How to eat for each chakra
According to the physiological practices of Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism, the chakras, a set of seven psychic-energy centres aligned within the body, are key to whole-body health.
The seven chakras are thought of as wheels, aligning with central energy points in the body. The wheels should stay open when internal energy is in balance, as they correspond with major organs and nerve centres which all contribute to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
“The secret to living a healthy, balanced and happy life lies on the seven main chakras and their alignment,” says Thimela Garcia, a Kundalini Yoga teacher and holistic practitioner.
“The chakras are our energy centres and each chakra has its own individual emotional and spiritual benefits. They are, in so many ways, associated with happiness, creativity, self-confidence, love, self-expression, vision and connection with the higher self and your spirituality.”
When energy becomes blocked, negative feelings and emotions can manifest and physical ailments can present. Approaching the chakras in a holistic manner is the most successful way to balance these energy centres, as each chakra affects the ones closest to it. Through breathwork, yoga, meditation, movement, gratitude, diet, manifestation and more, harmony can be achieved and the benefits find their way into your very core.
Why should you feed your chakra?
Although many elements make up the equilibrium of energy in the body, food is a core principle in recharging the energies of each chakra to cultivate harmony and whole-body health.
1. Muladhara (root)
The first chakra, Muladhara, is responsible for keeping you grounded and connected to the earthly energies. It takes care of your safety and security and is associated with the physical and material world. When balanced, Muladhara provides a solid base for opening the rest of the six chakras. Muladhara manages our survival instincts, so if it becomes blocked, feelings of loneliness, insecurity and fear can manifest.
Represented by the colour red and connected to the element earth, grounding, earthy red foods help recharge the energies in Muladhara.
Feed Muladhara with:
- sweet potato
- kidney beans
- red meat (in moderation)
2. Svadhishthana (sacral)
Located below the navel, Svadhishthana is associated with the colour orange and is the centre for our emotions and feelings, connected to passion, pleasure, creativity and self-expression.
An imbalance in the sacral chakra may present as anxiety, low mood, detachment or high sensitivity, with physical symptoms including lower back pain, low energy levels, joint problems and pre-menstrual syndrome. As Svadhishthana is connected to the element water, it’s important to stay hydrated; ensuring you drink adequate amounts of water, or try herbal teas and coconut water for optimum hydration.
Feed Svadhishthana with:
3. Manipura (solar plexus)
The third chakra, Manipura embodies our sense of self and personal power. Connected to the element fire, it is represented by the colour yellow and can be located above the navel. Manipura is known for representing the energy of the sun and ignites the consciousness to aspire for good health.
The solar plexus chakra is also responsible for regulating the digestive process in our body and when it becomes blocked or unbalanced, physical symptoms such as bloating, nausea and indigestion can occur.
“When our solar plexus chakra is off-balance, we experience physical and emotional ailments that can manifest from mild to more serious problems in our bodies,” says Thimela. “Our food should be nourishing, natural, fresh and less processed. The more natural the food we consume, the fewer toxins we are putting into our bodies.”
Feed Manipura with:
- yellow lentils
4. Anahata (heart)
Anahata, also known as the heart chakra embodies love, joy, compassion and inner peace. When balanced, it helps to establish our own self-worth and sets the framework for how we form and healthy relationships.
“Anahata is the chakra that balances the energies between the three upper chakras of spirituality and the three lower chakras of matter,” says Thimela. “If Anahata is blocked, our emotional, mental and physical body will be totally off-balance, and this will reflect in our lives, in our society, nation and planet.”
Connected to the element air, Anahata is located in the centre of the chest and green, organic and raw foods are essential for healing a blocked heart chakra.
Feed Anahata with:
- Matcha or mint tea
5. Vishuddha (throat)
Located in the centre of the throat, Vishuddha literally translates to ‘the ability to express oneself through speech and sound’. If Vishuddha is blocked, you might experience a sore throat, a cold, or a lump in your throat when trying to speak.
The throat chakra is connected to the element ether, a space that forms the essence of emptiness in which our true selves exist, free from constant thought and emotion.
Represented by the colour blue, rich antioxidant foods such as blueberries can help open the channel of Vishuddha, alongside soothing liquids like herbal teas, honey and coconut water.
Feed Vishuddha with:
- slippery elm
6. Ajna (third eye)
Located directly between the eyebrows, the third eye chakra is thought to be the centre of your inner wisdom, and when balanced, enables you to tap into your intuition, encouraging you to see the bigger picture, truth and reality. Ajna literally translates from Sanskrit as ‘to perceive’, meaning it helps keep things in perspective, manifesting wisdom and mental growth.
Ajna can become blocked by external lies and deception, so nourishing this chakra with indigo-based foods can help restore balance and truth.
Feed Ajna with:
- juniper berries
- goji berries
- purple cabbage and broccoli
- poppy seeds
7. Sahasrara (crown)
The final chakra Sahasrara represents a level of consciousness that is higher than what we usually connect to. It is responsible for embracing connection to the Earth around us, finding peace with oneself and establishing your higher purpose. It is associated with tuning into the universe and our higher purpose and is known to radiate energy that projects peace and gratitude.
“Sahasrara is the golden portal that, when open, allows the influx of cosmic energy into our beings,” says Thimela. “We trust the divine guidance that comes to us through this chakra. If it’s blocked, this means we are missing out from these higher energies and the connection to God, so we feel lost and powerless in life.
“A blocked Sahasrara manifests as a foggy mind, mental confusion, lack of interest in spiritual subjects, headaches, depression, low energy.”
As Sahasrara is associated with spiritual nourishment rather than physical food, short amounts of fasting are recommended to restore the equilibrium. However, fasting is not always suitable for everyone and should always be done so under the guidance of a practitioner. If you are looking to create balance in Sahasrara, light, fresh fruits and salad are recommended alongside using herbs and essential oils to detoxify the body. A combination of breathwork, gentle movement, getting fresh air and sunshine is also encouraged.
Feed Sahasrara with:
- peppermint tea
- honeydew melon
“Listen to your body. Get to know yourself energetically. The chakras will guide you where the attention is needed and where the healing and energy work needs to take place,” advises Thimela.
If you would like to work with a therapist to better understand your body and have guidance in making these changes, use our advanced search tool to find a nutrition professional, using the keywords ‘chakra’ and ‘Ayurveda’.