One night at church the priest stated according to hinduism, our body is made up of five elements. These are fire, water, air, earth and ether/space. So I did some research.
In the words of Dr. Swami Shankardev Saraswati, “Each element is responsible for different structures in the body. Earth forms solid structures, such as bones, flesh, skin, tissues, and hair. Water forms saliva, urine, semen, blood, and sweat. Fire forms hunger, thirst, and sleep. Air is responsible for all movement, including expansion, contraction, and suppression. Space forms physical attraction and repulsion, as well as fear.If any element is impure or out of balance with another, disease and suffering may occur.”
Achieving and keeping good health is one of life’s greatest accomplishments. To achieve this one must understand our body and follow practices that satisfy each of its needs, maintaining balance.
The Fire Element ( Agni )
One should maintain this element by keeping active. Exercising helps to keep us fit and essentially leading to a healthy weight. Along with keeping active, one must eat foods enriched by the sun and rich in vitamins. Fruits & vegetables are rich source of vitamins and minerals.
The Water Element ( Jala )
According to scientist, our body is made up of 60 – 70% of water. This element is an indispensable part of our body. Keeping hydrated is a necessity for a healthy body. Water helps to flush all waste and toxins out of our body, carries nutrients to cells and regulates body temperature. It is advised to drink about 8, 8oz glasses of water a day.
The Air Element ( Pavan )
The air contains all kind of gasses, importantly oxygen which our survival is dependent on. Without this air there is no possibility of life. One must practice breathing exercises like yoga, pilaties, etc. You should not indulge in activities that involves smoking of any kind. Keep your surroundings clean and free from dust however much possible. Clean air, healthy lungs.
The Earth Element ( Bhumi )
Hindus consider the earth, to be a goddess called Mother Earth (Prithvi). She provides us all our needs which includes food & shelter. To maintain balance of this element in our body, one should include legumes and ground provisions in their diet. These food groups provides essential nutrients for building and repairing tissues.
The Space Element ( Akasha )
This element is quite complex, but this is what I think it is pertaining to health. Fasting is seen as a cleansing process. If possible, one should perform fasting. It not only cleanse the body but puts our digestive system, which is constantly working to digest food, to a rest! Sleep is also important. You should try to get at least 7 hours of sleep daily. During sleep our body repairs itself, therefore this process is necessary.
If the combined needs of these structural elements are fulfilled and kept balanced, you will fundamently keep healthy!