Health Practices Of Mahatma Gandhi

We are celebrating the 150th birthday of Mahatma also fondly known as Bapu. Born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the year 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat and a lawyer by profession, he led his life guided by the principles of truth and simplicity.

However, it was not just law, politics and the crusade for India’s freedom for which Gandhiji is renowned for. His ideas on diet and health, documented in his book titled, ‘The Moral Basis Of Vegetarianism’, based on his health practices, is still one of the widely read and best sellers across the globe.

Health Practices Of Mahatma Gandhi

As advised by Mahatma is all about following a simple, balanced diet loaded with proteins, fibers, essential vitamins and minerals along with regular exercise and steering clear of injurious habits like drinking and smoking, for improving the overall quality of life.

1. Monitor Salt Intake

In the book, Gandhiji mentions that he was advised by his doctors to add a measured amount of salt to his diet on a daily basis.

Understanding the significance of salt as an essential electrolyte for vital body functions, yet wary of its ill-effects to blood pressure when consumed in excess, Gandhiji strictly regulated the quantity of salt added to his meals, to a mere 30 grains per day.

2. Simple Vegetarian Diet

Gandhiji at first wanted to avoid all possible animal produce in his diet, including dairy, as it contradicted with his beliefs in leading a peaceful coexistence with the nature. However, he also realised that milk products largely contribute to the body’s daily requirement of calcium and proteins, crucial for stronger bones and developed muscles.

3. No Processed Foods

Interestingly, Gandhiji was quite calorie-conscious and always avoided eating deep fried items. In fact, he highlighted the harmful effects of trans fats and Vanaspati in ghee towards excessive body weight and heart health. He advised all his followers to consume simple home-cooked meals with fresh ingredients and insisted on organic vegetarian diet.

4. Fasting In Moderation

Almost a century ago, Gandhiji understood the importance of detoxifying the body and bloodstream after heavy meals, by occasionally consuming only fruits and water, so as to allow the system to get rid of any toxic wastes remaining in the body, while staying sufficiently hydrated.

5. Reduce Sugar Consumption

Gandhiji did develop an occasional sweet tooth and had a weakness for yummy mangoes in summers, which he couldn’t resist. However, on other days of the year, he was extremely cautious as to not ingest too much sugar in food items as well as in the form of sweets. He was aware of the integral role sugars played in regulating energy, digestion and hormonal balance in the body and advised the people to also control their sugar intake.


Govind Shukla, Specializes in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Nutraceuticals & Herbal Drugs has published More than 100 research papers in National & International Journals. He is also a reviewer of International Journal of Pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, Chief editor of IJPNR Journal & Freelance Medical Writer for Different publication Groups including Lambert Academic Publishing Saarbrucken, Germany.