Ayurveda, the ancient practice of Indian medicine that originated thousands of years ago, not only offers wonderful remedies for numerous ailments, but also provides useful insights regarding lifestyle habits, to enhance longevity, overall wellbeing and quality of life. Besides herbal concoctions like kadhas to boost immunity and yoga asanas to strengthen muscles, the antique ayurvedic manuscripts also highlight the merits of Satvik diet or Saatvik diet, for a fit body and a sound mind.
Also Read: Kadha: Brew These Traditional Concoctions Right Now, To Boost Immunity And Fight Infections
Encompassing the ideals of ahimsa or non-violence and simple living, satvik foods are essentially vegetarian, prepared using only wholesome, organic, plant-based and dairy produce, strictly avoiding all animal meat. These comprise fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, milk, legumes and various other naturally derived bounty. The yogic sages have vouched for this elementary custom of cooking and eating food since time immemorial, preaching its fantastic wellness incentives, from promoting digestion, bolstering metabolism, to uplifting immune functions, enriching skin, hair wellness and preserving a balanced state of body and mind.
Ayurveda categorizes food ingredients into three distinct attributes or gunas - namely sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva involves essence, consisting of refreshing, flavourful, light, ripe and succulent foods that provide energy. Rajas is associated with activity and consists of prominently salty, bitter, spicy foods that are hot and dry, triggering negative emotions of anger, jealousy, greed, nervousness and irritation. Tamas type of foods are inherently decayed, with a foul odour and comprise junk, processed, very oily items that consume lots of energy and are difficult to digest and assimilate in the body.
The Saatvik Diet:
Obtained from the Sanskrit terminology for “sattva”, the saatvik diet stresses on freshly cooked simple meals for a clean, dynamic, strong, knowledgeable and ethical way of life. It focuses on preparing only the required amount of food, eating everything in moderation and avoid wastage of dishes. It also recommends steering clear of processed, canned products and to opt for freshly cooked foods at all times of the day.
Moreover, the saatvik diet entails how raw ingredients should be obtained – by plants grown organically, ripened, seasonal harvest, without harming any animals, as well as how food should be cooked – with a sense of appreciation, care and kindness for all living beings. Nevertheless, the saatvik diet is not actually bland and subtle in taste, it, in fact, consists of all the six flavours, namely sweet, bitter, salty, sour, spicy and astringent.
Specific Vegetarian Foods To Avoid In Saatvik Diet:
As per the age-old ayurvedic documents, although onion and garlic are both vegetables and purely plant produce, they are strictly excluded from the saatvik diet. This is owing to their intrinsic ability to prompt harmful tendencies of excessive anxiety, depression, frustration and fluctuating moods, damaging the balanced state of body and mind. Since this, in turn, affects the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of health, onion, garlic and a few other plants from the same botanical group are not included in any satvik foods.
There also lies a cultural and religious significance to satvik foods. In many Hindu festivals, especially during Navarathri, Diwali, it is customary for families to fast for some time and then break the fast by eating satvik foods, after offering it to the Almighty, along with prayers. Apart from augmenting key bodily organs - heart muscles, brain cells, lung power, liver and kidney tissues, the satvik foods are also believed to eliminate all toxins and negative energy from the system.
Read on, to discover two delicious satvik food recipes of jeera aloo and pindi channa, for augmented overall wellness.
5 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 tsp cumin seeds or jeera
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp groundnut oil
A sprig of curry leaves
A few coriander leaves
Salt, as per taste
Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, along with asafoetida and curry leaves and sauté for 2 minutes.
Put in the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder, cook for 1 minute, then add the cut potatoes.
Stir for 5 minutes on medium flame, until the potatoes are cooked thoroughly and all the flavours soak in.
Switch off the stove, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis, chapatis, warm rice or pulao.
Potatoes are packed with ample carbs, proteins for instant energy, healthy growth, strong muscles. Laden with curcumin antioxidants, turmeric is renowned for preventing chronic conditions of diabetes, cancer, dementia. Coriander leaves are rich in calcium, magnesium, for fortified bones and joints.
Also Read: Coriander Leaves: 5 Excellent Health Benefits Of Adding These Aromatic Leaves To Your Daily Diet
1 ½ cups chickpeas or channa, soaked overnight
3 tbsp rice bran oil
½ lemon slice
1 tsp channa masala powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seeds or jeera
1 tsp pomegranate seeds
2 small ginger pieces
Salt, to taste
A bunch of mint leaves
Pressure the chickpeas or channa for one whistle, so as to make the legumes soft.
Dry roast the cumin seeds and pomegranate seeds, then blend it into a powder in a mixer.
Heat oil in a kadai, add the ginger slices, once they are cooked, transfer the dry roasted powder.
Put in the channa masala, red chilli powder, coriander powder and needed amount of salt.
Transfer the cooked chickpeas to the kadai, stir for 10 minutes until all the flavours are absorbed.
Turn off the flame, top it off with fresh mint leaves, squeeze the juice of the lemon and serve hot with phulkas or warm rice.
Chickpeas or channa are a powerhouse of proteins and healthy unsaturated fats, for reinforced muscles and heart wellness. Ginger contains gingerol antioxidants, that alleviate joint pain and lower inflammation in bones. Bestowed with profuse amounts of vitamins and minerals, mint leaves are a boon for rectifying myriad skin and hair concerns, for a rejuvenated appearance.