Yoga and Ayurveda divide the foods into 3 forms:
- Satvic Diet
- Rajasic Diet
- Tamasic Diet
It is the purest form of food. This is the best food for yoga practitioners. It brings peace to the mind and is nourishing for the body. Sattvic food is great for overall fitness and for a balanced energy flow. Sattvic diet focuses on high prana, living foods – it includes cereals, honey, herbs, sprouts, seeds, nuts, legumes, butter, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh juices.
Sattvic mind is clear, peaceful and harmonious. When we consume these foods, it produces clear thinking, loving actions, and an open heart. It produces expansion, rather than contraction. It emphasizes increasing prana (life-force) and the subtle elements of air and ether that help open the mind and heart and make them more sensitive. It provides a lightness of body, mind and spirit for peaceful reflection in our meditation and yoga practices.
Rajasic mind is active, restless, aggressive and worldly. Rajasic food may be fresh but heavy to digest. It is salty, dry, sour, hot and bitter. It is not good for the mind-body balance. It tends to excite and over-stimulate the body, and makes the mind restless. Rajasic food includes chocolate, salt, tea and coffee, sharp spices, Meat, fish, eggs, alcohol, caffeine, bleached flours, white sugar and other processed, irradiated foods. Overly-sweet foods.
You must remember that Rajasic foods are of high quality and nutrient density; if it is not fresh then it begins to become Tamasic.
The tamasic mind is lethargic, impulsive, cruel and degenerate. Tamasic Food is not good for the body or the mind. It brings in a sense of inertia, clouds the power of reasoning, and sucks out the energy. It destroys the body’s resistance to diseases.It also invokes feelings of anger, jealousy and greed in people. Overeating is a Tamasic behavior. Tamastic food includes meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic, fermented foods and over ripe foods. Tamasic foods that are kept overnight (leftovers). It loses its vital essence and may have grown microorganisms. Any foods that involve the harm of another being are also considered tamasic.
sattvic diet is necessary for a pure mind and promotes longevity, goodness, strength, health, happiness, and pleasure.
Too much spice, sugar, or salt may render what was a sattvic food to become rajasic or tamasic.