Clean air, pure water and nutritious food taken at the right time are the key to good health. Air or oxygen to be more specific, is the primary need of all living beings.
Regular and systematic breathing ensures uninterrupted supply of oxygen to the body. Pranayama is nothing but systematic breathing.
Pranayama for ten to fifteen minutes a day is highly beneficial. Slow, steady, long and deep breathing should be practiced.
We should sit on the floor in the Padmasana posture, close the eyes and inhale through both the nostrils slowly, steadily and with equal pressure.
We should then exhale in the same manner. Thus we can complete one cycle of breathing. We should complete fifteen to twenty such cycles in one sitting.
We should do two such sittings per day. We can improve our health to great extent, if we perform Pranayama regularly every day.
Sun’s rays give us vitamin D and activate all the organs in the body. We become more active and alert both physically and mentally by taking sunbath. Sunbath can also improve the functioning of the body’s immune system.
We derive a lot of benefit by exposing the entire body with any clothing. However, sunbath should be taken only before 9.00 a.m. an after 4.00 p.m.
If the Sun is scorching, it is better to cover the head with a cap and the body with a thin piece of cloth.
Fasting does not mean complete and absolute fasting. Fasting may be termed as a system of postponing the nest meal. It is not good to give up food altogether.
Therefore, a system of fasting by taking very light food should be adopted. Intake of starchy foods should be gradually reduced and then fasting on light should be started.
What is this system of fasting ?
Avoiding solid food, giving up one meal a day, drinking fruit juice mixed with water once in two hours, drinking vegetable juice extracted from vegetable gratings, drinking vegetable stock extracted from moderately boiled vegetables and greens, drinking vegetable juice and fruits juice on alternate days or drinking a cup of water once in two hours.
These are all several ways of fasting on light food. Even limited diet is also a means of fasting. Anyone of these methods can be adopted for fasting.
But it should be under taken regularly once a week. Fasting does not mean that one should abstain from work. Normal daily work should continue to be done on fasting days also.
4. Nutritious Food:
Food that helps the body to grow and also protects its health is nutritious food.
It should contain carbohydrates (starch and sugar), proteins, minerals and vitamins. Food which contains all these ingredients in proper proportion is called balanced diet.
- Milk, curds, buttermilk, eggs, meat and fish contain plenty of proteins.
- Milk, curds, butter, melted butter, whole grains, cereals and pulses, fruits and leafy vegetables contain minerals (salts) in plenty.
- Milk, buttermilk, pulses, nuts such as almond, leafy vegetables, fruits and yellow part of the egg contain plenty of calcium.
- Radish, cucumber, carrot, fish, meat and eggs contain a lot of Sulphur.
- Milk, butter, melted butter, fish and oil seeds contain plenty of fats.
- Rice, Millet, Wheat and Tapioca contain plenty of starch.
- Cabbage, radish leaves, lettuce, cod liver oil and yellow part of egg contain a lot of vitamin A.
- Wheat, maize, millet, coconut, almonds, peas, toor dal, tomato, radish leaves, lettuce, milk and eggs contain plenty of vitamin B.
- Cabbage, sprouted peas and bengal gram, bitter orange juice, orange juice, tomato and raw carrot contain plenty of vitamin C.
- Fish liver oil, yellow part of egg, Milk, coconut oil and groundnut oil contain plenty of vitamin D.