Recommended Yogic Diet

A saatvic or pure diet is recommended for serious yoga practitioners as saatvic foods promote tranquility of mind, which in turn promotes purity in thought, word and action.  Saatvic foods are high in prana or life force and are nourishing to body and mind. Fresh foods, fruits, milk, honey, salt free nuts and foods cooked with minimal spices or condiments are considered to be saatvic foods. Saatvic foods ae easy on the digestive system. A saatvic diet quiets the mind.

Rajsic foods are foods that stimulate the senses. They are usually hot,spicy, pungent, sour and salty.  Such foods should be avoided by the serious yoga practitioner as they agitate the mind and arouse anger, hatred, passion and restlessness . A rajsic diet promotes an over active mind.

Tamsic foods are foods that dull the mind and senses and leaves us feeling sluggish.  Foods like meat, cheese, stale left overs belong in this category. A tamsic diet induces sleep.

Although the saatvic diet is recommended for serious practitioners of yoga, I have personally found that as you advance in your spiritual journey, you will naturally develop a gradual aversion towards foods that belong to the tamsic and rajsic category. You will feel drawn towards foods that are light, pure, and nourishing in nature.  So instead of trying to force any sudden changes to your eating habits, it is best that you find a good balanced diet that works for you.  You may create a diet that includes a bigger percentage of foods from the saatvic category, followed by the rajsic category and a sparing amount from the tamsic category.  When translated it is no different from what the doctors and nutritionists recommend which is- eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grain and avoid refined flour, white sugar, processed food etc.

The table below provides a breakdown of foods by saatvic, rajsic and tamsic categories.  The list  is by no means all inclusive.  There might also be difference in opinion regarding the category placement of certain foods. I created  it as a general guideline. It is important to remember that the method of  preparing foods can change the nature of the food.  For example sprouted garbanzo beans are rich  in prana/life force and hence make a great saatvic food, whereas garbanzo beans  that have been cooked in onions,, garlic and strong spices transform it into  rajasic food. This when left in the fridge for days becomes tamsic in nature.  Also the state of mind in which the food was  prepared can also influence the affect it has on you.  Similarly, overeating saatvic food or  consuming saatvic food too quickly will render tamsic effects on mind and body.  Eating saatvic foods in a hurry will confer rajsic qualities.

Saatvic Rajsic Tamsic
Fruits mangoes, bananas, papaya, oranges, apples, melons,
grapefruit, cantaloupe,
Underripe fruits, sour apples, Overripe fruits
Vegetable cucumbers, squash family vegetables, pumpkin, sprouts, beets,
carrots, sweet potato, corn, lettuce, green beans, okra
garlic, onions, peppers, foods that produce gas like
cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, potato, spinach, potatoes
Grains Wheat, cracked wheat, oatmeal, barley, Rice, mung beans,
yellow split peas, lima beans
Others Organic milk, soy milk, yogurt, nuts, olive oil, butter,  tofu, honey, unrefined sugar, saffron, tulsi
(basil, cinnamon basil), small amounts of ginger, cinnamon, cardamoms,
unfermented cheeses, turmeric, tea, raisins, prunes, ghee (clarified
butter),rice pudding, tapioca pudding
Coffee, soda, chocolate, sour cream, ice cream meats,  fish, eggs,
fermented foods like cheese and vinegar, alcohol, overeating, fried and
barbecued foods, processed foods, canned foods

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. peeledonion
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:43:21

    Thanks for this post! It explains a lot.
    I particularly like your point that throughout everyone’s journey, one knows what is good when time comes.


  2. weathergoddess
    Jan 18, 2016 @ 18:40:22

    Have just come across your wordpress…… You have a wonderful website – thank you for sharing your journey with us. Am lookin forwaed to exploring it some more.


    • yachna
      Jan 18, 2016 @ 18:46:21

      Thanks for the visit and follow 🙂


      • weathergoddess
        Jan 18, 2016 @ 19:00:24

        I’ve also got a blog – which I haven’t really been doing anythig on.. however the next year is going to see some interesting stuff. I also want to create ‘spiritual resources’.. but am still undecided as of yet.
        Hopefully in future we may be able to bounce some ideas 🙂

      • yachna
        Jan 18, 2016 @ 19:22:55

        will check it out. Welcome to the world of blogging. When I first started in 2011 I was new to all this. All I wanted was to create someplace where I could share. And then I saw I had one follower and was not sure what that meant 🙂
        I’ll be happy to share ideas. Good luck with your blog!

  3. sagaradate
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 09:50:36

    Nice blog & nice information. We must take responsibility for betterment of this world. Keep it up👍


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