The 7 Chakras
A chakra is like a whirling vortex of energy. Chakra is the Sanskrit word for “wheel”, which in the literal translation from Hindi means “wheel of spinning energy”. Within our bodies we have seven of these major energy centers, and many more minor ones. They are subtle centers in the energetic system of a living organism that take in and give out energy. The functions of the chakras are to vitalize the physical body, to bring about the development of our self-consciousness, and are associated with our physical, mental and emotional interactions.
Our health is determined by the flow of energy from the 7 chakras into the metabolic network of the body. Blocked chakras, due to emotional, mental, and/or spiritual issues, can restrict energy flow and lead to illness.
Foods, especially foods that share colors with the chakras, carry vibrations that can activate or balance our chakras.
The root chakra (Muladhara) is located at the very base of the spine/tail bone and is the home of a stable, slow vibration that enables one to be grounded in the workings of the world on a physical level. A healthy root chakra will promote core feelings of being part of a tribe or community, and it anchors the body in feelings of trust, safety, and protection.
Chakra Color: Red
Physically: It is responsible for body systems that provide physical structure, allowing for meaningful contact with the Earth: joints, bones, muscle, legs, and feet. It oversees the “boundaries” of the body through an internal and external defense system represented by the immune system and skin.
Weakness in this Chakra: Feeling a lack of physical energy and vitality, fear, insecurity, foot and leg pain, colon problems, immune disorders or bone disorders and eating disorders.
Root Chakra Healing Foods: If you’d like to release a fear around eating or feelings of distrust, the root chakra is the place to release it. Eating issues stem from the need to protect the Self. Under or over-eating may cause you to feel scattered or flighty, but the root chakra helps you to feel grounded and more easily arrive in the present moment. Assist your root chakra by eating with others in community and honoring your body’s instinct on what to eat by communicating with your body to make good food choices. If you are feeling the need to be more grounded then you may need to be eating more protein, root vegetables, beans, beets, red peppers, apples, pomegranates, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, watermelon, cherries, strawberries and red cabbage. Many red fruits and veggies are loaded with powerful, healthy antioxidants such as lycopene and anthocyanin that do everything from fight heart disease and prostate cancer to decrease the risk of stroke.
The sacral chakra (Svadhisthana) is located in our hips, sacrum and genitals it houses desires, creativity, sexuality, sensuality, and emotions through all layers of the Self allowing us to connect and accept others and new experiences. A healthy sacral chakra allows us to “go with the flow” of life.
Chakra Color: Orange
Physically: Responsible for the liquid functions of the body: kidneys, bladder and the large intestine. Oversees the creativity of the body through the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, as well as cell division and growth.
Weakness in this Chakra: You may often find yourself wondering if you will find the one, lack in confidence of Self and lack of desires.
Sacral Chakra Healing Foods: If you feel like you are not going with the flow and consequently overeating to keep your emotions down then your Sacral Chakra may need to be nourished. Allow your sacral chakra to flow freely by spending time creating meals and by paying attention to your senses when eating. If you are feeling like you need to stimulate your creativity or get back in the flow then you may want to eat more tropical fruits, seeds, nuts, oranges, tangerines, carrots, apricots, curries, sweet potato, pumpkin and mango. Beta-carotene is the best-known nutrient in orange foods and is a powerful antioxidant, which gives orange fruits and vegetables their brilliant color. Experts say beta-carotene is not only good for eye health but can also delay cognitive aging and protect skin from sun damage. Orange foods are also full of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system, protects against cardiovascular disease and helps rebuild collagen in the skin.
The solar plexus chakra (Manipura) is located along the spine and deals with willpower, ambition and action. It contains fiery, transformative energy that radiates the essence of the Self to the outside world, harmonizing the inner and outer environments. A healthy solar plexus chakra will manifest as a brilliant expression of personal power accompanied by balanced energy flow and clear perceptions of life situations.
Chakra Color: Yellow
Physically: It is responsible for the transformative functions of the body, including the digestive organs: esophagus, stomach, pancreas, small intestines, liver and gallbladder. It oversees the energy exchange of the body through the generation of ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate), the body’s physical currency of energy.
Weakness in this Chakra: Feeling powerless, suffering with self-esteem issues, constantly feeling like a victim or shaming the Self; suffering from frequent stomach pains and stomach anxiety.
Solar Plexus Chakra Healing Foods: The solar plexus is the flame burning bright within us to transform our energy inside and out. You may see problems here when we go into overdrive and then lose our power. However, you can harness your energy and power and transform it by looking at what foods you give yourself. Maybe you are eating too much sugar. Step back into power once again by eating more frequently through the day and by eating foods that sustain your energy. If you want to boost your self-esteem think foods for power and energy; foods that are low complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, yellow, tan and golden foods such as corn, ginger, bananas, squash, turmeric, pineapples, yellow lentils, amaranth, quinoa, whole grain breads and cereals. Yellow foods have an abundance of vitamin C and represent a class of water-soluble plant pigments that function as antioxidants. Studies suggest the nutrients in yellow fruits and vegetables will help your heart, vision, digestion and immune system. Other benefits of naturally yellow foods include maintenance of healthy skin; wound healing, and stronger bones and teeth.
