These three principles are present in the food we eat. Rajas is activity, Tamas is inertia and Sattva is the balance of these two. Ayurveda considers eating a sacred act; a miracle and mystery we experience every day.
Sattvic foods are pure, light, easily digested, well-cooked and lead to a calm mind. Most fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, honey and legumes (particularly mung beans) are all considered sattvic. Food has the most prana, or life force, when it is freshly and lovingly prepared. Sattvic foods lead us to what is most pure and most good.
Old, stale foods are tamasic. Fast food, canned food, prepackaged goods can cause dullness, lethargy, depression, confusion, darkness and sleep.
A rule of thumb is to have 70 - 80% of foods sattvic. People with many responsibilities and/or demanding careers may need more rajasic foods to balance their lives.
Our health, like Nature itself, is a dynamic condition. A sattvic diet aids greatly in attaining harmony within and without and to work toward our self perfection. Self perfection requires inner peace, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance and compassion. It can permit us to break free from all the things we have bitten off, chewed up and swallowed that we cannot digest.
“The prayer below can be your covenant with the universe. You offer your self as an instrument to make the world a better place through whatever efforts, however meager. When you say it sincerely, Nature will offer you in return all Her powers to heal you and your environment.
May everyone be healthy
May everything be holy
May there never be disharmony of any kind anywhere!
This is the message of Ayurveda.”*
*from Prakriti by Robert Svoboda