Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, or Bapu, holds a special place in the history of freedom struggle in India, and in the principles of life and governance that he taught people through his actions and words. Remembered for his perseverance, determination, and principles such as those of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi also lived a healthy and simple life and encouraged people to do the same.
On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, celebrated every year on the 2nd of October, let us remember some eating rules and ideas from Bapu, that have stood the test of time, and can help you be healthy and fit if you practice them religiously.
- Diet rich in raw vegetables – It is often said that one should include raw vegetables in one or the other form in their diet. Some people like to eat raw vegetable salad as a side dish to their main meal, while some eat raw vegetables with a flavourful dip for dinner. Raw vegetables were a big part of Bapu’s diet as well, going by the text in Gandhi’s Key to Health and Diet and Diet Reforms.
- Use of jaggery – We often hear how we must try to cut off sugar from our diet as much as possible, especially the forms that are super processed such as white crystal sugar, sugar in aerated sodas, etc. Bapu also believed in the use of natural forms of sugar, such as jaggery. You can replace regular sugar for jaggery in your tea or coffee to make one small change towards better health.
- Unpolished rice, whole grains – According to an expert, Gandhi’s diet was very 21st-century-like, and anyone would agree. Eating habits that are becoming the trend nowadays were common in his diets – such as the use of whole grains and unpolished rice. Many companies and brands are now selling unpolished pulses, rice, and other grains, at a much higher price than regular grains, citing reasons that such unprocessed, unfiltered food is healthier. What is important to note is that people are lining up to buy these products as well.
- Organically grown food – A lot of people are now making the shift to organically grown food. While the practice may be a little limiting when it comes to availability and sustainability, Mahatma Gandhi liked to consume fresh, organic food. Use of pesticides and chemicals can really reduce the food’s nutritional value to zero, while organically grown food is known to be beneficial for the body as well as the planet.
- Seeds – Nuts and seeds are an important source of nutrition, especially in a vegetarian diet. Since Mahatma Gandhi was a vegetarian for the most part of his life, he consumed seeds such as the neem seeds and guava seeds as part of his diet. This helped him to provide for nutrition required by the body, and keep it healthy at the same time.