Questioner: Sadhguru, you have said that our psychological situation can be influenced by what we eat. Medical science is talking about how fruits and vegetables promote psychological wellness. Is there any significance to this, and is a predominantly fruit diet only for someone doing certain kinds of sadhana, or is it also okay for people in regular situations involving work, family or lots of physical activity?
Sadhguru: In any machine or any kind of fuel that we use, the efficacy of the fuel essentially is in how easily it burns. Why the kind of gasoline you use for automobiles is one thing, what you use in the tractors is one way, what you use in a fast car is another way, what you use in an airplane is another way, essentially, how easily it burns.
You have seen in your gas stations about the octane levels, eighty-seven, eighty-nine, ninety, ninety-one, ninety-three, ninety-six. Well, when we were riding motorcycles, we would pay three times and buy hundred octane, because putting hundred octane suddenly the motorcycle performs in a way that others cannot. So, you know very well, the most easily digestible food is fruit.
If these [digestive] fires have to burn most effectively, fruit is definitely the best thing
Digestion means Jataragni, the digestive fires as they are known. If these fires have to burn most effectively, fruit is definitely the best thing. Only those people who enjoy inertia – that means they enjoy part of them being dead – don’t think it’s a joke, lot of people do. Lot of people enjoy lethargy and inertia unfortunately, that means somewhere life has not touched them. So, sleeping, intoxication, overeating and just lying down there, feels better than being alive and active and dynamic in one’s life. So, only for such a person, fruit may be a problem because it’ll keep you alert and awake. It doesn’t keep you intoxicated, unless it ferments of course. So, it has that quality also, you just have to wait.
One can know an extreme sense of joy and intoxication and a deep pleasure out of heightened levels of awareness also. But now the question is, can I be normal and eat fruit, or can I eat fruit and still be normal? You know even Adam started with a fruit. So, when we say fruit, we must understand fruit is one aspect which nature itself intends to be food, in the sense, most fruit what you find, let’s say a mango or an apple – being month of May, I refuse to talk about apple, I’ll talk about mango. The seed is the important part of the mango, the flesh is only a draw, it’s a lure so that animals and birds will go for this and carry the seed somewhere far away and drop it.
I think for this question, the simple answer is in your general practice of life itself. Suppose you are ill in a hospital, let’s say, you’re in a hospital bed. Nobody brings you chicken biryani, isn’t it? They’ll bring fruits because even your friends and relatives understand that, “Okay you’re eating all that you got sick, at least now you eat sensibly.” That’s the message. So, fruit can do miraculous things to the body. Sufficient consumption of fruit can do great things to the system. One can become very, very alive and active, no matter what is your lifestyle.
But if you are doing very menial kind of job, let’s say you are digging outside everyday physically, not with a machine but you’re physically digging and doing very hard work, then you may find every two hours you get hungry because of the fruit. Because there is only that much volume you can eat, but it gets digested so rapidly that you may feel empty stomach. Till you come to a certain level of awareness where you are able to be empty stomach and still be energetic, because hunger is about running out of energy, it’s like you’re running out of battery, that’s why you need to eat. But today, a lot of people or most people I would say, when they feel little empty in the stomach, they feel like eating. To get out of this, you need a little bit of awareness, that you are empty stomach but still you are okay because you are energetic. When your energy starts dipping, you eat.
So, if you go on a total fruit diet you may have to either spend little more time on the lunch time and eat slowly so that you ingest enough fruit, because with little fruit you will feel full because it’s generally sweet. So, one has to wait and slowly eat. There is also a bio-clock within us that, let us say your normal meal, cooked meal you were taking ten, twelve minutes to eat, even if you eat fruit, by the time you reach ten, twelve minutes your body says you’ve eaten enough. So, you have to consciously eat more, because it is timing you. It is not looking at the fill, it’s just timing you. When those ten, twelve minutes are gone you feel you’re full. So, one has to go beyond that and consume enough.
