02 Mar Why Should I adopt a Sattvik diet
You are what you eat.
A lot of research has been carried out on the influence of food on behaviour. According to studies, food dyes and hyperactivity in children are related; children with dairy sensitivity may become irritable, depressed or find it difficult to concentrate, and gluten, found in wheat, may trigger aggressiveness. The `guna’ (quality) of food we eat impacts us on the physical, emotional, and the soul level too. Cities like New York have `anger rooms’ where people can vent their anger, and anger has been related to foods high in trans-fatty acids or low on glucose.
All living beings including food has gunas and there are basically three types of gunas—sattva, rajas, tamas; a guna is basically a quality of energy in matter, the propensities of the mind, body, and soul or consciousness. These categories define and reflect our health, behaviour, thinking, and diet.
Sattva means purity, health, harmony, and well-being.
Rajas means stress, anger, activity, and restlessness.
Tamas means dullness, laziness and lethargy.
All of us have all the three gunas in differing proportions, and we need them. We need the Tamas guna; it makes us dull and lazy when these qualities are needed i.e. when we need to sleep or rest. Similarly, Rajas makes it possible for us to work, to be engaged in activity. The Sattva guna makes it possible to be in a state of purity, harmony and well-being. Yogis aspiring to a higher spiritual awareness prefer Sattvik food.
A Rajasic diet mainly consists of spicy foods, foods that contain onion and garlic, deep fried foods, coffee, tea, refined foods, sugary foods, etc. These foods give an energy boost but eventually one starts to feel low on energy. It disturbs the mind-body balance as well as the digestive system; a Rajasic person is usually aggressive, competitive, ego-driven.
Tamasic diet on the other hand is made up of food that is not fresh, reheated foods, chemically processed foods. A Tamasic person will generally be dull, unmotivated, and lethargic.
A Sattvik diet is a pure vegetarian diet; it includes seasonal fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, whole grain, pulses, sprouts, dried nuts, seeds, honey, fresh herbs, milk and dairy products. These foods raise sattva or our consciousness levels. Sattvik food, cooked with love and gratitude, is even better. A Sattvik person is calm, peaceful, amicable, full of energy, enthusiasm, health, creativity; an overall balanced personality. All those aspiring to the above qualities should adopt a sattvik diet. It should be kept in mind that sattvik food kept over a long period of time will become tamasic.