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Yoga food types

Food and diet occupy an important place in the world of yoga and naturopathy. The effects of improper eating manifest themselves in unwanted appearance, incorrect thought, behavior and hence action.

In yoga, foods have been classified as Rajasik, Tamasik and Sattvik.

Rajasik Foods: Food of a king or of a restless and energetic disposition.

Rajasik FoodA large variety of foods having different methods of preparation such as fried, highly seasoned, or baked, form this category. Alcoholic and processed beverages as well as sweets come in here.

Disadvantages: These foods impart extra weight and fat to the body and create a feeling of uneasiness after eating.

Tamasik Food: Food causing a lethargic disposition.

Tamasik FoodFoods, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, that are prepared with excess spices, salts and hot seasonings are Tamasik foods.

Disadvantages: These foods perpetuate laziness and people eating these are characterized by a rough and intolerant temperament.

Sattvik Food: Food of a Yogi...

Sattvik FoodFoods which are cooked with minimum amount of spices or seasonings and are fresh are sattvik foods. These foods retain their nutritive value as they are cooked in a very simple fashion one of the most powerful & delicious foods which have tremendous benefit on the overall system is sprout. Yoga recommends such foods.

Myth or Reality?

Non vegetarian food is Tamasik, while vegetarian food is Sattvik.

A definite MYTH

No food by itself is rajasik, tamasik or sattvik. It is the preparation which makes it so. Vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes etc., if cooked with a lot of spices become tamasik while fresh boiled chicken cooked in a simple fashion becomes sattvik.

Foods to Eat

  • Fresh, sweet fruits of all types, preferably taken whole.
  • All vegetables except onions and garlic.
  • Whole grains, such as rice, wheat and oats.
  • Ideally beans like mung, aduki and tofu, other types in moderation.
  • Not overly roasted or salted nuts and seeds such as almonds, coconuts, walnuts, pecans and sesame.
  • Butter, ghee (clarified butter) and all good natural plant-based oils like sesame, olive and sunflower.
  • Dairy products like milk, ghee, yogurt and cottage cheese from dairy animals who've been treated well.
  • Natural sugars such as jaggery, honey, maple syrup and molasses.
  • Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, cumin, coriander, turmeric, mint, basil, fenugreek and other such sweet spices.
  • Herbal teas, natural water and fresh juices, particularly of the lemony kind.
  • Foods prepared with love and consciousness.

Foods to Avoid

  • Meat, fish and eggs.
  • Artificial, processed and junk foods.
  • Canned food, except naturally canned fruits and tomatoes.
  • Animal fats, margarine and poor quality oils.
  • Factory farm dairy products.
  • Garlic, onions and other over-spiced food.
  • Fried food.
  • White sugar and white flour.
  • Artificial sweeteners.
  • Old, stale, over and reheated food.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and all other stimulants.
  • Tap water and artificial beverages.
  • Microwaved and irradiated food.
  • Genetically engineered food.
  • Foods eaten in a disturbed environment or eaten too quickly.

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