But if you are only on fruit diet and physically very active, it is important that maybe you bring three meals into your day, and most of you may already be doing it. So, three times a day, if you’re sleeping six hours or eight hours or whatever, for the remaining hours, sixteen to eighteen hours, three times eating is more than enough, if you’re eating fruit. But stomach will feel empty within two hours’ time. So, you must get used to hanging on with high energy but empty stomach. This is the time your brain works best. This is the time as a human being, you function best, it’ll be good for you. So if you want to use your brain power and also physical activity, it’ll work perfectly well.
But the fruit that you get in the market today, we don’t know what it is filled with. That is a little bit of a problem because I clearly noticed this, the kind of country fruits that we used to eat when we were young, and today the farm grown fruits that are coming to us even in India – I mean here it’s another matter altogether – even in India, they are not the same. They are much bigger, rounder, better looking but this is like Botox. This doesn’t work. I can clearly feel it’s not the same level of strength and aliveness in it, simply because this is made for the market not for the man. These fruits are essentially made for the market, this doesn’t mean that they are totally a waste, but they don’t have the same nutrient that it used to have. So we may have to fortify it with some amount of other food.
We must check and see what kinds of fruits you are exposed to and seasonally there are variety of fruits. It’s very incredible that what kind of fruits the land produces at a certain time is most suitable for the system. There is a lot of study about this, how for those seasons when there’s cold, when it’s hot, when the moisture is very high, the right kind of fruit comes out of the earth – if you are eating from that area. but now you’re eating fruit that comes from New Zealand, this is another matter. If you’re eating from the land around you, you will see the right kind of fruit is coming to you at the right season, it’s the best thing to eat at that time.
Above all, it’s ecologically a very sensible way to eat. Right now, we are launching a campaign that everybody should turn at least 30% fruity – that is at least 30% of your diet should become fruit, because if 30% of your food comes from the trees, not from ploughed land and crop, ecologically it will make a huge difference for the world. And if you are trying to shift from heavy meat-eating to fruits, then you may find it’s like you’ve eaten nothing, because you are used to being pulled down to the earth, eating very heavy food.
I want you to understand this, anyway you’ll be pulled down to the earth, that’s the nature, okay? But right now what is called life is that we spring out, as if we don’t belong. That we fly in such a way, that it doesn’t look like we’re made of earth. Even the bird that soars is made of earth, but when it’s soaring up there it doesn’t look like earth. So, every life when it springs out it should not look like earth, but we are of the earth. But if we want to spring up, the fuel that we consume, the fuel that we put into this system must be that which burns quick, and very easily inflammable. What is easily flammable is the best food. In our stomach, without doubt, fruit is that which burns up quickest, so this means least amount of residue, least amount of tax on the system, least amount of stress in the system, so definitely it’ll make a huge difference.
I knew somebody who went on, some 1008 days of only one fruit, this person went on orange. Only oranges for 1008 days, this lady ate. She was full of ailments when she started, she was a diabetic, high blood pressure and I don’t know they told me a list of problems that she had, thyroid, very serious thyroid issues, overweight. In 1008 days, she came out like she was twenty years younger and full of vitality, all ailments gone, totally. This is one person I’m saying, please don’t go on just oranges, we’ll run short of oranges. Or at least move to Florida.
Yes, fruit will make a wonderful difference. Especially, in today’s world, it’s very important because we value a human being – in the work areas I’m saying – we value a human being for their brain power, not their brawn power unless you’re on WW [wrestling sport] whatever nonsense, okay? So for this, fruit will make a huge difference for sure and ecologically it’s the most sensible thing to do. Between fruit and meat, for one person to survive, let’s say that you have to survive on just meat, then approximate calculation is, we will need 15,000 liters of water to produce meat for one person for one year. If you go on fruit diet, we will need 300 liters of water. You should – all the rivers will flow once again.