No matter what we put into our bodies, whether through our sleep, our environment, our thoughts, or our actions, it all influences our minds and bodies.
In Ayurveda, three qualities influence the interactions between our minds and our physical beings. They’re called trigunas, and they directly impact our minds. The three gunas are Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Each of these has its own leading elements, and impacts us differently:
- Rajas is dominated by air and fire elements.
- Tamas is dominated by water and earth elements.
- Sattva is dominated by the ether element.
Sattva’s Place in Ayurveda
In many ways, Sattva is synonymous with “good quality.” At its core, Sattva describes the state of balance, harmony, and stability. It is a quality that also reflects knowledge and empowers us to acquire information about the world around us. Additionally, Sattva is linked to creativity because it represents a higher level of energy and clarity, both of which are necessary for increased creativity.
Sattvic people are often enthusiastic, pleasant to be around, more spiritual, and unencumbered by concerns from the past or worry for the future. They tend to be very involved in community service, sleep soundly, support their loved ones, and always follow through on their promises.
Sattva and the Doshas
One way to help boost the presence of Sattva in your life is to adopt a Sattvic diet. However, eating this way can have different impacts, depending on your prakriti.
Vata Prakriti + Sattvic diet: Strong communication, high mental energy, positive attitude, flexibility in the face of stress, and quick comprehension of challenging topics.
Pitta Prakriti + Sattvic diet: Increased perception, higher levels of courage, increased friendliness, and stronger leadership skills.
Kapha Prakriti + Sattvic diet: Internally peaceful, calm in the face of stress, supportive and nurturing of others, increased sense of loyalty.
Pillars of a Sattvic Diet
The foundation of a Sattvic diet is vegetarianism. This means a person is not consuming any meat, not even seafood. While it is possible to boost Sattva yet still not be a vegetarian, your results will not be as significant as someone who is explicitly vegetarian.
Outside of eating a vegetarian diet, there are numerous specific foods you should include in your Sattvic diet:
- Healthy fats, like sesame oil, coconut oil, or ghee
- Seeds, nuts, and dry fruits
- Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables
- Milk, yogurt, buttermilk, and butter
- Cane sugar, honey, and other natural sweeteners
- Whole grains and lentils
- Spices like curcuma, cumin, coriander, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, and amla
Another pillar of the Sattvic diet is the way that your foods are being prepared. You should be making a conscious effort to eat organic foods, and to cook them with a positive energy. You want to avoid frozen foods and reheated leftovers. Instead, choose to eat freshly prepared meals, while they are still warm. This will also help ensure the food is light to digest and agreeable for your body.
And, of course, there are some foods that you should avoid. These include processed sugar, alcohol, excessive coffee, and other processed foods.
When to Start a Sattvic Diet?
The earlier you adopt a Sattvic diet and embrace this healthy lifestyle, the sooner Rasayana benefits can help to rejuvenate and boost your mind and body. The lightness that you get from a Sattvic diet can help you achieve optimal health, improve your digestion, and eliminate more toxins from your body.
Even in our fast-paced society, the Sattvic diet can help you reduce stress and bring a stronger sense of calm to your daily experiences.