Are Rajasic and Tamasic food healthy to support a Yoga Practice?

What is Rajasic and Tamasic food and are they healthy to support a Yoga Practice? Isn’t it enough just to practice Yoga poses or asanas, do you have to regulate your food? Well, food not only sustains the body, but it also affects the mind and consciousness. Yoga does not divide foods into proteins, carbohydrates, or fats; instead, it categorizes them according to the effect they have on the body and mind, into three types: Satva, Rajas, Tamas.

Food you eat is either sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic. One can find out the nature or personality of a person from the nature of the food he prefers.

Rajasic Food

Rajasic foods are bitter, sour, salty, spicy, pungent, hot and dry. These foods have a stimulating effect on the mind and body. Overly tasty foods are rajasic.

Rajasic foods lead to aggressiveness and irritability, and make the mind restless and uncontrollable. These foods cause anger and sleeplessnes. People who consume rajasic food tend to be egoistic, ambitious, aggressive, proud, and competitive. They like to control others, and are quickly drained of mental energy. A mainly rajasic diet destroys the mind-body balance, feeding the body at the expense of the mind.

However, rajasic food is beneficial to those who believe in action and aggression in a positive way, such as business persons, politicians, and athletes.

Examples of Rajasic food

  • Spicy foods
  • Salty foods
  • Onions and garlic
  • Choclates and other excessively sugary foods
  • Stimulants like tea, coffee and colas
  • Tobacco
  • Non-vegeterian foods such as fresh eggs, chicken and fish

Disadvantages of Rajasic food

  • These foods cause acidity, hyperacidity, and sometimes ulcers.
  • They cause problems with digestion and result in constipation and other problems linked to it.
  • These foods are responsible for lifestyle related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, arthritis etc.

Tamasic Food

Tamasic foods include foods that are stale, overcooked or reheated. Oily or heavy foods, processed foods full of chemical additives and artificial preservatives, fermented and over ripe foods, all fall under this category.

Moreover, these foods are those that dull the mind and bring about inactivity, confusion, and disorientation. They cloud the power of reasoning, suck out energy, and induce sleep. People consuming tamasic food suffer from intense mood swings, insecurity, desires, and cravings.  Additionally, these people tend to be very self-centered and are unable to deal with others in a balanced way.

According to yoga, these foods should be avoided as they cause mental dullness and physical numbness. Furthermore, they are highly harmful to the body, mind, and soul. Moreover, they destroy the body’s resistance to diseases. Tamasic is the unhealthiest food of all.

Examples of Tamasic Food

  • Stale foods
  • Fast or junk foods
  • Fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • Frozen and microwaved foods
  • Fermented and over ripe foods
  • Onions and garlic
  • Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and drugs of addiction
  • Non-vegetarian foods, like fish, poultry, beef, lamb and pork

Disadvantages of Tamasic Food

  • These foods are hard to digest which results in constipation
  • They destroy the body’s resistance to deseases, and are responsible for many diseases.
  • The consumption of excess fats leads to obesity
  • Bitter, harsh, and irritating foods lead to hyperacidity and depression

Sattvic Food

Sattvic food is pure, light and simple. It brings peace to the mind and is nourishing for the body. Moreover, It promotes health, happiness, harmony, longevity, and purity. Furthermore, people who follow the sattvic way of eating are known to be clear-minded, balanced, and spiritually aware. Therefore, it is recommended to mostly consume Sattvic food that assists your yoga and encourages a peaceful mental state (Read more about benefits of Sattvic Diet). If you are interested in spiritual growth it is best to avoid all tamasic and rajasic foods.

Food is essential for Life; therefore, Make it good!