- Sattvic foods are those which purify the body and calm the mind
- Cooked food that is consumed within 3-4 hours can be considered sattvic
- Examples – Fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, grains and fresh milk
- They stimulate the body and mind into action. In excess, these foods can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, anger, irritability, and sleeplessness
- Overly tasty foods are Rajasic
- Examples – Spicy food, onion, garlic, tea, coffee and fried food
- Tamasic foods are those which dull the mind and bring about inertia, confusion and disorientation
- Stale or reheated food, oily or heavy food and food containing artificial preservatives fall under this category
- Examples – Non vegetarian diet, stale food, excessive intake of fats, oil and sugary food
Not just the right kind of food, it is vital to eat the proper quantity of food at the right time. Overindulging leads to lethargy while under eating will not provide enough nourishment. Most of the times, we know that our stomach is full but tempted by the taste buds we tend to indulge. The right amount of food cannot be quantified into cups or grams, when we listen to our body attentively we will know when exactly to stop!
We might eat the right kind of food in the right quantity but if we are irregular with our timings, then the whole system goes for a toss and the natural rhythm of the body is hampered. Therefore, it is of prime importance to eat food at the same time everyday and eat it at regular intervals. It is said that the state of the mind of the person cooking/ eating also affects the food. The energy in the food cooked by someone while he/she was angry will definitely be lower than that of someone who cooked it with a feeling of love, contentment and gratitude. Listening to some soothing music or chanting while cooking and eating can help retain the prana (life force energy) in the food.
Yoga also prescribes a more personalized diet according to the nature of our constitution. Food that might be favorable for someone might be harmful for a person of another constitution. It is best to consult an ayurvedic physician to decide what kind of food is necessary for you and which should be avoided. It is definitely worthwhile to pay some attention to the food that we eat as the ancient Indian texts say that we are what we eat!