Ayurvedic Health: Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattvic Foods

Exploring Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattvic Foods

Sattvic Foods

You are what you eat. Victor Lindlahr

It is the absolute truth that we ARE what we EAT. In fact, our bodies continue to thrive with the intake of healthy, life-nourishing foods. If we eat nothing we starve. If we eat too much of the wrong, unhealthy foods we get fat, get heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

Even elite athletes need to eat super-healthy for optimal performance.

A Sattvic Diet

Ayurvedic Medicine goes farther in defining three types of foods that are either super-healthy for us, or detrimental to our health.

  • Sattvic
  • Tamasic
  • Rajasic

See also: What is a Sattvic Diet?

In Yoga, the goal of an Ayurvedic Diet is to improve the body, mind and soul, and to help one achieve higher consciousness. Eating a more Sattvic Diet will help us achieve our Yogic goals.


Sattvic Foods

According to Ayurvedic Medicine, Sattvic foods are the best foods for a Yogi, intent on practicing Yoga to improve optimal health and to progress spiritually. Sattvic foods are the ideal foods for healthy body, mind and soul, helping to lead one to clarity of mind and physical health.

Let’s first begin with those Sattvic foods that are ideal for the Yogi.

Characteristics of Sattvic Food

Easily digested. Light and soothing. Fresh. Consumed in moderate portions.


  • Purified Water
  • Pure Fruit Juices
  • Nut Milks & Cheeses
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Seaweed & Kelp
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Sprouts
  • Sprouted Whole Grains
  • Herbal Teas


  • Fresh Milk
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Raw Honey


Tamasic Foods

According to ancient texts on Yoga, Tamsic foods tend to dull the senses and causing a physical numbness. They tend to bring on a sedative effect to the mind and body.

Also: Overeating is also considered tamasic, and any foods that are stale, old, overripe or contaminated are considered tamasic. Out of the three food types, tamasic foods are considered the unhealthiest.

Tamasic Foods

  • Animal Meats
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fermented Foods
  • Vinegar
  • Eggplant


  • Fertilized Eggs
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Chives
  • Durian
  • Mushrooms
  • Blue Cheese


Rajasic Foods

In contrast to tamasic foods, rajasic foods have a stimulating effect on the mind and body. They are considered neither beneficial nor harmful, but rajasic foods can cause irritability and aggressiveness.

Also: The thing about rajasic foods is in how they were obtained, often in ways that harm another living organism. Eating too quickly is also considered rajasic.

Rajasic Foods

  • Coffee
  • Black and Green Teas
  • Soda Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Brown and Black Chocolate


  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Extra Spicy Foods
  • Salty Food
  • Unfertilized Eggs

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Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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