Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Food

Nature of Sattvic Food

  • Sattvic foods are light and easy to digest
  • —They bring clarity and perception
  • —Sattvic food has the potential to unfolds love and compassion in the individual
  • —Sattvic food promotes the qualities of forgiveness and austerity
  • It gives a feeling of contentment

Examples of sattvic (high prana) foods

Fruit mango, pomegranate, coconut, figs, peaches, pears
Grains rice, tapioca, blue corn
Vegetables sweet potato, lettuce, parsley, sprouts, yellow sqaush
Beans mung, yellow lentils, kidney, lima
Dairy organic milk, fresh homemade yoghurt
Meat none



Nature of Rajasic Food

  • Rajasic foods are hot, spicy and salty
  • —They are irritants and stimulants
  • —All morish or tempting foods come under the category of rajasic
  • —Heavily spiced foods e.g. hot pickles and chutneys which can stimulate the senses
  • —Rajasic foods make the mind more agitated and susceptible to temptation
  • —The mind can become more rajasic, which means it tends towards anger, hate and manipulatio

Examples of rajasic (stimulating) foods

Fruit sour apples, apples, banana, guava
Grains millet, corn, buckwheat
Vegetables potato, nightshades, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, tamarind, pickles, winter squash
Beans red lentils, toor dal, adzuki
Dairy old sour milk, sour cream
Meat fish, shrimp, chicken



Nature of Tamasic Food

  • Tamasic food is heavy, dull and depressing
  • —It induces sleep
  • —Under this category comes dark meat, lamb, pork, beef, as well as thick cheese
  • —Old and stale food is also tamasic
  • —Only when too much of it is eaten, it causes the dulling effect.
  • In moderation, tamasic food is considered as grounding and promotes stabilit

Examples of tamasic (heavy) foods

Fruit avocado, watermelon, plums, apricots
Grains wheat, brown rice,
Vegetables mushrooms, garlic, onion, pumpkin
Beans urad dal, black, pinto, pink
Dairy cheese
Meat beef, lamb, pork

Sattvic Way of Cooking



Foods to be avoided in sattvic cooking:

  • —Canned food
  • —Frozen food
  • —Food with preservative added
  • —Anything packaged


Foods to be encouraged in sattvic cooking:

  • Lots of fresh, organic vegetables and other organic products
  • —Only small portions (food should not be kept for more than 4 hours)


How to cook:

  • Stir frying is best
  • —Add your salts last so that is does not extract minerals and nutrients from the food  – use organic rock salt
  • —Who is doing the cooking? What is the state of mind of the person cooking? Our thoughts are energy….
  • —Food cooked in India, mantras are chanted.
  • —At least listen to good music, be joyful when you cook.
  • —Understand that it is not the proteins, carbs, fat that are digested; it is the emotion with which you have cooked the food



Sattvic Way of Eating


What is the best time to eat?

  • —Ayurveda says that in our manipuraka region (navel region) we have what is known as digestive fire (jatara agni). This jatara agni is closely related to the sun. When the sun is out, it means your digestion is functioning at its optimum. Always aim to eat your meals between sunrise and sunset (not before or after).
  • —Eat light, sattvic and pure foods for breakfast – fresh squeezed juice, fresh fruit etc.
  • —Our jatara agni is at is strongest when the sun is at its highest in the sky (at approximately 1pm). It is best to eat our largest meal during 12pm and 2pm.
  • —The evening meal should again be light and best eaten before the sun goes down for the day.



How to eat?



  • Devote at least half and hour to eat and digest each meal (1.5 hours per day for eating is not much).
  • Remember that one fourth of your food is taken through the eye (sense of seeing) so serve your dish on a beautiful plate - you are worth your best cutlery! It is also a nice practice to set the table you are eating at decoratively.
  • Play some beautiful, calming music while you eat your meals.
  • —Say a small prayer before eating your food. It doesn’t have to be too elaborate, simply just say a small thank you for the food that you have and that is about to become part of your body.


Fragrance of the food

  • —Bring your face toward the food and inhale the fragrance of the food. Enjoy the different aromas of the food. Allow this sense to be filled.


Touch the food

  • —Touch the food with both hands and all fingers, feel the textures.
  • —All five fingers have minor chakras. Therefore, when we touch the food, we send a signal to our digestive system that you are about to ingest food.


Eating the food

  • —Let the first morsel be a sacred act to yourself.
  • —Chew the food 32 times – or until food is pulp in the mouth. We do this for two reasons. The first is, when you chew the food slowly, your system has time to understand that enough food has been eaten. You won't overeat when you chew the food slowly. The second reason is, when you chew the food well, the digestive process begins in the mouth itself where the enzymes in the saliva can start to breakdown the food. When the food reaches your stomach, it does not have to work so hard to breakdown all the food. Breaking down food in the stomach takes more energy than running around your street block. That is why we feel very tired after eating food.
  • —Have positivity when you are eating and digesting your food.


Leave some room

  • —You should only fill three quarters of your stomach.
  • Leave the final quarter for some water and air.
  • —Small sips of warm water can be taken during meal. Never drink cold drinks during a meal as they can weaken your digestive fire.
  • —Leave a complete half an hour after your meal, than you can drink a full glass of warm water if it is required.
  • —One can sip water throughout the day. It greases the system and breaks down what is known as ama which is residue of your digestion.


Sit in vajrasana to help digestion

  • —Sit in the vajrasana position (sitting on your heels, knees and feet together) for 3 - 5 minutes after a meal.
  • This position can help the food to digest as a lot of blood will be bought to that area.
  • It helps to remove gas and prevent bloating. If you get the urge to belch or pass wind, that is what the posture is designed to do, so try not to supress these urges.
  • The posture will help you to feel light and energized after the meal.
  • Never lay down or sleep after a meal. If you want to gain weight, than this is a 100% guaranteed way to put on weight; sleeping after food.