The sattvic term is derived from the word ‘Sattva‘ which means energy, pure, strong and clean. Considered to be extremely rich in micronutrients, Sattvic food came from the ancient philosophy of healthy living that inspires clean food, promotes physical and mental strength, good health and prolong life.
It mainly emphasis to consume foods as well as practice a healthy lifestyle which eventually balance our body and flush out all the impure components (toxins) and keep us energetic all day long. In a nutshell, it can be a way to boost our immune system.
In this blog post, we will talk everything about Sattvic food, its importance and some Sattvic foods that you must include in your daily diet. But before that let us first understand the concept of immunity which is often misunderstood by us.
Concept of Immunity
We are born with a basic immune system which is weak. But our immune system consistently gets strong by regular interaction with the foreign bodies, also known as microbes that are present in our environment and further fight with against new microbes.
Since 40 years, excessive use of microbicidal in the name of health and hygiene and the lack of interaction with soil, plants and other microorganisms, our immune system has turned way weaker even though our lifespan has increased.
In terms of modern medicine, immunity is all about the functions of various enzymes, cells as well as immunomodulatory chemicals which attack pathogens. And this further, prevent them from creating various diseases.
Ayurvedic Concepts related to our immune system
The concept of immunity is subdivided into multiple topics in Ayurveda. The first and most important one is Bala or the concept of strength. The second topic is Vyadhi Kshamathwa or the concept of resistance to illness. And the last concept in Ayurveda is Ojas or the concept of supreme resilience.
The concept of strength or Bala is all about the potential of our system to replenish and nourish from within and be strong enough in disease prevention.
The concept of resistance to illness or Vyadhi Kshamatwa is all about the ability of our body to fight against the diseases causing microbes.
The concept of supreme resilience or Ojas tells about the direct relation between immunity and digestion. It is a final stage of physiological transformation taking place within our body.
So Ojas explains about the essence of food that we eat and the healthy Ojas level will indicate the proper tissue nourishment
Factors that act negatively on our Immune System
Following are some of the factors which act negatively on our immune system are:
- Imbalanced diet: A diet which is not nutritionally balanced and is not supportive of dosha balance. Consuming excessive processed sugar and artificial flavouring are the main factors that affect our immune systems. There certain eating disorders like anorexia which has the ability to weaken immunity.
- Irregular Sleep: Second most point which we would like to stress is the improper sleeping pattern, interrupted sleep and lack of sleep.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol: Physicians have constantly been advising the negative impact of alcohol on resistance as well as recovery from illness. Some surveys have also revealed that regular consumption of alcohol can weaken our immunity system.
- Stress: Stress tends to increase the cortisol level of blood. This reduces our body’s focus on the nourishment of our immune system.
- Chronic Medications: Taking antibiotics and other medicines for a long time can deteriorate your immunity.
- Obesity: Needless to say, excessive weight gain indicates the imbalance in hormonal functions and metabolism. Hence, a weaker immune system
- Dehydration: Intake of water is must to keep your immune system strong. People who don’t intake enough liquid, then it can badly reduce their effectiveness of the body’s resistance mechanism.
Factors that improve immunity in Ayurveda
- It has to be a well-balanced diet that contains all the six qualities and tastes based upon one’s dosha.
- Regular practice of yoga.
- You should include a variety of spices into daily diet except for red chilli. Indian spices immensely help in reducing cell damage and maintain integrity.
- Fasting once in 15 days is mandatory to nourish our digestive system.
- Regular consumption of Rasayana herbs such as amla (gooseberry) and ashwagandha.
Difference between Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic
Food like Satvic, Rajasik and Tamasic play a significant role in our overall health and wellbeing. A well-balanced diet contains an equal proportion of carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, fibre and enough water which ensures to make a person healthy and happy. This includes pulses, cereals, nuts, fresh vegetables, fruits, oilseeds, oils, fats, etc. If your diet lacks one of these elements then it can lead to various ailments in future. However, the number of nutrients as well as calories differ from person to person and is solely based on age. So now we will be discussing two types of negative foods that are Rajasik and Tamasic and their disadvantages.
