This is an updated post about Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods. The original post was published April 2013

Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods are considered the cornerstones of the Yogic Diet. The way to achieve balance, focus and self-love starts with eating food that can support and help you reach those goals. Coming from an ancient practice that was used by the yogis to achieve a higher concentration, the Yogic Diet is the foundation of a yogic lifestyle. Food can bring you higher, food can pull you down. Food is energy and that energy comes from the earth and the sun. What you eat can do you good and it can do you harm. Read on to GET OUR DEAL and to know what Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic foods are, which ones to eat and which to leave out.

The yogic diet

Although called a yogic diet, it is more a way of living than a diet. The way you look at food when following the basic rules of the Yogic Diet is more about enabling your body and mind to function using its fullest potential. The focus is to balance the mind and nourish the body. The harmony of the two enables you to focus and live in balance. Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods categorized the foods into beneficial and harmful for the body and mind. Originally this knowledge was meant for yogis. The yogis living in yoga retreats would eat a diet, or fast, solemnly based improving or enabling focus and their meditation.

Nevertheless, we are no yogis. We have jobs and families, busy lives with schools and work. There are our friends and social obligations. We have our personal goals to achieve, money problems to worry about and a household to run at the same time. We are definitely not yogis. It is obvious we cannot spend a whole day in meditation and think of nothing. We need the focus and the balance, but preferably while living our life, right?!

Read on, because there IS an answer. The yogic diet is not going to do your laundry. It is also not going to solve your money problems or take the train to work in the morning so you can sleep in. What it can do for you is to bring balance in your mind to be able to deal with it all. Eating the right foods can bring emotional balance, so you don’t have to feel being tossed around between happy and sad, positive and depressed. Knowing about the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods can help you make the right choices. The yogic diet is all about balance and through balance bring happiness, acceptance and love. 

If you want to know what the yogic diet looks like and you are curious about what we eat in a day, maybe this blog post is something for you. Don’t forget about the DEAL I promised you

Sattvic foods

The goal of a yogic diet is to have a healthy body in order to be able to clear the mind and focus on meditation and in that way get closer to the Source. To allow the mind to be balanced, clear and calm, a diet of Sattvic foods is advised. These are fresh, nutritious foods, that are high in fiber. Sattvic foods typically grow high above the ground, preferably close to the sun. A diet, or fast, solemnly based on Sattvic foods is ideal for yogis in retreat, focussed only on meditation.

Sattvic foods bring calmness and balance. They energize and make you feel light. It is full of vegetables and fruit, but also contains tree nuts and seeds, dairy and grains.

Sattvic Foods Examples

  • most fruit like apples, pears, mangoes, papayas and bananas
  • citrus fruit like oranges, lemons, limes
  • fresh herbs like coriander or basil
  • Vegetables, high growing like eggplant, avocados, tomatoes, peas, but also cauliflower, broccoli, celery, squash, etc
  • beans, pulses and legumes like lentils, kidney beans, black eyed peas, mung beans
  • seeds and tree nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts even coconuts (remember, peanuts are not a part of the yogic diet)
  • grains like rice, corn and wheat
  • dairy products like yogurt, milk, fresh cheese like paneer
  • natural sweeteners like honey and jaggery
  • healthy fats like olive oil, ghee, sesame oil

There are many foods in this category and I only listed a few to give you an idea. There are different philosophies and views on what belongs in which category, whether Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic foods, so don’t sweat it if you want to add cauliflower to your Sattvic dish.

Sattvic, rajasic, tamasic foods Yogic Foods yogic diet
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Rajasic Foods

In daily life, though, it is not always possible to have your head in a meditative state while coping with house chores, work, colleagues, finances, family matters and other daily practicalities. In our daily life, we need grounding. Introducing Rajasic foods into your diet, allows for a good balance between both a yogic and a practical life. Especially when physical work is part of your daily routine, you will need some Rajasic foods for physical strength.

Rajasic Foods stimulate and bring sensation. Usually it’s the spices that give the call for action and that stimulate the senses. It also includes earth foods, vegetables that grow under the ground, like carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic etc

Rajasic Foods Examples

  • root vegetables like carrots, parsnip, rutabaga, celery root
  • the trinity roots; onion, garlic and ginger
  • earth vegetables like asparagus, endives
  • fragrant spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, caraway,
  • spicy spices like black pepper, red pepper, chili pepper

Great examples of a Rajasic recipes are

Tamasic Foods

There is a third category in the yogic diet, called Tamasic foods. These are regressive foods, or foods that harm the body and stand in the way to a balanced, healthy and calm body and mind. It should go without saying that this category of foods should be avoided. Tamasic Foods are the opposite of calm and balance, they cause anger, greed and aggression.

