The three gunas or qualities of Nature are sattva (purity or transcendence), rajas (exercise and distraction), and tamas (inertia or ignorance). These qualities are current in all meals and have a profound affect on the thoughts and non secular improvement.
Tamasic meals are processed, synthetic, devitalized, overcooked, or putrefied. Not solely do they destroy bodily well being, in addition they promote non secular unconsciousness, psychological unhappiness, and violence. Examples embrace canned meals, white sugar and flour, alcohol, and manufacturing facility meat and dairy.
Rajasic meals are stimulating and develop lively qualities. These meals are usually not essentially dangerous, and are sometimes strengthening and helpful for the physique. In extra, they will create disturbance within the thoughts and feelings and want for worldly issues. Examples embrace spicy meals, garlic, and meat.
The sattvic weight-reduction plan promotes and peaceable, clear thoughts. As issues which are comparable in nature enhance each other, the meals that make up the sattvic weight-reduction plan are themselves peaceable (non-stimulating) and clear (free from impurities). Sattvic meals are correctly ready in line with conventional strategies. Many fashionable strategies of meals preparation have an affect on meals that make them rajasic or tamasic and deteriorate well being.
The sattvic weight-reduction plan emphasizes complete organically grown meals which are uncooked or freshly cooked (not micro-waved), in addition to “raw-cooked” or lacto-fermented meals. Ideally, the weight-reduction plan will embrace many domestically produced meals, particularly meals that you’ve personally performed a task in producing and that subsequently strengthen your attunement along with your pure setting.
It’s predominantly a lacto-vegetarian weight-reduction plan that extremely values dairy, however avoids different animal merchandise together with eggs, fish, and meat. A sattvic weight-reduction plan excludes synthetic meals processing and altering as a lot as potential. Sadly, this features a disturbing share of contemporary meals staples.
It needs to be famous that although pure, the avoidance of meat implies that this isn’t essentially the best bodily strength-promoting weight-reduction plan, neither is it supposed to be, as its focus is primarily non secular, not bodily. The exclusion of animal merchandise aside from dairy additionally excludes some essential vitamins obtainable completely from animal merchandise. Because of this, it won’t be proper for all individuals all the time, however can usually be safely adopted with great advantages for shorter or longer time durations for various constitutions, particularly together with non secular retreat or seclusion.
Whether or not meat is included within the weight-reduction plan or not, everybody will reap bodily and non secular advantages from together with a better quantity of contemporary, native, organically and sustainably grown meals, getting ready meals correctly, and avoiding commercially produced and processed meals.
Classes of Sattvic Meals
Paramhansa Yogananda on processed white flour: “…there isn’t any excuse for any sane and clever individual killing himself or dragging about half alive because of the consumption of devitalized or wrongly chosen meals.”
Complete grains are usually fairly sattvic, however needs to be soaked to neutralize unhealthy and devitalizing elements (primarily phytic acid) and make them simpler to digest. Within the case of flour, grains are greatest freshly milled to keep away from rancidity. The flour can then be soaked with the moist substances, or flour from sprouted grains can be utilized. Gradual cooking is usually most popular, and strain cooking isn’t really useful because the excessive warmth could overly denature proteins.
Chilly breakfast cereals and granola needs to be averted as their cooking and manufacturing processes render the grains considerably poisonous and indigestible.
Soaked porridge is a superb technique to put together grains. Rinse and soak the grains a minimum of in a single day in pure heat water with somewhat natural yogurt, kefir, whey, or buttermilk. The cooking time will depend upon hardness of the grain. The porridge could be served with flax seeds or nuts, uncooked butter or cream, and a pure sweetener. Do-it-yourself bread can be great.
Sattvic dairy meals embrace: uncooked milk, cream, butter, ghee (clarified butter), smooth raw-milk cheeses, and fermented dairy comparable to yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, or whey.
Dairy is a really non secular meals with great well being advantages for physique, thoughts, and soul. In its pure state it may be taken abundantly. Its qualities are modified dramatically by fashionable practices nevertheless, and switch a sattvic meals right into a tamasic meals with deleterious results on well being. These practices embrace torturous environments for cows, grain and chemical feed, extra development hormones, pasteurization and homogenization.
The patron then takes within the bodily, emotional, and non secular toxins related to these practices.
The perfect supply of milk is from natural pasture fed cows, particularly within the spring and fall seasons when the cows feed on the fast-growing grass. It needs to be taken uncooked, but when uncooked milk isn’t tolerated, it’s also wonderful cultured.
Of all dairy merchandise, ghee (clarified butter), is particularly essential. It’s the most refined essence of milk, and the transformation from milk to ghee is likened to the transformation from rasa (plasma) to ojas (very important non secular power). Ghee serves as a automobile for a lot of medicines in Ayurveda, carrying their qualities deep into the tissues. It’s particularly rejuvenating for the mind and nervous system, contributing to non secular follow and improvement. Ghee is without doubt one of the 4 mahasneha (nice fat) revered in Ayurveda. Sneha, or fats, is a synonym of affection, and ghee nurtures the standard of our love and devotion.
Sattvic pure sweeteners embrace: uncooked honey, jaggery, dehydrated cane sugar, stevia, date sugar, molasses, malted grain syrups, and sorghum syrup.
