Yoga and Food Classification

Practicing Yoga Asanas enriches the consciousness makes  one alert, aware and active. It really creates wonder and rejuvenate the life when  complemented with the healthy food habits. In fact, eating the right food is an essential part of living a Yogic life.
What we eat, not only influences our physical well being, but also our emotions and thoughts. Yoga, does not dissect food into proteins, carbohydrates or fats, instead it classifies them according to the effect they have on the body and mind, into three types :
  1. SATVIC FOOD
    • Sattvic foods are those which purify the body and calm the mind. Cooked food that is consumed within 3-4 hours can be considered sattvic. Examples - Fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, grains, fresh milk , certain spices
  2. RAJASIC FOOD
    • They stimulate the body and mind into action. In excess, these foods can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, anger, irritability, and sleeplessness.Overly tasty foods are Rajasic. Examples – Spicy food, onion, garlic, tea, coffee, fried food
  3. TAMASIC FOOD
    • Tamasic food are those which dull the mind and bring about inertia, confusion and disorientation. Stale or reheated food, oily or heavy food and food containing artificial preservatives fall under this category. Example – Non vegetarian diet, stale food, excessive intake of fats, oil, sugary food
Not just the right kind of food, it is vital to eat the proper quantity of food at the right time. Overindulging leads to lethargy while under eating will not provide enough nourishment.
Yoga Diet – Foods to Eat

Yogic Diet : Food Pyramid
  1. All vegetables, particularly the green, leafy ones.
  2. Fresh, sweet fruits of all types, preferably taken whole.
  3. Butter, ghee (clarified butter) and all good natural plant-based oils like sesame, olive and sunflower.
  4. Dairy products such as milk, ghee, yogurt and cottage cheese from dairy animals that have been treated well.
  5. Moderately roasted or salted nuts and seeds such as almonds, coconuts, walnuts, pecans and sesame.
  6. Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, cumin, coriander, turmeric, mint, basil, fenugreek and other such sweet spices.
  7. Herbal teas, natural water and fresh juices, particularly of the lemony kind.
  8. Pulses and lentils.
  9. Whole grains like rice, wheat and oats.
  10. Natural sugars such as jaggery, honey, maple syrup and molasses.
Yoga Diet – Foods to Avoid:
  1. Alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee and all stimulants.
  2. Artificial beverages.
  3. Artificial sweeteners.
  4. Artificial, processed and junk foods.
  5. Canned foods, except naturally canned fruits, vegetables and tomatoes.
  6. Factory farm dairy products.
  7. Fried foods
  8. Meat, fish and eggs.
  9. Microwaved and irradiated food.
  10. Genetically engineered foods.
  11. Old, stale, over and reheated food.
  12. Over-spiced food.
  13. White sugar and white flour.
  14. Animal fats, margarine and poor quality oils.

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