Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Shares His Grandmother’s Healthy Food Tips
Image Credit: Art of Living

The idea that Indians a generation or two back had access to more wholesome foods and healthier diets is well known. This is the main reason why nuskhas or tricks our grandparents used to treat everything from acidity to seasonal health concerns are still popular today. But what about their diet and eating habits kept them healthy and free of lifestyle disorders as they aged? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the humanitarian and spiritual leader behind the Art of Living movement, revealed some of these diet secrets based on his own grandmother’s lifestyle. 

In a recent video, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar revealed that basic nutrition and health is something that impacts our lives in a big way, and so must be taught to all. Reflecting on the simple yet nutritious diet his own grandmother followed, he reminisced on the details he observed as a child. “My grandmother would not finish a meal without spinach in it,” he revealed in the video. She had designated leafy vegetables for each day of the week. On Ekadashi we would fast and eat bitter leaves, Karela and many healthy vegetables. She would often eat yoghurt, salad, and Dal alongside her regular meals.” 

Video Credit: YouTube/Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

This revelation by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is well-supported by nutritionists and health experts everywhere. Not only do experts recommend that we add more vegetables and green leafy vegetables in our diet, but food science has also proved the benefits of consuming bitters, whether its neem leaves or bitter gourd, for good health. Further, many traditional Indian eating practices are also seen as beneficial by modern food science, as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar points out in the video.  

He points out how eating out of banana leaves instead of other kinds of plates was a practice that Indians have followed since time immemorial—and even modern science has now proved the benefits of this practice. “There was a systematic way of serving food on a banana leaf,” he explains. “Top right would have some salt, then salad next to eat alongside many seasonal vegetables. The entire meal consisted of small portions of 12-13 food items necessary for a complete, balanced diet.” This meal pattern is still practiced all over South India, where Sri Sri Ravi Shankar hails from, and is perfectly represented in the Sadhya meals which are usually vegetarian. 

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who is a proponent of Vedic science and Ayurveda, has also previously recommended that eating fresh and seasonal fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds and natural sweeteners like honey and jaggery should be the norm for those seeking good health and happiness. He also recommends that consuming tamasic and rajasic foods, like onion, garlic, spicy dishes, oily food and non-vegetarian food, can lead to dullness and lethargy—so these should be avoided.  

In the same video, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also suggests that children growing up today should be taught all about these ancient Indian eating practices to ensure that they have a better idea of how their grandparents and ancestors lived long and healthy lives. “I don’t know is we teach this in our education system, nutrition is a great aspect that children must learn. Children should know what protein and carbohydrates are. They should understand what we should consume and how much we should consume.”