Loving God is the first, and best, cure for nervousness ― healthy food then becomes supplementary to the primary panacea, says OSWALD PEREIRA

When we are down, many of us turn to ice cream, because it’s a delicacy and makes us feel so good. But like alcohol, though not as bad, ice cream is only a short-term stimulant, and is only good as long as it lasts. Once consumed, it leaves us craving for more, and may only add to our anxiety. Ice cream spikes sugar levels, as well. Too much of it can add to the tension on our nerves and anxiety levels.

Instead of ice cream, turn to dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants. But dark chocolate, too, should be eaten in moderation; just about one-fourth of a small bar. We should also watch out for the dark chocolate we eat and consume only high quality stuff.

What then is the best food for the nerves? The one wonder food that instantly pops up is berries. As berries have lots of antioxidants, they help protect our cells from stress and ease the strain on our nerves. Berries ― blue berries or blackberries ― are good for the grey matter of the brain. Blueberries, high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, such as flavonoids, are known to improve brain health and relieve anxiety.

Paramhansa Yogananda: Prophet of Spirituality and Healthy Living

Premavatar Paramhansa Yogananda, better known for his spiritual gyan and expertise in yoga and meditation, also offers his advice on health matters. He recommends a good dosage of fruits to cure nervousness in humans.

“Most fruits are gold in colour or variants of gold such as red and orange,” he observes. “As gold is the colour of the creative vibratory energy in matter, such fruits help the muscles, the blood and the tissues,” he adds. He recommends goat’s milk, unbleached almonds and raisins, as they “are very good for the nervous system”. Apart from fruit, whole grains, cottage cheese, and fresh vegetables are suggested by Yogananda for a wholesome diet.

Experts say spinach is especially good for the brain because it has a high concentration of an antioxidant called Lutein, which helps in cleansing toxins from the brain and also prevents age-related mental decline. Spinach is also highly nutritious and contains vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin C.

Oswald Pereira

The great yogi, Yogananda suggests a yogic drink that is good for the nervous system. It is made by adding crushed rock candy (commonly called mishri) and fresh lime juice to a glass of water. Says Yogananda: “It should be thoroughly mixed and even blended so that the taste is equally sweet and sour. I have recommended this to many people with excellent results.”

When one is feeling very nervous, Yogananda suggests taking a cold bath. But as nervousness seems to attack us so frequently every day, it may not be possible to have multiple baths. Therefore, the yogi suggests: “Take a large piece of ice and rub it all over the body, especially over all the openings of the body. With this yoga technique, you will find that your nerves will become much calmer.”

What are the foods that aggravate nervousness? Avoid too much starch, especially food made from refined flour. Yogananda warns that all “forms of meat of higher animals, especially beef and pork, are harmful to the nervous system; they are hyper-stimulating and cause aggressiveness.” We should also stay away from alcohol as it destroys the nervous system.

Eating an ice-cream is just a short-term diversion and only adds to the anxiety

However, mankind doesn’t live by food alone. “The greatest healing of nervousness takes place when we attune our lives with God,” affirms Yogananda. “The highest commandments given to man are to love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength; and secondly, to love your neighbour as yourself,” he adds.

Loving God is the first, and best, cure for nervousness ― healthy food then becomes supplementary to the primary panacea.

Oswald Pereira, a senior journalist, has also written eight books, including The Newsroom Mafia, Chaddi Buddies, The Krishna-Christ Connexion, How to Create Miracles in Our Daily Life and Crime Patrol: The Most Thrilling Stories. Oswald is a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and practises Kriya Yoga.

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