What is Sattvik Food?
The word “Sattvik” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Sattva,” which means pure, clean, and harmonious. Sattvik food is food that embodies these qualities, is based on the principles of Ayurveda and Yoga and has a positive impact not only on the body but also the mind and spirit.
The key characteristics of Sattvik food are:
1. Sattvik food emphasizes the consumption of fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables sourced locally.
2. Wholesome grains and plant based -proteins:
= Choose whole grains like brown-rice, millets and plant-based proteins like lentils, beans, and nuts over refined grains and animal-proteins.
= These are rich in fibre, essential nutrients and are lighter and easier to digest and promote overall well-being.
3. Moderation in Spices:
= Use mild spices which enhance the natural flavours of food and don’t over-power it.
4. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, over-processed, high-sugar food, strong spices, as these induce lethargy and dull consciousness.
Here are considerations to keep in mind while preparing Sattvik Food:
= Use where possible organic, locally sourced ingredients.
= Cook with love and a positive mindset, as the energy invested in cooking is believed to influence the food’s effect on the body and mind.
= Strive for a balance of sweet, sour, bitterand astringent tastes in each meal.
= Follow Ayurvedic principles of food combination for better digestion. For example, avoid combining incompatible foods such as dairy and sour fruits.
= Consume adequate water throughout the day as proper hydration is vital in maintaining balance.
Benefits of Sattvik Food
The adoption of a Sattvik diet is associated with numerous benefits, such as:
= Sattvik food, rich in fibre and easily digestible components, promotes a healthy digestive system.
= The inclusion of herbs and spices aids in the secretion of digestive enzymes.
= Sattvik food is believed to have a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress and anxiety.
= Nutrient-dense foods support optimal brain function, fostering mental clarity.
= Fresh fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
= Sattvik foods, being preservative-free, supports the body’s natural detoxification processes.
= The inclusion of detoxifying herbs and spices aids in eliminating toxins and secreting digestive enzymes.
= Sattvik meals reduce the likelihood of overeating which helps in weight management.
Sattvik food is more than just a culinary choice; it is a lifestyle that seeks to nourish the body, mind, and soul.
Dr.Hansaji Yogendra is the director of The Yoga Institute and the author of the books, ‘Sattvik Cooking’ and ‘The Sattvik Kitchen’.