I had never really taken the chakras seriously. I call myself a skeptical yogini. Everything is false until it can be proven or until it resonates with me. So began my journey into the chakras- with doubt and disbelief. I started uncertain and eventually became incredibly intrigued and curious about them. The more I learned the more I wanted to know. The majority of books and information out there is about the chakras themselves and how they were probably out of tune. Either excessive or deficient and in some cases both. While being aware of imbalances or problems is a great step forward, it is not where our knowledge of chakras should end. I wanted to concentrate on chakra healing focusing on something tangible; food.
Food is energy, energy is prana. Our country and western culture in general has a sordid relationship with food. Some people have stopped seeing food as a way to fuel our bodies and have starting using food as a coping mechanism or a focus for addiction. Others still only see the fuel and calories aspect without seeing the enjoyment that comes with food and eating. Too many people are extreme when it comes to food, at times, myself included- “Calories in, calories out”. It isn’t that simple. Food is joy, it is fuel, it brings pleasure, it can be used as medicine, it alters our moods, our feelings. People gather around it and show love by making it for others.
You can use food to help get your chakras back in order. It makes so much sense, yet the information on the relationship with food and chakra health is scarce. There are a handful of reputable sources. Hopefully more work in the future will come about as we realize that the link between the food we eat and how it impacts us also correlates to health. Every person is different and everyone’s degree of imbalance is also different, therefore so will be the degree implementation of the knowledge given herein.
Muladhara, the base chakra, is the place where our energetic structure is supported. All chakras build upon themselves and it all begins in here. Since the base chakra focuses primarily on the layer of us that needs basic elements for survival it is no wonder that the relationship between food and muladhara is so strong.
This chakra is about the right to be here and be alive. It is rooted in all things earthly and physical so it makes sense that the foods used to bring it into balance are hearty, dense, and high calorie. It’s not only food but our attitude about food that is equally as important for our chakra health. Feeling secure about the access of food, eating when hungry, healthy social eating, and letting go of overeating as a physical source of protection are all attitudes that benefit the balancing of this chakra.
The foods that benefit muladhara are foods that assist us in reestablishing and strengthening our connection with the Earth and its vibration within us. These foods make you feel heavy, dense, and slower. Assessing the level of grounding you require is essential for determining how much or how little of any one food you need. Protein, specifically animal protein, vegetable protein like legumes, nuts, and seeds are great for building the physical body and therefore are necessary for grounding the base chakra. However, eating protein without a balance can make one too rigid. As always, choosing food that has been responsibly grown or raised has a very large affect on the vibration of energy of that food. Animal protein that comes from an animal that has had room to roam is going to be much better for you than animal protein that has led a sad, confined life. Root vegetables, which are grown in the earth and transfer their vibrational energy when consumed, are essential to a healthy, grounded base. Lastly, colors, which vibrate at a frequency, which correlate to our chakras, are good way to get that vibrational energy into our bodies easily. Since red is the color associated with the base chakra, foods that are red are beneficial. This source of energy is less intense than eating land based proteins or root vegetables but it becomes helpful when we focus on the colors as we eat them. Therefore, beets, which are root vegetable and red in color, are great for the base chakra.
With Svadisthana, the second chakra, the attitudes and actions towards food start to be about pleasure and connection with others- relationships. It becomes important to spend time creating meals and spend time really seeing/smelling/tasting/feeling what we are eating. This brings the most pleasure out of eating. Foods high in water continent or consuming lots of water are good for this chakra as it’s element is water. Oils/fats, nuts and Tropical fruits. Fish, encompassing oils and water, coconut and it’s oil, and flax seeds are all very good for balancing this chakra. Since orange vibrates at a frequency that coincides with Svadisthana, orange colored foods are beneficial.
Manipura, the solar plexus chakra, is the seat of our individual power and since food is energy and energy is power food plays a vital role in that. First, it is important to know when you are hungry and to be aware of food energy and how you react to certain foods. Also, eat when you are hungry! Complex carbohydrates release slow, controlled energy, benefiting a sustainable flow of energy for the body. Foods with a low glycemic index also tend to do this so they are also beneficial. Fiber provides movement and flow of bulk and prana. Legumes provide a balanced source of protein ( Muladhara) and carbohydrates so they are good for the lower chakras in general. Lastly, spices can rev up manipura and aide in digestion/metabolism.
With the lower chakras food and eating are used to serve the body-survival, its need for pleasure, and it’s need for energy. Upper chakras, food and eating take on a less physical emphasis and take on a more symbolic emphasis. Food that feeds these chakras becomes less bulky and more delicate- maybe even becoming invisible to the naked eye. With anahata, the heart chakra, it becomes important to use food as a means to connect to who and what we love. Eat and serve food with love and gratitude. Sharing meals with others is also valuable. Vegetables speak to the heart chakra, specifically cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Leafy greens with veins mimic our circulatory system . They are filled with circulating life just like our veins. Therefore fresh salads full of leafy greens and sprouts. Phytochemicals are also beneficial in that they nourish the heart chakra through their positive health effects on blood and circulation. Spirulina, wheat grass and clorella are all full of phytochemicals. Green colored foods resonate with anahata’s frequency.
For vishuda, the throat chakra, it is important to eat in harmony with your metabolism and eating rhythm. Giving thanks to the plants and animals that nourish you and the people who made your meal possible helps connect your food with gratitude. Vishuda is nourished with high quality foods as this chakra is associated with making the highest choices in every moment. Soups, sauces, or juices that lubricate the mouth and throat are excellent for this chakra. As are fruits high in water content. Since this chakra is already dense with a number of sensory and energetic receptors it does not need the stimulus of foods in its color frequency to impact it.
Ajna, the third eye or sixth chakra benefits from foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, nuts and vegetables. Dark chocolate, which contains caffeine, not only helps with our mental clarity but it can also help us fee more relaxed. We should always eat intuitively as our bodies know what they need. Certain berries are shown to have a positive influence over our memory and ability to learn, making them an excellent choice for ajna. Since this chakra deals with addiction in its many forms it is important to take note of our attachment to certain foods and our relationships with them.
For our crown chakra, sahasrara it is recommended to include a prayer at meal time to bring reverence and the divine back into meal time. Purifying the body by fasting and basking in simplicity. Choosing pure foods, that are grown in nature that absorb sunshine are great to help purify the crown chakra. Instead of going for sweets, choose dried fruits, such as dates, that are dried out by the sun. Start a gentle detox, drink plenty of water and avoid food with additives, generally found in processed, packaged food.
In the end most of this stuff ends up being common sense. Stuff we all know to be instinctively true. Organic, wholesome, fresh, seasonal food. Listening to your body. Knowing yourself enough to make choices based on overall health and not a momentary convenience or craving while still knowing when to listen to your body's cravings. It all comes down to mindfulness. Always.