Sattvic Diet is a practice of eating vegetarian foods that increases the energy of the body. Such foods are pure, organic, naturally grown without harming any live things and help your body to balance doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha).
You believe or not, but food you eat has its subtle effects on your body and mind. Your eating habits are actually affecting your physical health, mental wellness and spiritual strength.
According to Ayurveda, foods can be classified into three categories;
- Sattvic Foods (Full of Sattva Guna)
- Rajasic Foods (Full of Rajas Guna)
- Tamasic Foods (Full of Tamas Guna)
Sattvic foods ingest nutrition directly from mother nature and thus they have divine qualities. Such foods are full of prana and help individuals to live a healthy life.
Rajasic foods give you enough strength to perform and enjoy worldly pleasures. It contains foods which are hot, bitter, dry, salty, and sour. However, these foods are known to kill the equilibrium of mind and body. Thus Rajasic diet is not recommended when you are trying to rest your mind.
Tamasic foods are full of dark energy which gradually kill your spiritual strength. Such foods mainly contain animal products.
According to the ancient Rishis – You take on the karma of the animal you eat.
The stress hormones released when that animal was killed are present in the flesh. Such animal foods have lower vibrations and dark energy which make you tamasic (Tamas Gun).
Of course, some organic vegetables like garlic and onions are also full of tamas gun. This is why Tamas foods are also not good option when you are trying to balance your mind and mood.
As of now, I am sure that you understand why sattvic diet is important for people trying to balance doshas and to attain a higher spiritual strength.
Let’s move further and discuss what foods you should avoid and add in your sattvic diet.
Foods to Avoid in Sattvic Diet
When you are on yogic diet, you should avoid almost all types of foods that promote tamasic guna such as;
- Meat and Fish
- All types of foods which are processed and contain artificial sweeteners
- Junk fried foods
- Canned foods
- Garlic, onions and spicy foods
- Stale or overly cooked foods
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Genetically engineered foods
- Foods prepared in rush or in disturbed environment
Now, let’s have a look at some sattvic foods to add in your dish for diet…
11 Foods to Add in Sattvic Diet
According to ayurvedic principles, you should shift your focus on sattivc foods when you are trying to achieve sound mind and good health.
Check out below 11 purest types of foods you can add in your yoga diet.
1) Clarified Butter (Ghee)
As per the ayurvedic wisdom, ghee is a true symbol of nourishment and full of healing properties. It is a byproduct of milk and it takes almost 30 minutes to extract the ghee from milk.
Especially, ghee from cow milk is highly recommended for yogis. The Vedas considered ghee as the first and most essential of all foods.
According to Maya Tiwari – “Ghee is the single most Ojas producing food on earth” Ojas is the essential energy for body and mind to perform certain functions.
In brief, Ghee holds a great importance in Indian culture and is one of the most ancient foods with full of curative qualities.
2) Sweet Spices
Traditionally, basil (Tulasi) and coriander are considered as sattvic spices.
However, certain Hindu sects have updated the list by adding several sweet spices like Cardamom (Elaichi), Cinnamon (Dalchini), Cumin (Jeera), Fennel (Sonph), Fenugreek (Methi), Fresh Ginger (Adrak) and Turmeric (Haldi).
Besides all these, other spices are considered as rajasic or tamasic.
Unrefined salt like Himalayan salt is also good to add in sattvic diet but in strict moderation.
3) Whole Sprouted Grains
Sprouted grains contain more nutrients and have many health benefits to offer than mature grains. Whole sprouted grains hold an important role in sattivc traditions and often considered as symbol of health, happiness and prosperity.
Sometimes, yogis fast from grains to perform certain rituals, but whole grains are included as their main part of sattvic diet.
Sprouted grains like rice, spelt, oatmeal, and barley are easy to digest and prepare.
Yeasted or leavened breads are not recommended.
4) Fresh Organic Fruits
Organic fruits are always an important part of all traditional and modern diets. Fruits are often considered an organic source of some vital nutrients.
As far as Sattvic diet is considered, almost all types of fresh fruits are welcomed except Avocados and Tomatoes. These two fruits are known for their rajasic guna.
5) Plant Based Oils
Some plant based oils extracted from natural sources like sesame, olive, coconut, palm, and flax are good to add in your sattivc diet.
Some oils should be eaten in its raw form and some can be used in cooking as well.
The real honey (Non pasteurized, non-heated and non-processed) is easy to digest and least perishable sattvic sweetener.
Honey contains lots of nutrients and have so many health benefits to offer.
In almost all ayurvedic foods, honey is mainly used as an organic sweetener. Sometimes, you can replace honey with jaggery.
7) Organic Vegetables
Almost all types of green veggies are good to add in your sattvic food list. However, several veggies like onions, garlic, mushrooms, hot peppers are exceptional due to their rajasic and tamasic guna.
8) Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, peanuts, hemp seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts and flax seeds are great addition to your sattvic diet dish.
However, overly salted or roasted nuts and seeds are not recommended.
Instead you can go for overnight soaked nuts and seeds which are easily digestible for your body.
Legumes like mung beans, lentils, split peas, chickpeas, aduki beans and organic tofu are some of the healthy sattivc foods.
You can consume legumes in different ways such as splitting, peeling, grinding, soaking, sprouting, cooking and spicing.
Herbs like ashwagandha, purnarnava, bacopa, calamus, gotu kola, saffron, ginkgo, jatamansi, shatavari, shankhapushpi, tulsi and rose are widely known for their medicinal properties and sattvic guna.
Such herbs support mental wellness.
11) Natural Foods Prepared with Love
In sattvic tradition, it is believed that your thought process while cooking leaves a great impact on the food.
Natural foods prepared with love and care always contain positive vibes and on the other hand foods cooked in rush lose their nutrition and provides no value to your health.
In brief, practice of eating such sattvic foods with holistic approach help you to enlighten your mind. Following a strict sattvic diet with yoga and meditation will surely change the way you live, think and work.