The food we eat nourishes our body, but there is much more than nourishment. Our Vedic scriptures distinguish food into three categories based on its effect on our body on the physical and mental levels. Understanding the food we intake is necessary to ensure it benefits our body.
Vedic Distribution: Sattvic Food
You must have heard from enlightened people or your elders who perform religious activities to consume Sattvic food. Have you ever tried to understand the reason behind this saying? A Sattvic diet incorporates simple, light, and healthy food. They are neither too sweet nor salty or spicy. Consuming Sattvic food helps in purifying our body and mind.
A person who consumes Sattvic food has a higher concentration and calm mind. The unprocessed food with raw nutrients that is light and rich in life forces fall under Sattvic food. Moreover, food processed and consumed within three to four hours can also fall under Sattvic food.
Benefits of Sattvic Food:
Intaking Sattvic food into your diet has significant benefits in molding your life in a healthy direction. It improves mental health and promotes the flow of positive vibrations in our bodies. During fasting, eating sattvic food helps in restoring peace. Consumption of Sattvic food daily strengthens our immunity and helps in the formation of high fiber tissues.
Foods that are Sattvic in nature:
Foods grains such as rice, wheat, oats, and legumes categorize under Sattvic food. Further, fresh green vegetables, fruits, and lightly roasted seeds and nuts are also Sattvic. Fresh milk is Sattvic, but after we pasteurize, it becomes Tamasic.
Vedic Distribution: Rajasic Food
Food that we obtain after harming any living beings falls under Rajasic or Tamasic foods. Rajasic food accelerates the mind into action. A person consuming Rajasic food becomes restless. In ancient Bharat, the kings and people holding high authority in courts intake Rajasic food.
Rajasic food increases the energy level of our body stimulating, every part of the system. However, it promotes aggression and reckless behavior. Sometimes a person becomes dominating due to their extreme violent nature and robustness.
Benefits of Rajasic Food:
Rajasic food has many benefits associated with it. Some of these benefits are as follows:
- It boosts decision-making
- It provides high energy to perform heavy tasks
- It cultivates a robust mind.
- It helps in promoting our mind and body beyond average capacity.
However, improper consumption of Rajasic food can disturb the proper balance of mind and body. A person consuming Rajasic food tends to be selfish, aggressive, and worries more than being happy. It activates hyper-activeness and overexertion in the mind and body of the consumer.
A Rajasic diet can lead to Vatta and Pitta dosha levels in the body.
Foods that are Rajasic in nature:
Meats and fish that are spicy fall under Rajasic food. Pungent Vegetables with excessive starch intake like potato, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower also fall under Rajasic foods. Alcoholic drinks, preserved foods, fried foods, coffee, and tea are some other foods that have Rajasic nature.
Vedic Distribution: Tamasic Food
Foods prepared by harming living beings fall under the Rajasic or Tamasic category. Consumption of Sattvic food prepared in a Tamasic environment can result in tamasic effects. Tamasic foods become heavy to our digestion system. Stale or oily food also falls under Tamasic food.
Tamasic foods lack life force in the diet and lead to a confused state of mind. However, our diet requires some amount of tamas gunas to resist extreme conditions. Further, Tamasic food promotes laziness, slowness, clumsy behavior, etc.
Benefits of Tamasic Food:
Tamasic food has some significant benefits that help our body in a positive direction. Some of the benefits of Tamasic Food are as follows:
- It provides stability to the mind when a person has excessive rajas gunas.
- It helps in resisting the bitter cold.
- It provides support in performing strainful physical works.
- It promotes sleep.
Having a diet with excessive tamas guna can result in ill-effects on our body and mind. A person consuming tamasic food has a dull appearance, age faster, slow response to life situations, and have intense mood swings. Heavy consumption of Tamasic food can make a person sluggish and tires them quickly.
Foods that are Tamasic in nature:
Foods rich in tamas guns fall under tamasic. Some of the Tamasic foods are meat, fish, avocado, watermelon, apricots, plums, mushrooms, garlic, onion, pumpkin, etc. Urad dal and cheese are also tamasic.
Food is essential for every living being on this planet. Moreover, it has a drastic impact on forming the personality of an individual. The verses from the epic Bhagavad Gita depict different components of food in our lives.