According to Ayurveda, there are positive and negative attributes of diet. Since ayurveda deals with a holistic approach to healing, it covers the diet factor in depth.
Ayurveda has categorised personality traits into three different kinds, based on the food we eat- Satvic or the spiritual quality, Rajasic or active quality, and Tamasic or material quality of the mind are all affected by the food we eat. The activation Rajasic quality may dominate or comine with the other two qualities to form different mental tendencies in man; spiritually active, intellectually active, or materically active.
Satvic food is food that can be”digested easily” and has the quality of bringing a balance to one’s mind. It helps in building immunity and improving the healing response in those who are unwell. Satvic food is all food that is closest to their natural form and includes milk, milk procducts, fruits, most fresh vegetables expect the ones that belong to the onion family like garlic, onion, scallions, and chives.
Whole grain cereals like most tentils, sprouts and natural sweeteners like jaggery, honey are also included in satvic diet. Also included in this category are the natural oils like ghee, butter and vegetables oils.
Satvic food is moderately cooked with few spices and less fat. Chillies and black pepper are not used in cooking. Common spices like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, aniseed, and cardmom are, however, used in satvic cooking, eating raw foods is not considered satvic as they harbour a lot of parasites and microbes. According to aurveda, raw foods are known to weaken the digestive system and reduce’ojas’ which is synonymous with vital energy also know as ‘prana’. Prana is also known as”Chi” and “Qi” or “jing”. Simplified, it means the life force.
The proper functioning of the mind and spiritual developemt depend on ojas. A person who follows the Satvic food habits is known to possess a clear mind, is balanced, moderate in habits and a focussed person. He usually avoids using intoxicants like slcohol, stimulants like tea, coffe, tobacco and non-vegetrian food. A Satvic person is also supposed to spiritually aware and extremely balance.
Rajasic food is good, which is fresh but”heavy” to digest. Thise who indulge in heavy physical activity should eat this type of food. It includes non-vegetrian food like meat, fish , eggs, chicken, all whole pulses and dals, ehich are not sprouted. Hot spices like chillies, pepper, vegetables including onions and garlci are all included under this category. The Rajasic food is cooked fresh as in Satvic cooking, and is of high quality and nutrient density. It also contains more sopices and oil than Satvic cooking.
This kind of food is known to make a person long for sensual stimulation. He is usually aggressive in nature in a positive way and is of energetic disposition. He is interested in powr, prestige, position and prosperity.But he is in control of his liufe and not obessed by the power ad position. A Rajasic personality loves to enjoy life.
Tamasic food includes all kinds of food that are not fresh and are unnatural, overcooked, stale and processed. All foods made from refined flour, pasteries, pizzas, burgers, chocolates, soft drinks, stimulants like tea, coffee, tobacco, intoxicants like alcohol and wines fall under the Tamasiccategory. Even the canned and preserved food like jams, jellies, pickes and fermented food come under this group. Fried food, weets made from sugar, ice creams, pudding and most modern day junk foods, all kinds of spicy, salty, sweet, and fatty foods are also included in this list.
Tasic means darkness. It brings about stagnation in a person and degeneration in his health. The tamasic personality suffers from intese mood swings, insecurities, desires, carvings and are unable to deal with others and tend to be very self-centered. Their nervous system and heart do not function optimally and such individuals age very fast. They usually sufer from degerative conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, chronic fatigue etc.
The Tamasic people usually leas a sedentary lifestyle and enjoy packaged and processed foods, which are rich in calories. They have no control over their tongue and indulge in mindless eating. Such individuals would benefit from switching from tamasic diet into a satvic one.
The bane of today’s generation is that they are the Tamasic personalities. Self centered, insecure and ailing, they are reaching a point of no return. The very food that has become a status symbol and an epitome of fashion is of unhealthy nature. We are leaving the wisdom of satvic food and rushing towards the ills of an unhealthy tamasic diet. No wonder our society is degenrating into a violent, self-seeking, power hungry and uncaring one.