Tamasic Foods Examples

  • meat products like meat, fish and eggs
  • sugar like processed sugar, refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, palm sugar
  • processed foods, like fast food, breakfast cereals, microwave meals, chips, vegetarian meat
  • sweet processed foods like candies, cookies, cakes, energy bars,
  • deep fried food like fries, onion rings or other deep fried vegetables, donuts, churros
  • artificial additives like food coloring, artificial flavoring, artificial food enhancers and emulsifiers
  • alcohol and (although not really a food) drugs and cigarets.

If you want to read how we deal with sugar and snack our 10 secrets to Triumph Treats and Snack Time with kids. In case you are having trouble connecting with your friends or feel left out, because you are not drinking alcohol, maybe this article will interest you.

You are not alone

Following a yogic diet has a lot of benefits and knowing the difference between Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods can help you make the right choices. It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Yet, sticking to it and making breakfast, lunch and dinner following your new guidelines on Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods can be quite overwhelming. Trust me, we know a thing or two about that!

That is the reason why we made these 3 beautiful recipe apps. They ar full of yogic diet recipes and all following the rules of the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods. Every app has its own fantastic recipes made, photographed and written down by my wife Caroline. I got to hand it to her, we eat delicious food every day and she shares it with you through our apps and social media. As a developer and Kundalini Yoga Teacher, I really wanted to give her cooking a platform. Just as much, I wanted to make the yogic diet more accessible so YOU can start using the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods principles in your daily life too.

Our YogicFoods original app is the first in our trilogy and filled with beautiful recipes and family favorites.

YogicFoods App recipe overview with chakra symbols
YogicFoods App recipe overview with chakra symbols

YogicFoods Global is our yogic foods app that takes you on a culinary trip and offers classics from around the world adapted to the yogic diet following the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods principles.

YogicFoods App Recipe with diet symbols
YogicFoods App Recipe with diet symbols

The YogicFoods Baking app is filled with sweet and savory bakes. Caroline loves to bake and our children love to eat baked goods. As Caroline was experimenting and adapting cakes and cookies to the yogic diet, we knew we wanted to share this with you.

YogicFoods App Benefits
YogicFoods App Yoga Health Benefits

There is more to it

We are so excited about this, we want to share with you these three wonderful features that EVERY YogicFoods app has:

  1. Each app has a meditation timer PLUS 7 meditations for you to follow. We give suggestions for mantras and practices to try.
  2. Every app also has all the yogic health benefits of each ingredient listed for you, so you know why it works.
  3. All three apps have a list of recipes that we call ‘the essentials’. These recipes are super handy to know, like the pantry of your yogic diet kitchen. We add more with every update.


And here is the DEAL I have promised you.

Get all three PLUS a BONUS yoga and meditation timer, our best seller Zen Activity timer. Click here to get the bundle of all the Yogic Foods apps and the ZenActivity timer for free to start living following the yogic diet and the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods principles today!

YogicFoods Bundle Deal
YogicFoods Bundle Deal

Your Turn

Hopefully you are now able to differentiate between Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic Foods. Leaving out the Tamasic foods will enable your body and mind to feel energized and focussed. Choosing a variety of ingredients from the Sattvic and Rajasic food categories on a daily basis is a good way to a healthy, balanced body and that will lead to a clear, calm and balanced mind.

Sat Nam and Namaste

Sattvic, rajasic, tamasic foods Yogic Foods yogic diet
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YogicFoods is a blog about yogic foods, yogic diet and living a yoga lifestyle. We believe a yogic lifestyle and a busy family life or demanding work should be able to go hand in hand. You CAN live the way that is best for you. We share our experiences, give tips, share recipes and hope to inspire. 

Note; This blog article contains affiliate links. These links will bring you directly to Amazon and the product page. You pay the normal Amazon prize for this product and I get a small commission from Amazon. This way you support our blog and make it possible to keep blogging and adding recipes to our website and apps. Thank you.

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