What is the Sattvic Diet?

The Sattvic diet is called the Meditator’s Diet. It is a part of Ayurveda that is used to maintain high energy, develop the brain, have peacefulness in our lives, and remain karma free.

Ideally, any food you eat is turned into nutrients. At the breast, a baby naturally turns his mother’s milk into nutrients, but it would take a remarkable digestive tract to produce nutrition from a leftover pizza. An excellent, balanced diet can be planned around the foods that turn into nutrition with the least effort on your body’s part. Ayurveda calls these sattvic, or pure, foods.

On a more general level, a Sattvic Diet contains:

  • Light, soothing, easily digested food
  • Fresh produce
  • Spring water, ozonated or clean water
  • Balance of all six tastes – sweet, sour (lemony), salty, pungent (spicy), astringent (watery), and bitter
  • Moderate portions

Milk is currently out of fashion in health circles, because of milk’s link with digestive problems, allergies, and high cholesterol. Ayurveda holds that most of the objections to milk have to do with consuming it improperly. Milk should be boiled before drinking, which makes it more digestible. It can be drunk hot, warm, or cool, but never ice cold, straight out of the refrigerator. Milk should not be taken with tastes that conflict with it (pungent, sour, salty) but only with other sweet foods (such as grains, sweet fruits, and cereals).Milk is currently out of fashion in health circles, because of milk’s link with digestive problems, allergies, and high cholesterol. Ayurveda holds that most of the objections to milk have to do with consuming it improperly. Milk should be boiled before drinking, which makes it more digestible. It can be drunk hot, warm, or cool, but never ice cold, straight out of the refrigerator. Milk should not be taken with tastes that conflict with it (pungent, sour, salty) but only with other sweet foods (such as grains, sweet fruits, and cereals).

Food is meant to be eaten fresh, right off the stove or right out of the garden–the fresher the better, and the easier to digest. Old food and leftovers, even when reheated, do not produce balanced and proper nutrition. Frozen food in general is also good to avoid. Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes destroys the body’s capacity to assimilate nutrition. Air and water pollution are equally detrimental.

Finally, here are a few more tips, handed down in the Ayurvedic tradition, aimed at maximizing nutrition. The best possible foods for the body are fruits, vegetables and dairy products from your area, as these foods have thrived on the same air, water, nutrients and sunlight that you grow on. Have your largest meal at lunch, when digestion is strongest. Dinner should be a modest meal that can be digested before bedtime; breakfast is optional and should be your smallest meal of the day. Eat at the same time every day. Besides not snacking, avoid eating at night, which disturbs your digestive rhythms and disturbs your sleep from the food that is undigested. Dine either alone or with people you genuinely like–family is best. Negative emotions, whether yours, the cook’s, or those of the people around you, have a harmful effect on digestion.