Foods in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such nourishing foods are sweet, juicy, fattening and palatable. Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, pungent, dry and hot, are liked by people in the modes of passion. Such foods cause pain, distress, and disease. Food cooked more than three hours before being eaten, which is tasteless, stale, putrid, decomposed and unclean, is food liked by people in the mode of ignorance. -Bhagavad Gita
The energy in this universe has three qualities known as Gunas, namely Sattva (purity), Rajas (activity, passion) and Tamas (darkness, inertia). Energy takes any one of these gunas, and any one of them predominates. According to Ayurveda, an ancient medicine practiced in India, balancing once mind and body can be achieved through the food that we eat, which correlates to gunas that we find in this universe. In other words, food is made of one of these gunas, and having them in balance help achieve the equilibrium of mind over body.
Sattvic foods are filled with life force that gives life to all living things in this world. They include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, freshly squeezed vegetables, honey, whole grains, and food that are prepared with love. When we have positive energy, we transmit that energy to the surroundings and to the food that we prepare. Think about a day when we were stressed, or having a bad day at work or home. When we prepare the meal with that negative force of energy within us, the end result may not be that great. A simple recipe that we make it often may even turn out to be a disaster. The secret to a recipe is Love. Satvic fruits and vegetables are free from pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, and irradiation. Consuming these kinds of foods brings physical strength, good mind, good health and longevity. It results in peaceful mind and a fit body and a balance flow of energy throughout the body. Research has shown that, having fresh fruits and vegetables contains all the nutrients in the best form. They are easy to absorb and nourish our body. These foods have a balance of taste and should be consumed in moderation. As any nutritionist will say, way to healthy, happy you is to eat them in moderation. Recent study published in United Kingdom reported that, organically grown produce has 30 percent more vitamin C, and phytonutrients like polyphenols and antioxidants, which protect us.
Tamasic Foods are dark and dull and they do not benefit the mind or body. Consuming tamasic foods results in loss of energy, immunity is destroyed and mind in filled with negative emotions like anger, jealous and greed. They include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, alcohol, tobacco, onion, garlic, fermented foods, left overs and overripe foods and even drugs. In addition, if the food is prepared in an angry mood or with negative energy is also considered tamasic. Overeating is not only unhealthy for the body but also considered tamasic in nature.
Rajasic Foods are those that we need to accomplish or achieve something. It represents power and sex drive. This kind of food is recommended for family people who need to work and live in the world. They include very hot, bitter, sour, dry or salty foods like herbs, spices, coffee, tea, and chocolate. It is considered by ancient saints that eating food in a hurry is rajasic in nature. This goes back to ‘Mindful Eating’ where one needs to take time to relinquish the smell, taste and feel of food. Eating slowing and being mindful helps in stimulating the senses, thus creating the feeling of satiety and fullness. It takes 20 minutes for the signal to reach the brain. By eating the food in a hurry we may not be aware of the feeling of satiety and thus indulge in overeating and thus causing overweight and weight gains.
For good health it’s important to pay attention to the food we eat, and how we prepare them impacts our body both physical and mental wellbeing. Our taste is acquired and it takes at least 15-20 repeated tries for our taste buds to get acclaim to the new taste. Try practice eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and less of processed foods which not only are healthy but also save once budget. Apparently we really are what we eat.
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