Food you eat is either satvic, rajasic or tamasic according to its character and effect upon the body and the mind. One can find out the nature or temperament of a man from the nature of the food he prefers.
Sattvic food is always freshly cooked and simple, juicy, It is light, unctuous, nourishing, sweet and tasty. It increases the energy of the mind and produces cheerfulness, serenity and mental clarity. sattvic food is highly conducive to good health.
Milk, butter, ghee (clarified butter), fresh ripe fruits, almonds, dates, moong (green gram) sprouts, barley, wheat, cereals, tomatoes, parwar, torai, karela (names of Indian vegetables), plantains etc., are sattvic.The spices commonly used in sattvic cooking are turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, fennel (saunf) and cardamom.
The sattvic personality
People who follow the sattvic way of eating are known to be clear-minded, balanced, and spiritually aware. They usually avoid alcohol, stimulants like tea, coffee, tobacco and non-vegetarian food.
This is food that is fresh but heavy. It includes non-vegetarian food like meat, fish, eggs, and chicken, all whole pulses and dals (not sprouted), hot spices like chillies, pepper, and all vegetables including onion and garlic. The rajasic diet is also cooked fresh and is nutritious. It may contain a little more oil and spices compared to sattvic food. It benefits those who believe in action and aggression in a positive way such as business persons, politicians, and athletes.
Rajasic foods are bitter, sour, salty, pungent, hot and dry. Puri, kachori, pungent condiments, sweets, fried bread, curd, brinjal (egg plant), carrots, urad (black gram), onions, garlic, lemon, masur (red gram), tea, coffee, betel leaves, tobacco are rajasic articles of food.
The Rajasic personality
These foods create sensuality, sexuality, greed, jealousy, anger, delusion, fantasies, egotism and irreligious feelings. They are interested in the four P's - power, prestige, position and prosperity. But they are quite in control of their lives and aren’t obsessed by any of the above. They are go-getters and know how to enjoy life. The rajasic man always plans to prepare various kinds of preparations to satisfy his palate. The palate remains unsatisfied until the stomach is completely filled with pungent things and till the tongue is burnt with chillies.
This includes foods that are not fresh, overcooked, stale and processed — foods made from refined flour, pastries, pizzas, burgers, chocolates, soft drinks, naan, tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, canned and preserved foods like jams, pickles and fermented foods, fried foods, sweets made from sugar, ice creams, puddings and most ‘fun foods’ are included in this list. All spicy, salty, sweet and fatty foods form part of the tamasic diet. Beef, fish, eggs, wine, garlic, onions and tobacco are tamasic foodstuffs.
The Tamasic personality
Tamas brings about stagnation leading to degeneration of people’s health. Such individuals suffer from intense mood swings, insecurity, desires, and cravings and are unable to deal with others in a balanced way. They have little regard for the welfare of others and tend to be very self-centred. Their nervous system and heart do not function optimally and such individuals age fast. They usually suffer from conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and chronic fatigue.
Sattvic, rajasic and tamasic are more than just qualities in food — they are a way of life.