14 Sep What is Sattvic diet?
What is Sattvic diet?
Bhagvad Gita guidelines on Diet & Gunas
The food individuals eat influences their thought processes and nature and vice versa. The Chhāndogya Upaniṣhad also emphasises on satvik foods since eating such foods purifies the mind and becomes part of our pure consciousness. “āhāra śhuddhau sattva śhuddhiḥ” (7.26.2) People with pure mind prefer pure sattvik food.
Bhagavad Gita 17.7 mention importance of diet
āhāras tv api sarvasya
tri-vidho bhavati priyaḥ
yajñas tapas tathā dānaḿ
teṣāḿ bhedam imaḿ śṛṇu
Krishna explains Arjuna- The food preference is mainly of three types; the same is true for the sacrifice, austerity, and charity they are inclined toward. Now pay attention about their distinctions.
Diet & Gunas
What is a Guna? The three Gunas are groupings of different qualities of energy in parkriti (physical matter.) Any living being has Gunas, and it is one of three “propensities” of the mind, body and soul or consciousness. The three gunas are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas gunas. These categories define and reflect our health, behaviour, thinking and diet.
- Sattvic means purity, health, harmony and well-being.
- Rajasic means stress, anger, activity and restlessness.
- Tamasic means dullness, laziness and lethargy.
Every one of us has all these three gunas, but their proportion varies. For example- Tamas guna is required for adequate rest and sleep, Rajas guna necessary for work and Sattva for fulfilling aspirations in life. A yogic way of life aims to increase the Sattva guna to nurture consciousness via healthy body and mind.
Foods we eat will impact us on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Diet plays a pivotal role to progress towards the realisation of a spiritual path.
What are Rajasic, Tamasic and Sattvic Diets?
A Rajasic diet mainly consists of foods which contain spices and rich in taste such as onion and garlic, deep fried foods, coffee, tea, refined food items, sugary foods and chocolates etc. These foods give instant energy for a brief period, but ultimately we get to experience an energy low or stress as well. A dominantly Rajasic quality diet disturbs the mind-body equilibrium. This type of diet is feeding the body at the cost of the mind. A rajasic person qualities- weak digestive system, always in a rush to eat food fast and prefers rich foods.
A Tamasic diet chiefly consists of reheated foods, chemically processed foods, such as eggs, meat, alcohol, cigarettes etc. A tamasic person will be dull, unimaginative, unmotivated, careless, unaware and lethargic. They will experience illnesses such as diabetes, obesity and liver disease.
A Sattvik diet is a pure vegetarian diet which includes seasonal fresh fruit, ample of fresh vegetables, whole grain, pulses, sprouts, dried nuts, seeds, honey, fresh herbs, milk and dairy products which are free from animal rennet. These foods raise sattva or our consciousness levels. Sattvik foods are cooked and eaten with love, gratitude and awareness. A sattvik person is calm, peaceful, serene, amicable, full of energy, enthusiasm, health, hope, aspirations, creativity and balanced personality. An added advantage of sattvic diet -helps to keep the weight in check and very effective method of weight loss. A sattvik food will become tamasic when over processed, kept for a longer period or deep-fried.