Yoga and Ayurveda have gained increasing importance in the last couple of years. Although these practices and disciplines originated in India, people all over the world are familiar with these transformative practices due to the amazing benefits they offer.
Specialists from these disciplines have always believed that the approach to health should not only be physical but also mental, emotional, and spiritual. Their methods of practice also support this approach. And according to a study, the same holistic approach comes into play in their diets as well.
Yoga Diet or Sattvic Diet
Yoga and Ayurveda emphasize the sattvic diet for healthy eating. The sattvic diet is found to be abundant in Prana, a universal force that gives life to the plant and animal kingdoms. A sattvic diet is based on foods that are high in ‘sattva guna' (goodness), according to Yoga and Ayurvedic sciences.
These systems believe that the diet leads to a clear mind and calm demeanor, while simultaneously benefiting the body. Experts say that a sattvic diet has all the 5 natural elements and this helps maintain overall balance.
What Does Sattvic Diet Include?
A sattvic diet includes water, fruits (all varieties), most vegetables, cereals, bread, pulses, nuts, oilseeds, dairy foods, and honey. Cow's milk is considered the most sattvic of all foods in this category. Goat's milk is treated as a good substitute for cow's milk but buffalo milk doesn't come under the sattvic food group.
Spices like turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and aniseed are recommended because these spices help the digestive system.
Is Jain Diet and Sattvic Diet the Same?
The followers of Jain Dharm strictly adhere to a vegetarian diet which is even stricter than a sattvic diet. Jains don't eat root vegetables and they don't even consume animal products like honey because they believe in not harming animals. They even need to adhere to strict timings for food which isn’t the same with a sattvic diet.
While on a sattvic diet, consumption of dairy products like ghee is promoted.
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Foods to Avoid in Sattvic Diet
The sattvic diet does not include onions, garlic, red chilies, black pepper, and other pungent spices because they are believed to be stimulants. Meat, fried, overcooked, and processed foods i.e. tamasic in nature should be avoided while on a sattvic diet because these foods make a person lazy, increase negativity and cause heart diseases, illnesses and obesity.
Many people confuse egg as a part of the sattvic diet which is clearly not the case.
What you eat is a big factor that directs your behavior and nature, if you have a high temper, it is probably you have been feasting on rajasic food.
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Right Time to Eat Sattvik Food
Sattvic foods are simple and easy to digest. They also require minimal cooking. Since there's not much processing before these foods come to the dining table, they are closer to nature than other foods. Ideally, sattvic foods are to be eaten fresh and immediately after cooking. Don’t leave any leftovers! Barring fruits, not many raw foods come under the sattvic diet because raw foods are considered to be carriers of infectious agents.
Indian Sattvic Diet Plan for Weight Loss
The following sample sattvic diet plan curated by our dietitians can help you with your weight loss goals and can be easily prepared at home. In case you are allergic to any ingredient or particular, you can consult our dietitians online or on The Wellness Corner app to help you with an alternative for the same.
Early Morning: 1 glass luke warm water + 2 dates + 1 walnut
Breakfast: 2 Idli with veg sambar + tomato chutney and a glass of buttermilk
OR 2 moong dal cheela with 2-3 teaspoon mint coriander chutney and a glass of milk
Brunch: 1 cup green tea with a whole fruit
Lunch: 1 bowl fresh salad + 2 whole wheat roti + 1 bowl dal + 1 bowl seasonal vegetable + 1 bowl raita/ a glass of buttermilk
Evening: 1 glass milk + roasted grains/roasted puffed rice
Dinner: 1 bowl fresh salad + 1 medium bowl vegetable khichdi/vegetable daliya
OR 1 bowl fresh salad + 2 millet roti + 1 bowl vegetable
Bedtime: 1 glass turmeric milk
Sattvic Food for Pregnancy
Pregnant women or expecting mothers need to be very careful with their eating habits. A healthy diet during pregnancy nourishes the baby by providing all the essential nutrients and the best part is, it is easily digestible.
- Fresh Ghee made out of cow’s milk, fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, melons, and oranges should be included along with nuts like almonds, walnuts, flax, and sesame seeds.
- Herbs and spices like tulsi, saffron, calamus, ashwagandha have sattvic properties that help in reducing stress, headaches, and balance doshas.
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Balance is Important
In addition to cleansing the body, a sattvic diet improves immunity and its low sugar and carb content helps (highly preferable diet for diabetics) the diet followers to remain disease-free or, even if he/she falls ill, the recovery would be quick.
Balance of gunas in the diet is very important. Experts believe that a person who eats sattvic food can achieve a great combination of physical, mental, and emotional harmony. It goes without saying that such a person would be well focused in life and work as well.