According to Ayurveda, our mental attitude and health is impacted by the type of food we consume. Under Ayurveda food is categorized into tamas, rajas and sattva. Food is categorized based on the foods’ quality.Tamasic products (like meat, processed food or alcohol) dull the mind, while rajasic foods (like hot sauce and coffee) overwhelm and overstimulate.A sattvic diet is ideal for both, mental and physical well-being, since, it is considered to be pure and non-harmful (to oneself and others).
It is advised to not mediate prior to 2 hours after eating.
A sattvic diet would include:
1. Ripe fruits and vegetables
Some fruits have a high sugar content while others are low on sugar. One must have a balanced intake of both. The body produces glucose when it consumes fruits, which while meditation helps in boosting focus and alertness. Out of season vegetables must not be consumed.
Nuts are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and protein. They are the healthiest snack that provide the body with energy and also curb hunger. Therefore, they are the best go-to snack whether it’s a physical or a mental workout.
3. Dark Chocolate
Yes, dark chocolate if consumed in moderation can actually boost memory, enhance learning and help increase focus. However, excess chocolate may lead to an increase in fat content and calories.
One can also intake greens in the form of a smoothie. Fruits can work as a sweetener. Green vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants that help in boosting the brain. Addition of Avocados, flaxseed, and coconut oil is suggested, since they are a source of healthy fat.
A glass of water in the morning after you wake up is a good way to wake up your brain and rehydrate your body. Some people believe that meditating empty stomach helps, however, aim to have a glass of water.
What to Avoid?
Caffeine whether in the form of coffee, tea or soda; make it more difficult for the body and mind to calm down and enter a deeper meditative state. Some individuals may intake caffeine in order to stay awake during meditation, however, a glass of water could be consumed instead.
2. Simple Carbohydrates
Food and beverages such as fruit juices, pastries, white breadand processed foods cause the blood sugar to spike which makes us lethargic and tired.
3. Fat, sugar, starch rich and cheesy foods
Food heavy in fat, sugar, starch or cheese use up the bodies energy resource, making us drowsy and sleepy. You definitely don’t want to feel sleepy while meditating.