Yogic diet is a balanced, vegetarian diet that fulfills all the nutritional needs for mind-body balance. Eating the right food, in the right quantity, with the right attitude and at the right time are the tenets of a yogic diet. The ancient yogis classified food into Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic based on the three gunas or attributes present in every individual. viz., Sattva (purity), Rajas (activity), Tamas (inertia). These gunas exist in different degrees in every individual and change from time to time.
Sattvic diet is freshly cooked, clean vegetarian food, organic, that is grown in harmony with
nature and is cooked with love. Seekers of wisdom take this diet.
• Bhagavad gita (17 : 8) describes Sattvic food as “promoting life, virtue, strength, health,
happiness and satisfaction.”
Sattvic foods are balanced combination of whole grains, legumes, pulses, fresh fruits and
vegetables, except onions, garlic and mushrooms. They include dry fruits, milk and milk products, natural sugars like jaggery and honey. Spices include coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, black pepper, sesame, carom seeds, pomegranate seeds, ginger, holy basil, mint, cardamom, cinnamon and turmeric. Plant based oils include sesame, sunflower, olive and coconut.
Rajasic diet is over stimulating and destroy the mind-body balance. These foods cause restlessness to the mind, arouse negative emotions and lead to circulatory and nervous disorders. Sattvic foods when eaten in a hurry or with a negative attitude become Rajasic.
• Bhagavat gita (17: 9) describes Rajasic food as “excessively hot, spicy, bitter, salty, pungent,
burning the tongue.”
Rajasic foods are stimulants such as coffee, tea, colas, chocolates, tobacco, onion and garlic.
They include hot-spicy, sour, fried, refined food and food with added salt and chillies.
Tamasic diet causes heaviness, dullness, lethargy and destroy body’s ability to withstand stress,
lower the resistance to disease. They do not have ‘prana’ for mind-body balance. Sattvic food when burnt, or over-eaten or reheated several times becomes Tamasic. Honey when cooked, becomes tamasic. Overripe and rotten fruits are tamasic.
• Bhagavat gita (17:10) describes Tamasic food as “stale, rotten, tasteless, impure, unripe and
Tamasic foods are meat, fish, chicken, eggs, mushrooms, onion, garlic, vinegar, drugs, alcohol
old, stale, burnt and overcooked food.