What is Rajasic Yoga Food?
Rajasic foods lack vitamins, minerals and various other essential nutrients. Not only this but they are also deficient in cellulose, roughage and fiber. Following are the important properties of Rajasic food:
- They are poor in minerals.
- As they have fried and starchy features, it causes several issues in the digestive system such as constipation.
- Because of its spicy, pungent, bitter and acidic in nature, it leads to acidity or hyperacidity.
- They come in fermented form.
- Rajasic food falls under negative groups of food.
Disadvantages of Rajasic Food
- They lead to acidity, constipation and sometimes ulcer.
- They are also associated with lifestyle-related disorders like arthritis, obesity or diabetes.
- It also affects our mental health such as depression and anxiety because of its pungent and spicy feature.
- Irregular behaviour and ADHD are also caused by this food habit.
Examples of Rajasic Food
- Food like: Fried foods, spicy food, acidic and pungent ones, food that forms gases, sugary food, etc.
- Acidic food: Jelly, soups, preserved food, sausages, fermented bread, Papads, pickles, etc.
- Stimulating food: Fried food, sauce, alcohol, coffee, tobacco and other beverages.
- Dead Food: Fish, meat and egg.
- Disease producing food: Fast foods, stale foods, fermented foods, junk foods, etc.
- Mucus forming food: Bakery products
What is Tamasic food?
Tamasic foods lack roughage, cellulose, water, minerals, water and vitamins. This is because of their processing methods. Following are the features of tamasic food:
- They lack minerals.
- They are spicy, starchy, fried, refined and fatty in nature.
- Pungent, stale, fermented and constipating.
- It consists of stimulating foods.
- Acidic in nature.
- Ensures mucus formation.
- Because of high fats and high protein, they provoke selfishness, negative attitude, desires, uncontrolled and in disciplined behaviour and mood swings.
Disadvantages of Tamasic Food
- They are extremely difficult to digest and hence it leads to constipation.
- Spicy, pungent, irritating, bitter as well as acidic in nature that results in hyperacidity.
- Remains in the body for more than 24 hours and requires sattvic food for excretion.
- Responsible for many health ailments.
- Rich in bad fats that result in obesity.
- Causes depression.
Examples of Tamasic food
- Foods like: Meat, egg, white flour, soya chunks, fried fast food, excessive fats and starch.
- Stimulating foods: Fried and spicy food, chillies, alcohol, sauce, coffee, tea and tobacco.
- Acidic Diet: Preserved fruits, jelly, packaged drinks, fermented bread, soups, white flour, pickles, cakes.
- Disease producing food: Roadside foods, sweets, ice creams, heavy foods, chocolates.
What is Yogic Diet?
A Yogic Diet consists of wholesome foods which enhance mental and physical clarity and lightness. Hence promotes our overall wellbeing, thoughts and emotions. With the proper consumption of the right kind of food we also have to be cautious enough with our timings. If we can balance these then only we can notice the enormous development in our body. On the other hand, if we are irregular with our timings then our whole system will get disturbed. This is why consumption of Sattvic food is very important. Now let us have a look at the details about Sattvic food for immunity.
What is Sattvic Food – Sattvic Food for immunity
What you include in your daily diet will make a huge difference. Of course, we also have to maintain a healthy lifestyle but maintaining a pure Sattvic diet will hugely impact our mind and body. Sattvic diet is considered to be clean, fresh and provides us with energy. It is extremely rich in micronutrients which promotes physical health. Sattvic food is primarily rich in water, cellulose, vitamins as well as contains a high quantity of minerals. The foods which come under this group are slightly sour, sweet, relaxing and fresh in nature. For example- salad, fresh fruits and vegetable juice.
