7 Healthy Foods That Support Your Yoga Practice

If you've been practicing Yoga for a while, or you're just getting started & you find yourself falling in love with your practice, you're probably discovering that Yoga is much more than a wellness practice, it's a lifestyle. As you get deeper into your Yoga Lifestyle, other areas of your life will begin to change, including your eating habits.

As your Yoga practice focuses your awareness on your own body, as it exists in the present moment, there is a greater awareness of what you are using to fuel your body. While energy drinks & burgers were sufficient fuel for your body when you were hitting the gym (or just sitting on the couch), when it comes to augmenting your Yoga practice, you need to fuel your body with healthy & rich nutrients. 

These 9 foods will help support your mind, body & spirit as your practice Yoga.

Support Your Yoga Practice With These 7 Foods

Eat Your Greens

We all know we should be eating dark, leafy vegetables, but how many of us are actually eating enough? When you begin overhauling your life to support your new Yoga lifestyle, leafy greens need to become a staple in your diet.

Spinach, kale, mustard greens, arugula...all of these dark, leafy green vegetables are practically bursting with goodness & nutrients. Dark green vegetables are rich in vitamins C, E & K as well as calcium & a whole slew of other vitamins & minerals that will support your body as you continue practicing Yoga. 

Try adding a delicious side salad to your meal, or blend some kale into your morning smoothie. You can also sauté your leafy greens & enjoy them as a delicious side-dish at dinner. 

Indulge in Cacao

Cacao is the main ingredient in chocolate. On it's own, it isn't as sweet & tasty as chocolate, but it is packed with tons of antioxidants & flavonoids. The antioxidants in raw cacao help to fight off disease, while flavonoids support heart health. Additionally, raw cacao is packed with magnesium which has been shown to help balance hormones & emotions.

Try these raw cacao recipes to support your Yoga practice.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a food that has been getting a lot of buzz for the last few years. The reason this food has been everywhere for so many years is that quinoa is more than just the flavour of the week. There's substance behind all the health claims of this so-called "superfood". 

Quinoa is rich in a number of vitamins, minerals & nutrients that our bodies need including 9 essential amino acids, iron, magnesium & vitamin B2. There are a number of ways you can add quinoa to your diet to support your Yoga practice. You can replace potatoes & rice with quinoa, or even enjoy quinoa for breakfast in place of oatmeal or cereal. 

These 15 quinoa recipes are healthy, delicious & super easy to prepare.

Berries are Berry Good for You

If you've tried a number of different diets over the years, you probably have a bit of a negative outlook when it comes to fruits & their sugar content but there are a few reasons why berries should be a part of your new Yoga lifestyle.

Not only are berries rich in antioxidants, they also have a very high fibre content. This will keep everything regular, & also keep you fuller longer. The natural sugar in berries also supports your body throughout your Yoga practice & doesn't end with a big crash the way that high-sugar foods, like soda, do.

Try these berry smoothie recipes to get your day off to a very, berry good start.

Love Your Lentils

There are a number of health claims surrounding lentils. Some experts claim that lentils help fight ageing & that lentils are really good for your skin. While these claims are also met with a lot of opposition, there are some health claims surround lentils that cannot be refuted.

Lentils are packed with iron & protein. What this means for your Yoga practice is that lentils give you the fuel to keep your body moving & nourished throughout your practice. The high protein content in lentils also means you'll stay fuller longer. 

Support your Yoga practice with these delicious, healthy & really easy lentil recipes.

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Totally Try Tofu

Here at The Essential Life, we are huge advocates of vegetarian & vegan diets. Of course, we don't expect everyone to jump on board & suddenly become a vegan, but we do recommend adding tofu to your diet.

What makes tofu so good for you? Tofu is low in fats & sugars, but extremely high in protein. For every 100 grams of tofu you consume, you get 18 grams of protein. What's more, tofu is considered to be a complete protein because it has 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot create on their own.

For a delicious way to prepare tofu, try these yummy vegetarian tofu recipes

Go Nuts for Natural Nut Butters

We've all enjoyed some delicious peanut butter over the years & this delicious sandwich spread makes for a delicious & nutritious snack. In addition to peanut butter, you can also try almond butter, macadamia butter...really any nut butter you want. 

Not only are nut butters delicious, they're also loaded with protein that your body needs  & they're packed with healthy fats. Here's 12 ways you can add almond butter (or any other nut butter) to your diet.

Of course, everyone's Yoga journey is different, & everyone's experience with their Yoga practice is unique. Still, a lot of the yogis that we have spoken with here at The Essential Life talk about Yoga & their Yoga practice as a lifestyle change more than just a way of becoming more fit or flexible. If you haven't tried Yoga yet, & you're nervous about attending your first Yoga class, don't be. Here's what to expect from your very first Yoga class. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - BRITTEN THOMPSON

Who is Britten? She's a reticent little beast born in the wilds of Northern Alberta to a foul-mouthed, French-Canadian father & an angry, stiff-upper-lipped mother. Britten is, almost always, wild-haired & poorly dressed. She recently left the beautiful & untamed chill of Canada for the blistering & somewhat oppressive heat of Australia. Her list of pastimes is short & includes reading, writing, petting cats, overeating & alphabetizing things. She's a fan of Windex on Facebook because who doesn't want a streak free shine? She dreams of one day writing a super-awesome novel that affords her & her partner a comfortable lifestyle, a large property, a few horses & the means with which to foster children in need...or just becoming a red panda.

When Britten isn't writing, reading, or organizing things in her home, she can be found cuddling with her boyfriend, arguing about why Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the history of ever, browsing Gumtree for a future cat or kitten, or contemplating days gone by, the passage of time & how ridiculous it is that humans have yet to evolve enough to grow a third set of teeth.