We all have heard people say, “You are what you eat.” Everyone has this doubt that how can one be what one eats. When I was younger, I thought that eating an apple would make me look like an apple or eating a chapati would make my body round like a chapati. After a few years I realized that this is not happening. I constantly wondered that if what we eat does not make us look like the food item that we have consumed, then what does the quote mean?
After reading many books, reflecting and applying the lessons I have learnt, I gradually started to understand it. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna talks about the three modes of nature that influence every aspect of material life. These modes are – the mode of ignorance, the mode of passion and the mode of goodness. Like every other action, the act of eating too is influenced by these modes of nature. The food items in the mode of ignorance are all the non vegetarian foods or the food that had been cooked for more than two hours. The food items which are too bitter or too spicy are in the mode of passion. The juicy and fresh food items like fresh fruits and vegetables and the food which has been offered to the Lord before eating are in the mode of goodness. The mode of goodness is the highest mode and the mode of ignorance is the lowest mode. Therefore, we should prefer fresh and juicy foods over the other two types of food.
The foods we choose to eat affect our mind, emotions and thoughts. The mode in which the food is, also is the mode in which our consciousness is. If we eat dead and decaying foods, our thoughts will also be dull and decaying and we will be feeling low and sleepy all the time. If we eat too hot and spicy foods then, our thoughts too would be too fiery and very temporary. If we eat fresh and juicy foods, then, our thoughts too would be fresh and creative and we would be very productive and feeling active all the time. So, it is important to choose our food right because the food we are consuming influences our thoughts and the way we feel.