A sattvic diet, also referred to as the Yoga diet is one which does not include the flesh of any living beings or any food items which may increase energy, such as onion, garlic and a few types of pulses. The concept of this diet also emphasises on moderate eating and includes food items that are pure in nature and which energise our body as well as our mind.
What Is the Yoga Diet?
Yoga diet, also is known as yogic diet lays stress on vegetarianism, excluding onion and garlic. It is also termed as ‘lacto-vegetarian’ which basically means the exclusion of meats and fish but includes dairy products and honey. The diet belongs to the ‘sattva guna‘, and following this diet is believed to achieve a healthy balance of body and mind.
Benefits of Yogic Diet
Yogic diet, or sattvic diet benefits the body, mind and soul in innumerable ways. Few of them are as follows.
- In the yogic diet, it is a rule to start the day with a glass of warm water with lemon juice in it. This cleanses the body and helps it to get rid of harmful toxins. By the process of regular detoxification, organs in the body can function well, as a result of which the body is devoid of ailments and diseases.
- The satvik diet not only keeps one physically fit, but also mentally agile. It is a diet which balances the body, mind and soul, thereby resulting in longevity of life in an individual.
- The yoga diet believes in eating in moderation, therefore the yoga diet for weight loss is one of the best ways to lose fat, and it also strengthens your body’s immunity power at the same time. Following the diet along with a few minutes of yoga, pranayama or some physical activity will keep you away from all types of lifestyle diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
- Sattvic diet includes green leafy vegetables, fruits and sprouts and is devoid of heat inducing foods like meat, fish, onion, garlic, etc. Therefore, it does not take much of hard work for the digestive system to digest the food; the end result of which is proper bowel movement, clear skin, etc.
- Sattvic foods include ghee, coconut oil, sprouted seeds, etc. These make the food tasty. Moreover, the good fats in the diet help in keeping your brain healthy and your memory sharp.
Basics of Yoga Diet
Listed below are some of the basics of yoga diet plan.
1. Food has to be Sattvic
The food should be pure and fresh, one that helps the body to sustain and calms the mind. The sattvic diet includes food that will keep a person healthy, physically as well as mentally agile and balanced in both body and mind.
2. It Comprises of Vegetarian Food
The diet includes all types of vegetables except onion and garlic which induces heat in the body. The presence of only green and leafy vegetables in the yoga diet makes it easily digestible, thereby resulting in a healthy digestive system. Exclusion of meat/flesh of animals keeps the body from too many toxins and uric acid which may result in various diseases like gout, cancer, skin diseases, etc. This also keeps the heart healthy. Non-vegetarian food like animal protein is full of unhealthy fats which gives rise to high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
3. The Food Ingredients Should Be Organic
Since a satvik diet emphasises on fresh and chemical-free ingredients, it is best to use organic products for yoga diet recipes. This also includes dairy products made from the milk of organically fed cows and buffaloes.
4. The Food Should Always Be Fresh
Food that is eaten on a yoga diet should not be just prepared from organic and fresh ingredients, but it should be freshly cooked; this means the food cooked cannot be refrigerated and eaten later. It has to be eaten right after it has been cooked.
5. Food Should Be Eaten at a Set Time Everyday
The meals eaten in a yogic diet should be eaten at the same time every day. Like for instance, if breakfast is eaten at 7 am, then it should be so every day. This makes the body expect food during that time, and thus it becomes easy for it to function better.
6. Meals Should Be Eaten 2 Hours before Practicing Asana or Sleeping
Food needs time to get digested, or it can affect your bowel movements as well as other organs, giving rise to diseases and obesity. Therefore, in a yoga lifestyle diet, it is mandatory to eat two hours before you practising yoga or going to sleep.
Another important rule in a yoga diet is – fast for a day every week. The fast can either be without any food and liquid, being only on liquids or eating fruits and fruit juice.
8. No Intake of Caffeine or Alcohol
People on a sattvic diet should abstain from tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco or artificial sweeteners.
9. No Place for Ahimsa
People who are on a sattvic diet should religiously practice ahimsa or non-violence. This is the reason why diet forbids the intake of animal protein. You can do so by not just excluding non-vegetarian food from your diet but also practising small things which will make a difference to the environment. For example, keeping small pots of water for birds to drink from, keeping some bird food in the balcony or window sill, refraining from cutting down trees, and planting trees in your area, etc.
10. Abstain From Unhealthy Thoughts
It is not just the abstinence from certain food items or violence, but also from bad thoughts. Practising meditation and yoga regularly is the best way to avoid such thoughts.
Foods to Eat When You Are on Yoga Diet
The following are foods that should be eaten while on a yoga diet.
- All types of fruits which have ripened naturally.
- Every green and leafy vegetable; however, there should be no use of onion and garlic.
- Whole grain products like rice, oats and wheat.
- Dairy products like milk, ghee, curd, paneer, cheese, cream preferably made from the milk of those cows, goats and buffaloes that are given organic fodder.
- Sesame, coconut, olive and sunflower oil
- Unsalted nuts and seeds
- Herbal teas, honey, lemon juice without artificial sweetener and preferably with rock salt.
- Cinnamon, cardamom, mint, basil, fennel, turmeric, ginger and cumin to make food appetising.
- Sprouted seeds
- Alkaline foods
- Mostly uncooked food or foods which have been cooked less to retain the nutrition, and foods that have less oil and spices.
Foods to Avoid When Following Yoga Diet Plan
The foods that you should abstain from while on a yogic diet are the following:
- All types of non-vegetarian food like animal protein, fish and eggs.
- Processed food like white sugar, maida etc.
- Junk, oily and fried food
- Onion, garlic, or food which is spicy
- Artificial sweeteners
- Soda or fizzy drinks
- Caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, etc.
- Foods made or heated in a microwave
- Stale food
- Refrigerated items
The sattvic or yoga diet is the best type of diet to follow if you wish to have a healthy body along with a peaceful mind. Combine this type of diet with yoga and meditation to enhance the powers of a yogic diet. For people wanting to lose fat, a good yoga diet chart for weight loss will make a difference. Practice a sattvic lifestyle, and you will never look back!