Sattvic diet is a diet based on foods inAyurveda and Yoga literature that contain sattva quality (guna).In this system of dietary classification, foods that harm the mind or body are considered Tamasic, while those that are neither positive or negative are considered Rajasic. Sattvic diet is sometimes referred to as yogic diet in modern literature. In ancient and medieval era Yoga literature, the concept discussed is Mitahara, which literally means “moderation in eating.
A diet that is wholly conducive to the practice of Yoga and spiritual progress is called Yogic diet. Diet has intimate connection with the mind. Mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of food. Sage Uddalaka instructs his son Svetaketu “Food, when consumed becomes threefold: the gross particles become excrement, the middling ones flesh and the fine ones the mind. My child, when curd is churned, its fine particles which rise upwards, form butter. Thus, my child, when food is consumed, the fine particles which rise upwards form the mind. Hence verily the mind is food.” Again you will find in the Chhandogya Upanishad: “By the purity of food one becomes purified in his inner nature; by the purification of his inner nature he verily gets memory of the Self; and by the attainment of the memory of the Self, all ties and attachments are severed.”
Diet is of three kinds Sattvic diet, Rajasic diet and Tamasic diet. Milk, barely, wheat, cereals, butter, cheese, tomatoes, honey, dates, fruits, almonds and sugar-candy are all Sattvic foodstuffs. They render the mind pure and calm. Fish, eggs, meat, salt, chillies and asafoetida are Rajasic foodstuffs. They excite passion. Beef, wine, garlic, onions and tobacco are Tamasic foodstuffs. They fill the mind with anger, darkness and inertia.
Foods to Eat When Following a Yogic Diet
1. Fruits of all types, especially those that are naturally sweet
2. All vegetables, except onions and garlic
3. Whole grains, especially oats, wheat, and rice
4. Beans, tofu, mung, aduki
5. Plant-based oils, like sesame, sunflower, and olive oil
6. Nuts and seeds, yet not salted or overly roasted