Common Sattvic Food:
Fruit is a leading Sattvic food along with milk and honey. They are considered pure because no organisms are hurt in their procurement. Fruits also contain the rasas of sweet, sour and astringent in perfect proportions. Fruit should be eaten when ripe and must ideally be eaten on an empty stomach.
In Ayurveda, it is said that cow’s milk must only be collected only the calf has had its share. Emphasis is also placed on butter, yoghurt and cheese being made freshly.
Most mild vegetables are considered Sattvic. However pungent vegetables like hot peppers, garlic, onion, leek, mushrooms and even tomatoes and potatoes are not considered Sattvic by many.
These include organic rice, whole wheat, spelt, oatmeal and barley.
Moong dhal, lentils, chickpeas, common beans and tofu are all considered Sattvic if well prepared. Legumes when combined with whole grains provide the body with its quota of protein requirements.
Unlike sugar, honey and jaggery (a form of unrefined raw sugar) are considered Sattvic by many.
Mild spices like cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, fresh ginger and turmeric are considered Sattvic. However black pepper and red pepper are not considered Sattvic.
The 10 Big Villains – Obesity
Ayurveda’s approach to obesity is not just about trying to make a person lose weight but also to focus on the basic habits – lifestyle, genetic or nutritional – that resulted in the weight being put on. The treatment for obesity in Ayurveda involves a complete overhaul of a person’s lifestyle. Unless this overhaul occurs, any steps taken to counteract obesity will only face failure.
Focus is also strongly placed on the body type of the individual concerned. There is no one size fits all solution in Ayurveda. For instance a Kapha-Pitta body type needs to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and grains in their diet. But those follow dietary fads would tend to swear of all carbs and stick to proteins especially in the form of non-vegetarian food. But meat aggravates the Kapha dosha and the individuals’ weight problems are not solved. But shifting to the dosha specific diet will result in change.
Dr Chandy adds, “Ayurvedic therapies for obesity don’t involve taking the fat out of the body, because this fat will return when we stop the therapies. Ayurvedic approach to obesity is all about activating the sluggish fat metabolism in the body. This will ensure that in the long run accumulation of fat in the body will be minimal, thus providing a long term solution.”
Ayurveda = Vegetarianism?
One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that Ayurveda propagates a purely vegetarian diet. Many are under the impression that if one is on Ayurvedic medicine then one must give up all meat, fish and other non-vegetarian food items. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In Ayurveda food is subject to dosha, climate, the local produce and the individual’s digestion and one’s lifestyle. From this one can deduct that those who live in the colder regions where fresh produce is not available during the winter months will have to depend on a non-vegetarian diet for sustenance. This holds true for coastal desert towns and cities too.
It is an established Ayurvedic concept that eating meat and fish will increase assertiveness in a person and it is recommended that an individual whose job requires aggression should include meat and fish in their diet.
To avoid digestion problems avoid having fish, milk, eggs and beans in any combination in the same meal.