How Diet and Mental health are connected?

 The system does not identify the body and mind as two different entities. It is just that what we generally refer to as mind is a certain amount of memory and intelligence. Your brains are part of your body. People generally think the brain is everything just because it handles the thought process. But between the brain and the rest of the body, which has more memory and intelligence? If you look at it carefully, your body’s memory goes back millions of years. It clearly remembers how your forefathers were. The mind cannot claim that kind of memory. When it comes to intelligence, what is happening in a single molecule of DNA is so complex that your whole brain cannot figure it out. In the Yogic system, there is a physical body and there is a mental body – an intelligence and memory running right across the body.

A large number of people in the West take antidepressants at some point their lives. The type of food we eat has a huge impact on the mind. An average American is said to consume 200 pounds of meat per year. If you bring it down to 50 pounds, I would say 75% of the people will not need antidepressants anymore. Meat is a good food to survive if you are out in the desert or the jungle. If you are lost somewhere, a piece of meat will keep you going, because it provides concentrated nourishment. But it should not be a daily food that you eat when there are other choices.

There are many ways to look at this. One aspect is that animals have the intelligence to know in the last few moments that they are going to get killed, no matter how cunningly or how scientifically you do it. Any animal that has the capacity to express some kind of emotion will always grasp when it is going to be killed. Suppose you come to know, right now, that at the end of this day, you are going to get slaughtered. Imagine the struggle that you would go through, the burst of chemical reactions within you. An animal goes through at least some fraction of that. This means when you kill an animal, the negative acids and other chemicals are in the meat. When you consume the meat, it creates unnecessary levels of mental fluctuations in you.

For most of those who have become mentally ill, the illness is not pathological but has been cultivated. Such a large percentage of people cannot be mentally sick unless we are somehow culturing it within our social fabric.

If you put people who are on antidepressants on a conscious vegetarian diet, in about three months’ time, many of them will not need their medication anymore.

Making the Right Choices

I think we need an effective campaign for food, like the anti-smoking campaign in United States. In the 70s, you had to wade through smoke in any public place in the United States. Then they started an active and successful campaign that cleared up the air. Today, you can walk into a restaurant, and there is no smoke. But there is still carbon-dioxide in the drink! At one time, smoking was not just a necessity for a whole lot of people, it was fashionable. It was the right thing to blow smoke into other people’s faces. With the right kind of campaign, within one generation, this situation has changed completely. A similarly successful campaign is needed about what we eat and what we drink.

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