Balancing chakras with food: Feeling out of balance in your chakras? Here’s how to know when and what to eat

By Julia Greene, Echo Magazine

Photo courtesy of Camilla Forte.
Editor’s note: This article is one in a series of stories from the Communication Department’s award-winning Echo magazine,  featured this summer on the Chronicle site.

Have you felt like something in your life is out of line or that you can’t come up with the right words? Your root or throat chakras may be out of balance and in need of some attention. One of the best ways to realign the chakras — the seven energy centers along the spine — is through foods associated with them.

The seven main chakras in the body are spinning disks of energy along the spine. Although they aren’t physically attached to the body, they can directly affect physical feelings. To function best, the chakras need to be balanced, and one of the best ways to do that is to eat foods connected to the specific chakra and its related energies and properties.

But before the chakras can be balanced or worked with in any way, they need to be recognized in the body.

“The easiest way to bring awareness to each of the chakras is to shift your attention to each of the areas of the physical body in which the chakras reside,” says Chicago-based energy healer and emotional practitioner Maria McCord. “Notice what physical sensations are present to determine whether the chakra is opened or closed.”

Along with the physical sensations around a chakra’s region of the body, emotions and behaviors can be signs of a blocked or unbalanced chakra. Whether the attributes of the chakra are too few or too many in the body, a balanced chakra leads to ideal amounts. There are plenty of ways to balance a chakra — McCord recommends breathwork and visualization — including food.

Making foods that represent the chakras allows Chicago-based spiritual entrepreneur Alex Oraham to embrace and embody whichever one she needs to balance. She uses chakras in her personal and professional life, in a “never-ending, multi-faceted” way, specifically on her Instagram, @astrologywithalex.

“It can really either help me get that chakra in alignment or feel that chakra,” she says.

The seven main chakras are linked to specific emotions or parts of life and need specific foods to help restore or maintain balance.

Root Chakra

The root, or Muladhara in Sanskrit, chakra, located at the spine’s base, is represented by the color red and linked with stability. This chakra is the body’s foundation, so keep it balanced for security and connection with the Earth. Foods with large Earth energy, like grains, meat or red foods to match the chakra’s color, can provide a grounded energy. For Oraham, as a home chef, it can even be wearing the color or using it in her space.

Sacral Chakra

Oraham calls the sacral, or Svadhishthana, chakra the “pleasure center.” Creativity, emotions and relationships are based in the sacral chakra, which is located just below the navel and is tied to the color orange.

While it’s still important to match the colors of the chakra, Oraham connects the creativity of cooking to this chakra more than specific foods.

“Plating something beautiful and sharing it with people you love — I think that’s really the heart of sacral chakra cooking,” she says.

Solar Plexus Chakra

Ego and confidence reside in the solar plexus, or Manipura, chakra, located in the middle of the torso. Yellow foods like bananas and curry, or beige foods, are best to balance this chakra, but are most effective while embracing happiness — whatever that may be for you — and food you love to make to connect with your solar plexus.

“I think cooking with the solar plexus chakra is about finding the joy in what you’re cooking with,” Oraham says.

Heart Chakra

The heart, or Anahata, chakra and its corresponding green color represent love, so Oraham recommends eating greens regularly while remembering to spend time with nature, whether it be outside or by keeping plants around the house.

“It’s finding what works for you,” Oraham says.

Throat Chakra

Communication is tied to the throat, or Vishudda, chakra, which is associated with blue and, in turn, water for Oraham. Water based foods, blue and blackberries, sea salt, water itself and even the sky help her align this chakra and get the right words out.

Third Eye Chakra

Intuition and imagination rest in the third eye, or Ajna, chakra, located in between the eyes. A lack of creativity or disconnect with intuitive feelings can signal an imbalance. Represented by the color indigo, this chakra is balanced with purple foods like eggplant, grapes and purple cauliflower.

Crown Chakra

The crown, or Sahasrana, chakra is located at the top of the head and represents spirit and purpose with the color violet. Some use fasting to balance it and get the clarity they need, or Oraham says she’ll eat plain food.

Each chakra and its attributes manifest differently for people — knowing what works personally is important to get the best results. For chef Natalie Sorensen, using food to balance her chakras comes with her desire to teach others about the power of real, fresh food.

“You can balance yourself with the right foods,” Sorensen says. “It can be more healing than you could imagine.”

The 2021 issue of Echo will be available this summer on newsstands across campus, and PDFs of all issues are available online.