Yoga and Ayurveda emphasize the significance of eating foods that contribute to inner peace. The three Gunas or the qualities – Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva are the concepts Yoga and Ayurveda are built upon. Tamas is inertia and darkness. Rajas is movement and activity. Sattva is balance and harmony. Too much of Rajas or Tamas of these can lead to a lack of balance in life. Sattva is required to maintain inner peace and balance of our life. The state of the serenity of mind and body is achieved only through Sattva. This is the reason why Ayurveda emphasizes a Sattvic diet. A diet that is Sattvic in nature helps in achieving a calm and soothing mind.
Rajasic, Tamasic and Sattvic foods:
Rajasic foods are rich in taste, like garlic, onion, deep-fried foods, tea, and refined foods items. These foods can disturb the balance of the mind and body. Though they give an instant burst of energy, they can lead to energy low or stress in the longer run. Chemically processed foods, eggs, meat, and alcohol are tamasic foods. They make one careless, lethargic and unmotivated.
Sattvic foods are full of prana or life energy. Sattvic foods are the best choices for physical and mental health. It helps in maintaining the harmony and in attaining longevity. A healthy body and a peaceful mind can be attained with Sattvic foods, which is the true health. This helps in the balanced energy flow. The sattvic foods are from nature, the fruits, and vegetables. They are said to make one calm and composed. They improve one’s magnetism. The people who look forward to a peaceful and meditative form of life go for a Sattvic diet. This is why yogis and spiritual teachers recommend taking Sattvic foods.
How Sattvic foods work:
The foods that get digested faster, light, and soothing are called as Sattvic foods. Sun foods and ground foods are important constituents of this sattvic diet. Sun foods are those which grow one meter above the ground. Ground foods grow one meter below the ground. The former has a lightening effect on the nervous system. The latter absorb the energy from the ground and are a rich source of nutrients. Whole grains, sprouted grains, nuts, beans and lentils, plant-based oils, unrefined and natural sugars, molasses, honey, spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and coriander are sattvic foods as per Ayurveda.
How to follow a sattvic diet:
- Foods that are fresh and keep one mentally agile are sattvic foods. So, fresh vegetables, fruits, green leaves, and whole grains are a part of the Sattvic diet. These help in keeping the digestive system healthy. Sattvic foods are those which are cooked fresh. So, it is not enough if the vegetables and grains you opt for are organic and fresh. The food should also be freshly prepared.
- Organic foods should be your choice. There should be no presence of chemical agents. Even dairy products should be from the cows that are fed with natural and organic foods.
- Meat and flesh are never a part of this diet. This is because Yogis say that flesh foods include what the animals experienced before they are killed. The emotions are passed on through the hormones, making the food tamasic.
- Cooking the food with a peaceful mind in a harmonic atmosphere is a must. It is not only the quality of the food and ingredients that matter. The one who cooks it should be calm and peaceful while cooking.
- A sattvic diet is not only about what you eat. It also clearly states, how you eat determines the inner peace and equilibrium of mind and body. When on a Sattvic diet is important to ensure you eat food on the set hours every day. For instance, if your breakfast is at 7 AM daily, and lunch is at 1 PM, then you need to stick to this schedule. At times, a delay of 10 to 15 minutes can happen, which is negligible. When you stick to the same eating schedule, it helps in the proper functioning of your digestive system.
- The sattvic diet also emphasizes on sleeping only after the food is digested. Eating foods two hours before you hit the bed is mandatory. Else, your bowel movements are affected.
Foods that can be taken as a part of a Sattvic diet:
- Naturally ripened fruits
- Green leafy vegetables and other fresh vegetables
- Whole grains
- Dairy products- Milk, ghee, cottage cheese, cream- from cows and buffaloes fed with organic fodder
- Coconut oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, sesame oil
- Unsalted nuts and seeds
- Sprouted seeds
- Alkaline foods
- Cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, turmeric, basil, cumin, and ginger
- Herbal teas with natural sweeteners
Foods to avoid:
- Soda and carbonated drinks
- Stale food reheated food
- Processed food
- Caffeine and tea
- Refrigerated food
- Onion, garlic
- Junk food, fried and oily food
- All non-vegetarian foods
Pros of Sattvic diet:
- Sattvic foods are nutritious and balanced. Complex carbohydrates are got from whole grains, proteins from nuts, Vitamin A in vegetables like carrots, anti-oxidants in fruits, and iron from green leafy vegetables. So, it is easy to make the most of the required nutrients with Sattvic foods.
- When you take Sattvic foods, you get enough fiber. This helps in eliminating or preventing constipation. Constipation can be the root cause of a huge range of disorders. Anorectal problems can never be a part of your life when you consume lots of fiber.
- The sattvic diet helps in spreading positivity at the cellular level. This is because the diet helps in achieving inner peace. Lack of chemical pesticides and fertilizers rule out problems that may occur in the future. The cardiovascular system, digestive system, endocrine system, and immune system of the body are fortified by the sattvic foods.
- A few disorders and diseases are due to human emotions. For instance, acidity, acid reflux, and bloating are caused by too much stress and anger. When taking sattvic foods, the goodness not only influences the body to stay healthy but also keeps the mind harmonious.
- Studies found sattvic foods can cut down the risk of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. They can also help in managing rheumatoid arthritis and prevent dementia. So, sattvic foods can help in adding years to your life.
The bottom line:
An English proverb says “Don’t dig your grave with your spoon and fork.” The corollary is you can make your lifespan increased and make life disease-free with a wise choice of foods. Stick to Sattvic foods, without compromising on taste. The huge variety can offer you pleasures and treasure which you would never experience with the other types of foods.