What Is the Sattvic diet? What we eat and our nutritional habits have an impact on the environment of our health, although not bear in mind, our emotions and our psychology.
In the tradition of Yoga, diet plays a fundamental role. Our food becomes what we are. What we consume (and how we do ) determines the nutrients that we carry to our body, the energy, and vitality of our being, the purity of our material body, and also the purity of our mind and spirit.
As yoga transforms the relationship we have with the body, we begin to see this as a vehicle that has been given to us to develop holistically. Food becomes a ritual where we give thanks for the food we receive from nature and also as something essential for our well-being.
It must also be a fully conscious act, which begins with the selection of foods that are good for ourselves and the environment, that involves a healthy and loving preparation, and that eating is also a special moment.
It is an opportunity to demonstrate devotion to the wonders of life because it is what we offer to our organism for its renewal and full functioning.
- Yogic food is simple, balanced, vegetarian, and nutritious.
- Its essential foods are fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, seeds, and legumes.
- They should be fresh foods, grown in the most natural way possible, easy to digest, and with a high nutritional value.
- Its preparation must be simple to conserve its nutrients and light to facilitate digestion. Cooking too much food, processing, or refining it ends up with its nutrients.
- It recommends whole foods, fresh and full of vitality.
The diet that is part of the yogic tradition facilitates inner calm and promotes an acute intellect, we call it a sattvic diet. The way of life of yogis always seeks balance, which is SATVA.
- Rajas(movement, stimulation)
- Sattvas(purity, balance)
Thus, we should always look for foods that give us vital energy (Prana), that not only nurture us, but also facilitate calmness and mental clarity. When we refer to natural foods we mean unprocessed and grown in a way that today can be called “organic”.
This implies, for example, that it comes from healthy and fertile land, that they have a minimum of toxic elements in their cultivation as pesticides, that they do not have genetic modifications, and that they respect the environment.
It is because of this respect for life and the earth, in addition to other reasons (such as its effect on our health, mind, and emotions) that the yogic diet is vegetarian.
The food in yoga, and Ayurveda, his sister’s medicine, are conceived as medicine. We must carefully select what we put in our body to function as medicine that brings us the balance that each one needs (in Ayurveda there is a special diet for each dosha), as curative and preventive medicine. Also as a way to feed ourselves to be strong.
When the body is in balance, and strong, when it eliminates toxins, and when it has a positive environment, it activates its natural healing capacity. Healthy and nutritious foods that help cleanse the body because they are easy to digest and eliminate are essential to avoid disease.
The disease manifests itself because there is a blockage in our subtle bodies (nadis, chakras, mind, emotions), or because toxins have not been eliminated properly.
In reality, all the yogic lifestyle is sathwic, it is the energy of balance and purity. Sathwic energy is related to a higher level of consciousness, which is why we are closer to spirituality. A sattvic diet means that it is a food that provides energy and that stimulates the mental faculties but keeps the body and mind in harmony.
These foods are natural, rich in nutrients, pure, and easy to digest: cereals, legumes, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. We avoid certain determined foods because in one way or another they alter our inner peace or contaminate our subtle bodies.
- Rajas are related to the action and stimulate the nervous system.
- Tamas are impure food and are related to inaction.
For spiritual purposes neither of the two extremes is ideal. Rajasic and tamasic foods affect our vital energy, and our inner calm, and have an impact on our subtle bodies, which is our energetic anatomy.
Yogic food avoids rajasic and tamasic foods. In this way, there are rajasic foods that stimulate the mind. These can generate addictions, anxiety, and fictitious energy (because they take away energy).
They also generate conditions in the body, such as nervous system disorders, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and increased uric acid.
Within this group are caffeine, tea, spicy, spices, garlic, onion, and sugar in all its forms, refined foods, white flour, and white sugar. Other habits, such as eating little, have a rajasic result in our body. We have internal activity but with anxiety.
At the other extreme are the tamasic foods (heavy, putrefied, or fermented things) that generate lethargy, laziness, and even depression.
It diminishes mental capacities and generates a loss of life purpose. Within this category are animal meats, eggs, canned ones, fried ones, and alcohol. Just as eating little is rajasic, eating too much is not good either.
Although have consumed sattvic foods, easy to digest, natural and nutritious, if we eat too much we will have a decline in our energy. Animal meats generate inertia in the body because of the difficulty and length of their digestion; they are rajasic because they contaminate our emotions and thoughts.
We are more prone to mental activity and not only that, but negative thoughts and inner states such as confusion, anxiety, jealousy, anger, violence, sadness, or depression can occur.
Animal flesh stimulates not only our minds but also animals to transmit to us the emotions they felt in life, such as fear, pain, and anguish in the face of death.
Awareness is the key to many of life’s problems, Ayurveda emphasizes a Sattvic diet for healthy living, particularly to be happy by keeping our minds clear and at peace.