In this pandemic time, adopting Sattvic food for immunity is must as it focusses on the art of moderation which is beneficial for a healthy diet. Following are the properties of a Sattvic diet:
- A sattvic diet consists of all the positive elements.
- They are fresh, soothing, non-stimulating and non-constipating.
- Important for our mental health.
- They are live and alkaline foods.
- They provide enormous energy to our body.
Benefits of Sattvic Food
- They are refreshing, soothing and rejuvenating. Hence are good for health.
- Easy to digest and helps to get rid of constipation.
- Cleanse and detoxify our body.
- They are pleasant, juicy as well as conducive for strength, longevity, purity of soul and promotes happiness from within.
Sattvic foods that you must include in your diet
As the title suggests, Sattvic food for immunity, here are a few prime foods which come under a Sattvic diet. We highly suggest you include them in your daily diet:
Let us go back to our roots that is Ayurveda. Amla or Indian gooseberry is known to be the powerhouse of micronutrients. It is specifically rich in Vitamin C. To be very detailed, Amla has the highest component of Vitamin than any other citrus fruit which can immensely boost our immunity system. Consuming amla with honey regularly in empty stomach improves the capacity of your body to fight against microbes.
If you are a tea or coffee lover then this point may hurt you a bit. Do you know that sipping such beverages contains positive and negative elements? Coffee is a stimulant whereas having tea on a regular basis is a big NO for the people who have neurological disorders. This is why it is important to switch to a healthier alternative. Yes, we are talking about moringa tea. It will provide all the benefits of green tea. Including moringa tea in your Sattvic diet chart can improve your immunity system. Not only it helps in managing weight but also it helps in regulating the metabolism rate.
The sattvic diet must contain whole grain foods such as wheat, barley or maize These are rich in fibre and are packed with tons of other nutrients. Barley helps to enhance our immunity system as it has immunity-boosting properties. Not only this but it also lets our body to flush out the unwanted components. If you consume barley on a regular basis, it will promote weight loss, balance the sugar levels and increases the metabolism rate.
As per Indian Ayurveda, Honey is such a substance whose chemical composition is very close to that of human blood. It will offer various impacts on our system depending on whether you have it with cold water or warm water or in a raw form. For people who do regular yogic practices, it is specifically important for them to consume honey. This is because it helps to keep the circulatory system and the blood level in balance. It also helps to fight against various diseases and helps to boost our immunity.
Fresh Organic Fruit
We can include any organic fruits in our Satvic food for immunity. Fruits like banans, apple melons, berries, oranges, grapes, plums and peaches have high water contents. They are considered as the symbols of spirituality and generosity. Eating fresh fruits is also known to boost our magnetism.
We can eat any fresh veggies except onion, garlic, chillies and brinjal as they are known to be stimulants. We would highly suggest you go for carrots, beets, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, green leafies, ash gourd, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflowers and squash. Basically vegetables that are high in water contents are easy to digest. In fact, if you have raw vegetables daily, it would take hardly 3 to 4 hours to digest.
Nuts and Seeds
Soak nuts and seeds overnight and consume it the next morning. Doing so will remove their natural enzyme inhibitors, hence make them easy to digest. Avoid having roasted nuts and seeds in your daily diet. Nuts that improve our immunity system are almonds, walnuts hemp, sesame seeds, flax seeds and pine nuts.
Ghee also comes under Satvic food for immunity. It is known to have rich in Vitamins A, B, D as well as K. Not only this it also contains a high amount of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties which makes your body capable enough to fight against infections and thus strengthens metabolism.
Yoga and Ayurveda are not singular practices, neither is nutrition. All the above mentioned Sattvic foods for immunity if consumed in proper timings will provide you with immense nutritional benefits. To make our mind and body happy, we should know how to eat, drink, live and breathe. Meditation, yoga, herbal supplements and nutrition will help to enlighten the mind and ground the body. Let us know your take in the comments section below.