What are Chakras? In Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, your seven chakras are the centers of spiritual power through which energy flows, according to the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. It is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning wheel, circle, and cycle.
How does it work? Envision the chakras as spinning wheels that are located along the spine, starting in the base (root Chakra) and traveling up to the top of your head (crown Chakra). When your Chakras are open and healthy, it is believed that you will be open and operating at your best. But when they are out of whack, different parts of your body — and areas of your life — will become imbalanced.
What can you do to heal what ails you? Assuming that blocked energy in the seven chakras can lead to illness, it can be useful to understand what each Chakra represents, and what you can do to keep the energy flowing freely.
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And click here to discover which of your Chakras is out of balance.
1. Root Chakra (red) — Represents our foundation and corresponds to feelings of being grounded.
- Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.
- Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money and food. When this Chakra is unbalanced, you may not feel safe in your body, or be stressed.
- Foods to help balance / heal this Chakra: Since this Chakra focuses on being grounded, root vegetables are good to eat to keep this energy center in balance. Eat beets, rutabagas, garlic, ginger, turnips, potatoes, and potatoes — cut into bite-size pieced and tossed in olive oil and salt, then roasted. Red meat is also grounding, as are red fruits like apples and pomegranates.
2. Sacral Chakra (orange) — Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences; governs sexuality and emotions.
- Location: Lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel.
- Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure and sexual health.
- Foods to help balance / heal this Chakra: The element related to this Chakra is water, so drinking 8 glasses a day will help keep this energy center in balance. Other liquids are also beneficial, including teas, broths, and orange juice. Eating orange foods are encouraged, too, such as carrots and oranges. In fact, the more luscious foods you eat, the better. So try juicy fruits like melons, mangos, and strawberries.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra (yellow) — Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives. Transforms raw, fiery energy into action.
- Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
- Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
- Foods to help balance / heal this Chakra: Sunny yellow foods can help clear and balance this Chakra — especially yellow peppers, as well as corn, yellow lentils, yellow curry, and bananas. This Chakra is known as the one that converts energy, so also opt for foods that aren’t absorbed quickly. If this personal power Chakra is off-kilter, be sure to avoid sugar, white flour, and processed foods. Instead, opt for complex carbs and whole grains, which burn more slowly and keep you energized.
4. Heart Chakra (green) — Our ability to love and stay balanced; rules relationships.
- Location: Center of chest just above the heart.
- Emotional issues: Love, joy and inner peace.
- Foods to help balance / heal this Chakra: Since this Chakra’s color is green, it’s just another reason to eat those leafy vegetables — including kale, lettuces, spinach, chard, bok chop, collard greens, and broccoli. In Chinese medicine, these cruciferous choices are neither yin or yang foods, so they maintain the equilibrium that is essential to the health of this Chakra.
5. Throat Chakra (blue) — Our ability to communicate; the home of your voice, center of your communication, and keeper of your authenticity.
- Location: Throat.
- Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings and the truth.
- Foods to help balance / heal this Chakra: Speaking and living your truth is what keeps this Chakra in balance. Here again, opt for blue foods including blueberries (which encourage expression), as fellas fruits that grow on trees — apples, pears, apricots, and plums. Why? They fall to the ground when ripe, which suggests they are true to themselves and require little to now work to be enjoyed.
6. Third Eye Chakra (purple) — Our ability to focus on and see the big picture; insight, premonitions, and psychic abilities.
- Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra).
- Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom and the ability to think and make decisions.
- Foods to help balance / heal this Chakra: To connect to the higher self to seek and receive inner guidance, avoid addictive foods that stimulate the brain with sugar and caffeine, such as colas and chocolate. These can lead to an imbalance in this Chakra causing fuzzy thinking or confusion, headaches, sinusitis, vision problems, nightmares, and anxiety disorders. When the Third Eye Chakra is balanced, we have an ability to think clearly, trust our inner wisdom and have a healthy reliance on our intuitive powers. Instead, opt for foods that are indigo, a dark purplish blue in color, including grapes, blueberries, blackberries and raisins. They also contain antioxidants known as anthocyanidins that protect the brain and nervous system from stress. Red wine, in moderation, is touted for its health benefits. Other good choices are eggplant, purple cabbage, purple kale, purple potatoes or sweet potatoes, as well as all types of stimulating spices.
7. Crown Chakra (white / clear) — The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.
- Location: The very top of the head.
- Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality and pure bliss.
- Foods to help balance / heal this Chakra: The crown chakra is considered the spot where you have your strongest connection with the Divine or your Higher Self. Keeping this pathway clean and clear is essential. So while foods that are violet in color can assist, the vibrations of this chakra often prefer no food at all. To maintain and energize your crown chakra, consider doing a detox or fast. Giving your body a slight break from food can help it rest and regenerate. There is no need to undergo a strict fasting or detox regimen unless you feel that is appropriate and you are healthy enough to do so. Just eating light meals for a day or sipping on broths can help. Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables for a fast is another option. Be sure to add plenty of water to your routine.