Food plays a vital role in our health, both physically and mentally. Ancient yogis recognized food’s healing and energetic properties and developed a yoga diet that focused on cultivating inner peace or sattva. Sattvic food is the lightest and purest you can eat. All levels of Yogis should explore and embrace sattvic food. It has many benefits, including promoting a calm, focused mind, a clear heart, and a healthy body. In this world of processed food, maintaining a yogic lifestyle can take a lot of work. However, maintaining a sattvic eating pattern is essential to continue on the path of Yoga. Some simple and easy ways to start shifting your diet to sattva exist.
What are Sattvic Foods
A sattvic-style diet is generally plant-based, focusing on whole, organic fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds grown in harmony. Sattvic food is typically aromatic, sweet, fresh, and light. It also has a nourishing and wholesome taste. Sattvic food keeps the body healthy and lean and the mind sharp and clear.
What can I do to make my diet more sattvic-like
We have compiled a list of the six most sattvic food options you can easily replace in your diet. It’s best to try these foods one by one so you don’t feel overwhelmed. This will also help you integrate them into your everyday life. Swami Sivananda said, “Evolution is better than Revolution.” Making these simple changes can promote goodness, peace, and tranquility. They will also increase strength, happiness, health, and well-being. You can also find a list of the top tamasic, rajasic, and other foods you should avoid.
Sattvic Foods for your diet
Add the sattvic food listed below to your diet to support and promote a yogic way of life. These foods can help you to improve your spiritual, yogic, and meditation practices.
Fresh fruit is an excellent source of prana (life force energy), antioxidants, and prana. It can make up 50% of the diet for yogis. Fruit that is organic, sweet, and fresh is considered sattvic. Adding more fruit to your diet is an easy and effective way to improve its yogic qualities. Reduce the amount of frozen, dried, or preserved fruit and replace it with fresh fruit in season. Fruit can be a healthy snack or side dish for your meals. Swami Sivananda says that the combination between fruit and milk improves concentration and helps with meditation.
Ghee, or clarified butter, tastes slightly sweet. This makes it the best cooking oil for a sattvic diet. Ghee, while a power food, is also cold and heavy in energy, so you should use it moderately. Ghee contains Vitamins A and D and fatty acids. Yogis use it to boost their power and endurance during the early stages of their practice. You can replace olive, sesame, and sunflower oil with ghee. You can easily create your ghee or buy premade ghee.
Honey is considered a sattvic product as long as it is raw, organic, and free of preservatives. Pet is one of the most perishable foods in a sattvic food diet. Honey is also easy to digest and helps with detoxification. You should consume honey in moderation, as too much can be harmful. Ayurveda recommends drinking honey with cold water. Replace refined sugars and artificial sweeteners with unfiltered raw organic honey or maple syrup.
Ayurveda considers basmati rice the best because it balances all three Doshas, namely Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. It is easy to digest, nourishing for the body tissues, and has a low Glycemic Index. It also promotes healthy brain functions. Ayurveda says instant rice and pre-cooked grains are less nutritious and contain less prana. Whole grains are considered sattvic, including oats, wheat, and rye unless made into bread. Try Basmati rice instead of other types of rice.
Sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots are the mildest and most precious vegetables. Also, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, and cabbage are considered to be very sattvic. Avoid pickles, turnips, and onions. Fresh vegetable juice can significantly increase sattva in your diet and replace soft drinks, coffee, or tea.
Nuts and Seeds
Fresh raw nuts and seeds are a vital part of a sattvic lifestyle. They contain healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins. Raw organic almonds are a great way to boost your mind and nourish your bones. It can be used to make almond milk for people with lactose intolerant. This will help build strength and immunity. Cashews, pistachio, and sunflower seeds are good sources of protein. Ayurvedic specialists do not recommend peanuts for a sattvic-style diet because they are hard to digest and can make you feel lethargic. It is best to soak nuts and seeds overnight to remove enzyme inhibitors. This will make it easier for the body’s digestion. As a snack, you can add nuts and seeds to your meals.
Avoid these foods
Rajasic food is stimulating and can cause physical and mental strain. Tamasic food is impure, rotten, or dead, which causes heaviness, lethargy, and a lack of energy on all levels: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Consuming small amounts of tamasic, rajasic, and other foods is okay. However, eating a lot will negate your efforts to include more sattvic food in your diet. Below is an infographic that summarizes foods to avoid.