Types of Food

Sattvic Food

  • Sattvic foods are those which purify the body and calm the mind
  • A Sattvic diet consists of foods light in potency and rich in prana (life force)
  • A Sattvic diet improves mental quality and energy and thereby improves the state of consciousness
  • It helps restore the harmony of body and mind, forming and rebuilding body tissues to a higher quality
  • Light eating is sattvic. A sattvic diet in taste is bland and it does not go to any extremes
  • Cooked food that is consumed within 3-4 hours can be considered sattvic
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, salads
  • Fresh or steamed vegetables, vegetable juices, vegetables cooked with moderate spices
  • Grains such as rice, jowar, ragi, wheat, barley, maize, bajara
  • Raw or lightly roasted seeds and nuts
  • Fresh buttermilk, fresh curd, butter and ghee
  • Fresh milk is sattvic but once pasteurized it becomes a little tamasic
  • Spices like ginger (sunth), cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, coriander and turmeric
  • Moderately sweet taste is sattvic. For example, moderate use of honey, jaggery, mishri or raw sugar

Rajasic Food

  • Rajasic food aggravates Pitta (fire element) and Vata (air element)
  • They stimulate the body and mind into action. In excess, these foods can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, anger, irritability, and sleeplessness
  • They also increase the level of toxins in the blood
  • Overly tasty foods are Rajasic
  • Excessively spicy, salty or sour food as well as onion and garlic are Rajasic
  • Pungent vegetables, fried food, roasted and salted food, chillies, garlic, onions, pickles, vinegar, wines, alcoholic drinks, cola and coffee
  • Excess of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and mustard can also become Rajasic

Tamasic Food

  • Tamasic food are those which dull the mind and bring about inertia, confusion and disorientation
  • Tamasic food also increases the aggressive quality of Rajas towards violence
  • Stale or reheated food, oily or heavy food and food containing artificial preservatives fall under this category
  • Canned, tinned or preserved food
  • Meat and fish
  • Too cold or pasteurized milk, curds and cheese
  • Excess intake of fats, oils, sugars and pastries
  • White (refined sugar) and white flour

All food items produced by harming living beings (such as meat and fish) are Rajasic or Tamasic in nature and should be avoided. Foods prepared in a Tamasic and toxic environment, though Sattvic in nature, will become Tamasic. For more details visit www.ayurvedic-cooking.com