The heart chakra (Anahata) is located along the spine in the center of the chest near our physical heart. It deals with compassion, self-acceptance, relationships and belonging by emitting a loving, compassionate rhythm that translates pure feeling into emotional wisdom, discernment, and kindness. A healthy heart chakra will make love into a healing energy for all, including the Self, others, and the planet.
Chakra Color: Green
Physically: It oversees the nurturing functions of the body through the breasts/chest, shoulders, arms, and hands and is responsible for the circulatory functions of the body, including the heart, lungs, lymphatic system, and blood vessels.
Weakness in this Chakra: Needy in relationships, rarely open up to others, guarded, sabotage relationships with anger, and experience chest pain, heart disorders, asthma, allergies and circulation problems.
Heart Chakra Healing Foods: A great way to open this chakra is through the process of sharing foods with others in a mutual exchange — with this, you can practice giving and receiving love in a healthy way. The heart chakra blossoms when we express gratitude for eating. If you have some deep emotional wounds or heart pain, think foods rich in chlorophyll, plant compounds like phytoestrogens and phytosterols (they can block cholesterols from being absorbed into the blood stream), any green raw foods, foods rich in chlorophyll and especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and leafy greens, asparagus, mixed greens, spinach, as well as other foods like kiwi, avocado, herbs, green tea and green grapes.
The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is located in the center of the throat. It deals with honesty, integrity, expression and communication. It contains a communicative vibration that resonates truth. A healthy throat chakra communicates and expresses the emotions, thoughts, and feelings of the other chakras through sound in a way that is authentic and true.
Chakra Color: Blue
Physically: It supports the neck, jaw, teeth, gums, mouth, lower sinus, throat and thyroid. It is responsible for the sensory apparatus of the body, including the lips, tongue, nose and mouth, as well as our voice and breath like the larynx, pharynx, and throat. It also oversees the metabolism through the thyroid gland, and through the coordination of the multitude of functions (e.g. chewing, swallowing, breathing, smelling, etc.) occurring in the throat area.
Weakness in this Chakra: Shyness, often afraid to voice opinions, sinus problems, swollen glands and soar throat.
Throat Chakra Healing Foods: hen we do not speak authentically about our desired foods choices (e.g. saying “yes” when we really mean “no”), we create an imbalance in the throat chakra. Uphold your throat chakra’s personal truth by honoring your body’s choices, eating mindfully and chewing carefully. If you feel like you are having a hard time expressing your feelings and want to enhance clear communication you can eat more sea plants, juices, water, soups and sauces (which bring together different elements like water and earth), and foods from different ethnic groups. The throat chakra encourages a variety of foods but mostly liquids. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. It also helps the muscles remove waste so that they can work efficiently.
The third eye chakra (Anja) located in the center of the forehead behind the brow deals with intuition as well as our sense of purpose and direction in life. A healthy third eye chakra will encourage the path of internal visions and dreams.
Chakra Color: Indigo
Physically: It supports our upper frontal sinuses, eyes ears and outer layer of the brain. It oversees the perception functions of the body through the brain, eyes, and neurotransmitters. It is also responsible for hormone function and secretion, sleep/wake cycles, and dreaming.
Weakness in this Chakra: Feeling lost when it comes to having a sense of purpose in life, indecision, and an over active imagination.
Third Eye Chakra Healing Foods: Sometimes we allow our intuition to be overridden by the intellect/ego, and in doing so, we lose sight of our highest path. There are several foods that stimulate the intuitive center, such as coffee, alcohol, and dark chocolate, keeping your mind and moods on overdrive. Respect your third eye chakra by avoiding these external substances and enable your intuition to be heard. If you are feeling as if you are spending to much time day dreaming and lacking intuition and focus then you may want to add the following foods to your diet tea, spices to stimulate and protect, purple potatoes, red onions, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, lavender and eggplants. Purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are health-promoting chemicals that help protect cells and heal your body.
The crown chakra (Sahaswara) is located at the top of the head. It deals with our connection to the divine within us and around us. A healthy crown chakra will manifest as the ability for individuals to be confident in their spirituality, Self and inner and outer beauty.
Chakra Color: Violet
Physically: It supports our central nervous system and deep brain function and is responsible for infusing the body with life force, Prana.
Weakness in this Chakra: Feeling of loneliness or disconnected, strong attachment to possessions and relationships, migraines and tension headaches.
Crown Chakra Healing Foods: Since the crown chakra is more spirit than matter, it is not nourished with physical foods in the same way that we feed other chakras. To keep this chakra clear you can do a detox to re-energize, but the crown chakra benefits mostly by the balance of all the chakras as well as from sunlight, moonlight, air and meditation.
There are a number of techniques that can be used to keep chakras healthy, including Reiki, meditation techniques, and the assortment of foods you eat. Food can be used to heal, prevent sickness, and maintain a healthy body and mind; this includes a healthy chakra system. Healing and maintaining a healthy chakra system is one way of establishing balance and health in life.