1) Satvic food:
Sattvic food includes:Cereals, Whole meal bread, Fresh fruit, Vegetables, Pure fresh Juices, Milk,Butter, Cheese, Legumes, Nuts, almonds, dates, green gram, Sprouted seeds & whole grains, Natural sweeteners, honey, Herbal teas and Oils.
Satvic food are fresh, whole natural, of good quality, neither over nor under cooked gives calm and alertness and at the same time a state of quiet energy.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, the most healthy diet consists of whole food, eaten in as natural a state as possible. Peeling or cooking is the only exception as this helps increase digestibility and assimilation.
They are said to nourish consciousness. They add vitality to the total system by bringing a perfect harmonious balance of energy states in the food itself. They don’t pull the energy from the body they don’t weigh it down. They provide a practice balance of nourishment and create no undue waste. This type of food increases the vitality and not sheer-bulk which supplies energy for meditative purposes.
Diet can influence the mind and change the personality. So we must change our food habits towards a mind attached to it, a yoga sadhana can gain immensely in his journey towards mental control.
2) Avoid Food without Chetna or Prana:
Satvic food is without onion & garlic intake.
Food items that are frozen, canned, refined (so as to denude the food of its nutritive value), genetically altered, grown with chemical pesticides or fertilisers or processed with artificial colours, flavours, additives or preservatives, are not recommended by Ayurveda. Such food lacks in Chetana (living intelligence) and Prana (vital life-energy) and will disturb the intellect as well as the the coordination between the three aspects of mental prowess—comprehension (dhi), retention (dhriti) and recall (smriti).
Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 17, Verses 8 to 10:
"ayuh sattva balarogya sukha priti vivardhanah
rasyah snigdhah sthira hrdya aharah sattvika-priyah
katv amla lavanaty usna tiksna ruksa vidahinah
ahara rajasasyesta duhkha sokamaya pradah
yata yamam gata-rasam puti paryusitam ca yat
ucchistam api camedhyam bhojanam tamasa priyam"
To those who are situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness, foods that are of the nature of sattva or goodness such as milk, fruits, grains and vegetables are very dear. Such foods promote long life, invigorating the body and elevating the mind in its function of intelligence. As was confirmed earlier in chapter XIV verse XVII: From the quality of sattva guna knowledge arises. Sattva guna facilitates spiritual knowledge and likewise food that is sattva also facilitates spiritual intelligence as well as good health, strength, happiness and relish. The word sukla meaning happiness refers to the pleasure experienced while ingesting the food and afterwards when it is digesting and assimilating within the body. The word priti means satisfaction that is derived from the intake of pure foods inspiring congenial interest in spiritual activities. The word rasayam means succulent, delectable. Snigdhah means oleaginous, unctuous. Sthirah means nourishing, sustaining. Hrydha means agreeable, pleasing. These are the qualities of sattva foods which are very much appreciated by those in sattva guna.
Foods that are acidic, bitter, salty, sour, spicy, pungent, dry, hard or burning are the foods that those in raja guna are very much attracted to. The word tiksna refers to food of no value because they are either to cold or to hot. Raksa are foods which are to dry and hard. Vidhahinah are those foods that cause a burning sensation in the body. These foods produce pain, distress, sickness and misery and decreases longevity of life and increase desires for more and more rajas or passion.
The foods liked by those in tama guna the mode of ignorance are yata-yaman meaning stale, foods that are old from the previous day, foods cooked more than a yama which is literally three hours before. Gata-rasam means those foods which have lost their original flavour and have become tasteless. Puti means putrid, possessing a foul smell. Paryusitam means decomposed, unrecognisable. Ucchistam means eating the remains of others food after they have eaten. This does not apply to honouring the remnants of mahaprasadam or sanctified food first offered to Lord Krishna and then eaten by the spiritual preceptors who mercifully leaves some for their devotees which is then glorified by them as maha mahaprasadam. Amedhyam means unsanctified foods due to not having been consecrated by first offering it to the Supreme Lord and thus impure. Partaking of foods in tama guna such as meat, fish, fowl, eggs, wine, alcohol, etc. breeds dark nescience and great ignorance.
So in conclusion those fortunate jivas or embodied beings with spiritual insight should absolve themselves from the intake of foods in raja guna and tama guna and resort exclusively to foods in sattva guna.