The above sweeteners ought to nonetheless be utilized in moderation in order to not upset blood sugar ranges, a major reason behind psychological and emotional instability. As with all meals, select natural sources on your sweeteners.
The next sweeteners are rajasic or tamasic and needs to be averted: white sugar, brown sugar, concentrated fruit juice, excessive fructose corn syrup, and synthetic sweeteners comparable to aspartame.
Wholesome Non-Animal Fat
Sattvic non-animal fat embrace: further virgin olive oil, coconut oil or butter, palm oil, flax oil, and sesame oil.
Keep away from the usage of safflower, cottonseed, sunflower, canola, soy, cottonseed, and corn, and particularly hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated trans fat. These oils all contribute to a lot of well being challenges.
Fruit is especially sattvic, as fruit, together with flowers, are essentially the most advanced elements of the plant kingdom. Fruit helps develop the non secular coronary heart. It’s best to give attention to domestically grown and in-season produce, as this serves to assist join you with the rhythms of Nature in your native setting.
The non secular grasp, Paramhansa Yogananda, attributed particular non secular qualities to sure fruits:
Peaches – selflessness
Oranges – reforming zeal
Grapes – non secular love
Banana – humbleness
Apple – self-control
Pineapple – braveness
Cherries – pleasure
Fruit needs to be eaten contemporary, freshly cooked, or lacto-fermented as chutney. Canning will increase the tamasic high quality, as does freezing, although to a lesser diploma.
Most greens are pretty sattvic. It’s nice to have some uncooked, however evenly cooked could also be greatest (steamed, blanched, baked, or stir fried in butter, olive oil or coconut oil) as many greens include dangerous substances that have an effect on digestion, assimilation, and mobile capabilities, and these substances are neutralized with cooking. Cooking improves the digestibility of greens, however on the similar time destroys enzymes and sure vitamins.
So, what to do?
Uncooked-cook your greens! Embrace some lacto-fermented greens (comparable to sauerkraut). This course of really will increase dietary worth, and provides tremendously enhanced enzyme exercise and pleasant bacterial flora, optimizing digestion and assimilation of vitamins.
Uncooked onions, leeks, and garlic have extra of a rajasic high quality, and although they’ve a lot medicinal benefit, mushrooms are thought of tamasic. Canned, frozen, or reheated greens additionally enhance the tamasic high quality.
Nuts and Seeds
As with the grains, nuts and seeds are usually sattvic, however require some preparation to neutralize dangerous substances.
Begin with uncooked natural nuts. These could be sprouted, or soaked in a single day with somewhat pure salt (Celtic sea salt if the perfect) after which eaten moist or dried within the oven at a low warmth (lower than 150 levels), or within the solar, for 12 to 24 hours.
Nuts ready as above can then be eaten by themselves (chew effectively) or cooked with meals. They may also be blended to create great nut butters.
“Beans, beans, the magical fruit.
The extra you eat, the extra you toot.
The extra you toot, the higher you’re feeling.
So, let’s eat beans for each meal!”
– My Elementary College
Legumes are identified for his or her challenges with digestibility, however many conventional societies have largely subsisted on beans with out problem. This once more, is especially because of the technique of preparation.
Soak all legumes in pure water with whey, lemon, or lime juice and go away them in a heat place for twenty-four hours. Subsequent, pour off the soaking water and rinse effectively. Prepare dinner the beans till they’re smooth and skim off any foam that rises to the floor. Lastly, rinse the beans once more and add acceptable spices and pure salt, lemon juice or liquid from lacto-fermented greens, and uncooked butter or olive oil.
Essentially the most sattvic legumes are mung beans and aduki beans. Small quantities of tofu are all proper, however soy ought to in any other case be taken solely in fermented kind comparable to miso, tempeh, and natto, as these preparations neutralize naturally-occurring dangerous substances.
Improperly ready beans are irritating and rajasic, and canned beans enhance tamas.
Essentially the most sattvic spices are gentle and are typically candy with pungent and bitter notes. They are often taken liberally as they assist in the digestion of different meals and have quite a few well being advantages. These spices are quite a few, however just a few examples embrace: cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, ginger, and turmeric.
Very pungent spices comparable to scorching peppers or chilies and garlic are extra rajasic and stimulating, and spices which were irradiated are lifeless and tamasic.
Sadly, the majority of contemporary beverage decisions are unhealthy. Espresso, tea, and different caffeinated drinks are overly stimulating and rajasic. Pastuerized juices, soda pop, and alcohol have an general tamasic high quality. Even the trendy “well being drink” soy milk has some well being challenges as a result of it has dangerous substances and never neutralized in its preparation.
Sattvic beverage decisions embrace: pure spring water, uncooked milk, sattvic herb teas comparable to chamomile and mint, sattvic fruit and vegetable juices diluted with pure water, correctly ready seed, grain, or nut milks (see associated sections above), and lacto-fermented drinks constituted of dairy, grains, fruits, and nuts.
Tailored from Dietary Dietary supplements for Enlightenment: Steerage for Inside Peace and Self-Realization, by Jacob Griscom, CAS