The Sattvic Diet

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Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Modernised practices derived from this ancient tradition are considered a type of alternative medicine. In Ayurveda, the emphasis is on a Sattvic diet for healthy living, particularly for keeping minds clear, happy and at peace. The original Sattvic diet was devised for the development of higher consciousness.

The Sattvic Diet

Principles 

Sattvic foods are foods that are abundant in ‘prana’ (the universal life-force that gives life to all beings in both plant and animal kingdoms). A Sattvic diet means not only vegetarian food, but food rich in ‘life-force’ like organic fresh fruits and vegetables. It requires avoiding canned and processed food, and foods prepared with chemical fertilizers or sprays. Sattvic foods are whole foods, full of life-force and enzymes, and as close as possible to their natural fresh state. They should be grown without pesticides, fertilisers, hormones or anything unnatural. The modern use of refinement processes depletes foods of their ‘prana’ and therefore renders them heavy and lifeless.

Food & Diet

Nutritive vegetarian foods like organic nuts, seeds, whole grains, and oily fruits and vegetables are considered sattvic. They are soothing, nourishing and promote a quiet, steady mind. They are also said to sharpen intellect and give you a greater sense of empathy. Sattvic foods are vegetarian and do not include foods derived from animals that have been harmed in any way.

Sattvic foods that are ‘sun foods’ are those that grow one metre or more above the ground. They have a quickening and lightening effect on the body’s nervous and digestive systems. ‘Ground foods’ are those foods that grow within one metre underground. They draw energy from the earth and are high in nutrients. Sattvic foods are those foods which do not agitate your stomach at all. According to the diet, the best foods are those that are fresh, have a balance of all the six tastes and are consumed in moderate portions.

A sattvic diet generally consists of:

  • Fresh, organic fruit and vegetables from the land & sea
  • Whole grains (including sprouted grains/seeds) & nuts
  • Nut & seed milk
  • Beans &lentils
  • Plant-based oils
  • Mildly sweet foods (natural, unrefined sugars), honey, molasses
  • Spices such as cinnamon, basil, coriander, ginger & turmeric
  • Pure fruit juices & herb teas

Mindset

In addition to fresh, organic, whole foods, a sattvic diet requires the energy and intention within your kitchen to be a calm and pleasant atmosphere for food preparation. Preparing your food with mindfulness, care and love will create energetic vibrations that are absorbed by the food you are preparing and will enter your body during digestion. The quality of your food is greatly enhanced by loving attention, including how the vegetables are cut, how the spices are ground and the way you add ingredients to the dish you are preparing. It is important to remember that a sattvic diet is intended to improve the mind.

Sattvic literally translates to “pure essence”. This is the purest diet for consciously spiritual and healthy life. It nourishes the body and maintains it in a peaceful state. According to Ayurveda, this is the best diet for physical strength, a good mind, good health, and longevity. It is said to calm and purify the mind, enabling it to function at its maximum potential. 

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