Posted on 10th Aug 2014
Ayurvedic diet is very important to Ayurvedic medicine. Food is in fact one of the medicinal elements of Ayurveda. In it three things must be made regular – absorption, assimilation, and elimination (1). In general, the Ayurvedic diet is balanced and would rely heavily on the body type of the person – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Fresh and pure diet without preservatives, additives, and pesticides are also included.
There are three food qualities affecting the mind – sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic. Sattvic foods make the mind clear and focused. Examples of sattvic foods are fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, mother’s milk, moderate ghee and butter, cold-pressed oils, and natural sweeteners. Sattvic foods have an effect on each body type. For the Vata it brings peace and calmness. For the Pitta it manages impatience and irritability. For the Kapha, it supports lightness, flexibility, and quietness of mind. Rajasic foods on the other hand make somebody aggressive, passionate, and creative. Examples of rajasic foods are artificial yogurt or kefir, “garlic, peppers of all kinds, eggs, cheeses, white sugar, most sweeteners, some beans, avocado, salt, radishes, citrus, peanut, fructose, “garlic, lemon, etc. The third kind of food is the Tamasic foods which slows a person down. Examples of tamasic foods are “fast foods, fried foods, frozen foods, microwaved foods, processed foods, leftover night foods, alcohol, drugs, chemicals, onions, mushrooms, lard, meat, fish, and poultry. It doesn’t mean though that all your diet must be sattvic or rajasic. For a calm mind it is recommended to eat sattvic foods. For a more alert mind, rajasic foods are recommended. Finally, tamasic foods are to be avoided.
(1) Morningstar , A.(1995). Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners: Familiar Western Food Prepared with Ayurvedic Principles.Wisconsin: Lotus Press