereals and Millet Group: The foods in this group include rice, wheat, oats, corn, bread, ragi, bajra, etc. They contain an important nutrient called Carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are the macronutrients that the body needs. They are the body’s main source of energy and are needed to work, to think, to study and to play. When choosing grains always choose whole grains instead of refined grains. Whole grains are rich in the nutrients that our bodies need. For example, whole wheat rotis, brown rice, whole grain breads, etc. Refined grains like white rice, white bread, maida, cornflour, pasta and noodles have many of the nutrients removed. It is important to limit the consumption of these.
Level 2 - Vegetables and Fruits: They have fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in them. They help to build the immunity levels in the body. Improved immunity levels, help us fight diseases and infections. The rich fiber content in fruits and vegetables aids the digestion process and helps in keeping the stomach clean. Include a variety of these in your daily diet. Many of the vegetables and fruits are seasonal. It is beneficial to eat vegetables and fruits of that particular season, available in our local markets.
Level 3 - Protein Group: Each and every part of our body is made up of proteins. They are the building blocks of the body. They help the body to grow and repair itself. Proteins also help in the absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat, helps fight infections and helps in the healing of wounds and injuries. Milk, nuts, eggs, pulses, poultry, fish, meat, etc. are all examples of proteins.
Level 4 - Fats, Oils and Added Sugars Group: They give us a lot of energy. However they are also very high in calories. Fats and oils are needed in small amounts because they help in the cushioning of the organs inside our body. They also help in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins from the foods we eat. They help keep the body warm in the winters. Only small amounts of fats and oils are needed to stay healthy and active.
Added sugars is processed sugar that is added to sweets, desserts, etc. They do not have any nutrients and can make us sick if consumed regularly and in large portions. If we wish to consume foods with added sugars we must do so only occasionally and in small portions. Thus, all the foods from level 4 should be consumed within limits.
Level 5 - Physical Activity: Regular physical activity can improve the quality of our life. A minimum of 30 minutes a day of some form of exercise, can benefit us in the long run. It includes walking, jogging, swimming, skipping, yoga, cycling and any sport that involves whole body movement. Exercise is important for all and at all ages. Level of activity can depend on age and physical ability of the person. Exercise helps in keeping the body flexible, muscles and bones strong and active and benefits the heart, lungs and the brain.
Level 6 - Water: Water plays an important role in all the functions and processes of the body. Without sufficient water intake the body will not be able to function properly. Water not only quenches our thirst but also helps in digestion, blood circulation, smooth movement of muscles and tissues, brain and nerve function and also helps get rid of waste and toxins from the body. Water accounts for 50 - 80% of our body weight, depending on our lean body mass. Keeping our body well hydrated with water is important for the health of our body and mind. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, fatigue and a lot of other health issues.
There needs to be a proper balance of all the above components in order to enjoy the benefits of the Poshan Chakra. It has been devised as a tool to help teach people various aspects of balancing their food intake, making healthy food choices, staying fit and active and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy People lead to a Healthy Nation!!!