The Yuva diet is essentially the sattvic diet recommended by the ancient traditions of ayurveda and yoga. As the name suggests, such a diet is loaded with sattva guna that benefits both the body and mind. To the body it grants good health and vitality, and to the mind it gives clarity and equanimity. In this system, foods that are neither positive nor negative are called rajasic, and those that harm the mind or body are tamasic.
Foods prepared a day earlier and stored for later use turn tamasic as freshness is lost through depletion of its vital essences. They may also have grown microorganisms. Food takes on tamasic gunas if in its manufacture another being has been harmed. The most sattvic food is fresh milk from a happy cow and fruit fallen from a tree. No harm whatsoever was done to the sources of these foods; instead the organism gave the food willingly and with blessings. Excess use of any of the following will turn sattvic food to rajasic or even tamasic: spice, sugar, or salt. Pasteurization, homogenization, and the use of GMOs and pesticides are all considered poisonous to humans. The following is an outline of what constitutes sattvic food:
Almonds, hemp seeds, coconuts, pine nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. Ghee, olive oil, sesame oil, flax oil, palm oil, and coconut oil.
Taken in small portions, fresh nuts and seeds are great sattvic foods if they’ve not been overly roasted or salted. Almonds soaked overnight and then peeled are a great option. Oils should be of good quality and cold-pressed. Oils should only be eaten in their raw state, but some oils (ghee, sesame oil, palm oil, and coconut oil) need cooking.
The milk must be obtained from an animal raised with love and care and living unfettered in open, green pastures with plenty to graze. The animal should not be pregnant. If the animal is caring for its young one, allow the calf to feed before milking the adult animal. With the exception of ghee, all dairy products need to be prepared on the day of consumption and using milk obtained that day. You may refrigerate the milk for one or two weeks, provided you boil it just before using it while still warm.
Most mild vegetables are considered sattvic. Not all practitioners agree on the classification of vegetables into sattvic and non-sattvic. Some methods of preparation can neutralize the rajasic or tamasic qualities of certain foods. Drink freshly made vegetable juices for their prana, live enzymes, and easy absorption.
Pungent Vegetables(Hot Peppers, Leek, Garlic, and Onion);
Gas-Forming Foods(Potatoes; Mushrooms, Yeasts, Molds, and Other Fungi);
The Solanaceae Family(Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants, And Potatoes);
The Allium Family(Garlic, Onion, Leeks, Shallots).
Most fruits are sattvic and form a significant part of the sattvic diet
Light roasting of grains before cooking removes part of their heavy quality. Sprouting grains increases their nutrition content. Some preparations recommended from Indian cuisine are kicharee, kheer, and chapatis.Rice, Whole Wheat, Spelt, Oatmeal And Barley; Sprouted Grain Bread; Yeasted Breads, If Roasted.
If well prepared (split, peeled, ground, soaked, sprouted, cooked, and spiced), legumes are a good sattvic food option. Combined with whole grains, legumes are a complete source of protein.
Honey and jaggery (unrefined raw sugar) are the recommended sweeteners. In some traditions, sugar and/or honey are among the several other sweeteners excluded from the diet.
While some yogis recommend that we stay clear of all spices, there are others who allow mild ones (see list below). Rajasic spices like black pepper and red pepper may be included in small amounts to clear mucus from blocked channels and to counter tamas. The iodized variety of salt is to be avoided. Unrefined salts or unbleached sea salt are right options when used in moderation.Basil, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek, Fresh Ginger, And Turmeric.
Herbs are used to directly support sattva in the mind and in meditation.Ashwagandha, Bacopa, Calamus, Gotu Kola, Gingko, Jatamansi, Purnarnava, Shatavari, Saffron, Shankhapushpi, Tulsi, And Rose.
Cow's Milk, Cream, Cheese, Butter, Curd, Ghee, Sweet Fruits, Apples, Bananas, Grapes, Papaya, Pomegranates, Mangoes, Oranges, Pears, Pineapples, Guavas, Figs, Vegetables, Coconut, Brinjal, Potatoes, Cabbages, Spinach, Tomatoes.
Cucumber, Pumpkin, Cauliflower, Lady's Finger, Peaches, Almonds, Pistachios, Raisins, Wheat, Red Rice, Unpolished Rice, Barley, Oat-Meal, Dried Peas, Dates, Green Gram, Bengal Gram, Green Pulse, Groundnut, Cereals, Dried Ginger, Myrobalan, Lemon, Honey.
Fish, Eggs, Meat, Salt, Chilies, Chutney, Asafetida, Pickles, Tamarind, Mustard, Sour Things, Hot Things, Tea, Coffee, Cocoa, White Sugar, Carrots, Turnips, Spices.
Beef, Pork, Wine, Onions, Garlic, Tobacco, Rotten Things, Stale Things, Unclean Things, Twice Cooked Things, All Intoxicants, All Liquors, All Drugs.