Chakra Foods for Optimum Health
by Deanna M. Minich, PhD, CN
Conari Press, 500 Third Street, Suite 230, San Francisco, California 94107; www.redwheelweiser.com
Softcover; ©2009; $16.95; 265 pp.
Chakras have been recognized for thousands of years by ancient civilizations, particularly in the Indian yogic literature. Traditional writings describe the chakra structure as a cone-shaped vortex vertically aligned at specific points from the base of the spine to the top of the head. According to the author, "The chakras are the basic foundation of our soul, connecting it to all layers of our being, including our physical body." These subtle energy centers serve as points of integration for our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual selves. The seven major chakras correspond to seven distinct anatomical areas.
Since each chakra is associated with a specific color (which is itself a manifestation of a vibration), the color of the foods we eat can stimulate and balance specific chakras. For example, yellow foods stimulate the solar plexus chakra, since they would transmit the vibration of yellow to it. Thus, eating the spice turmeric would be very vibrationally congruent with the third chakra.
The author presents each of the seven chakras in chapters 4 through 10: "Feeding the Root Chakra with Foods for Grounding and Protection," "Feeding the Sacral Chakra with Foods for Feelings and Flow," "Feeding the Solar Plexus Chakra with Foods for Power and Transformation," "Feeding the Heart Chakra with Foods for Love and Compassion," ‘Feeding the Throat Chakra with Foods for Intuition and Imagination," and "Feeding the Crown Chakra with Foods for Purification and Clarification."
The chapter on the solar plexus is a good example of how the foods we eat affect each chakra. The third chakra – the solar plexus chakra, is about self: the ego, self-perception, and self-worth. The author says that this is chakra that most people in the Western world have issues with. One of the causes, she suggests, is our current era of excess. So, what kinds of foods does she recommend for this chakra? Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes and, of course, the yellow foods such as corn, brown rice, yellow bell pepper, and yellow summer squash. These chapters contain much helpful dietary information beyond the recommended foods, as the author explains the glycemic index, as well as ancient knowledge: "In traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda, noon is the hour when the metabolic fire burns brightest. It is at this time that the transformative action of the solar plexus chakra is blazing, much like the sun at its highest point of the day."
||There are some real pearls of wisdom in this book: "Our relationship to food and eating is symbolic of how we approach everything else in our lives." The author says that when we pay attention to what our body requires and view foods as healing entities, we get right to the heart of why we have manifested chronic diseases or eating dysfunctions. She recommends "rainbow eating" – that is, foods with full, dynamic colors, because each compound of color, whether the purple anthocyanidins found in grapes or the red lycopene in tomatoes, has a specific function in the body.
If you're looking for a higher level of health, this book will empower you on the journey. As the chakras integrate our energies, so Minich brings together food and philosophy, to unite body and soul.