Eating foods to help balance your body and mind is the perfect accompaniment to your Yoga practice, as food plays an important role in harmonising the body from within. Balancing foods are those that provide ultimate nourishment, in the form of vitamins and minerals.

Rather than eating a diet lacking in variety, or steeped in processed foods that lead to imbalance, introduce a colourful range from the options below.

Organic Greens

We hear a lot about the value of greens in our diets, but their ‘super food’ powers can’t be overstated. They’re high in magnesium, iron, B, C and K vitamins, potassium and folic acid, among many others. Drinking them in a smoothie has a cooling effect on the body, while eating warmed greens offers comfort. Best of all, greens such as spinach, kale and bok choy are easy to add to your diet, in salads, soups and baking.

Herbs

Herbs have long been used in conjunction with meditation, as they help balance mental and physical systems. They can keep your digestive system flowing, reduce anxiety, and even relax your muscles after your yoga practice.

Turmeric is common in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, to ease inflammation and facilitate metabolism and the assimilation of nutrients. Ginger (also an anti-inflammatory) can settle a nervous stomach, which helps combat stress. Basil, ginseng and liquorice may offer relief from depression, and can also boost immunity and energy levels. This in turn leads to elevated mood and mental clarity.

Organic Fruit

Just looking at a bowl of juicy, colourful fruit can be mood enhancing, and some varieties can also improve cognitive function, memory and concentration. Avocado is one, with vitamins B, C and K to help replenish your body. The monounsaturated fats also keep blood sugar levels steady, which promotes a calm state of mind.

Blueberries are extremely rich in antioxidants, and help protect your brain against degeneration and stress. Meanwhile, apples, bananas, grapes, melons, oranges, peaches and plums all add variety, flavour and an astounding array of important nutrients to harmonise body, mind and spirit.

Whole Grains

Natural, steady energy is what you need to maintain your asana practice – and whole grains provide it. Oats, black or brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, barley and amaranth are among the fibre-dense whole grains you can use instead of processed versions, either in baking or on their own.

In terms of mental health, eating whole grains can help reduce mood swings, anxiety and depression. They’re rich in the amino acids your body needs, to produce serotonin and melatonin, which means your mood may improve, you’ll relax, and better maintain steady sleep cycles.

Along with your asana, pranyama and meditation practice, including nutrients to harmonise body, mind and spirit while minimising processed foods, puts you on the right path to holistic wellness.