Rajasic foods are those that are fresh but heavy to digest. People who perform heavy physical activity are usually the ones that should eat such foods since they are typically high in protean and also tend to stimulate the body and mind.
The foods we think of as Rajasic includes non-vegetarian food like meat, fish eggs, chicken, all whole pulses and dals, which are not sprouted. Food prepared from sour, salty, spicy ingredients increase Rajasic qualities. Hot spices like chilies, pepper, vegetables, including onions and garlic, are all included under this category.
You must remember that Rajasic foods are cooked fresh and are of high quality and nutrient density, if it is not fresh then it begins to become Tamasic. It also contains more spices and oil than Sattvic cooking. People in cooler climates tend to eat more Rajasic foods since it heats the body, in contrast to Sattvic foods which have a cooling affect on the body. So it does serve a purpose and used in moderation and balance can have its place.
The yoga diet typically avoids rajasic foods because it is not appropriate for a spiritual lifestyle. Rajasic foods over stimulate the body and mind, and with yoga we strive for a calm mind free from excess emotion and the need for material gain, so that we can reach the pure center within ourselves and know who we really are. A life of peace and non-attachment where we can enjoy happiness through simple things is the goal of yoga.
However if the goals for your life are not so strict, and you are not looking for a simple spiritual life or if you are a passionate person that is driven for success then a Rajasic diet is ok for you. However you must realize as a person that also does yoga you must strive for balance.
Rajasic foods :
- Are bitter, sour, salty, pungent, hot and dry.
- They Increase the speed and excitement of the human organism.
- They are the foundation of motion, activity and pain.
Examples : sattvic foods that have been fried in oil or cooked too much or eaten in excess, specific foods and spices that are strongly exciting, Also Sattvic food eaten in the wrong environment can become Rajasic, an example of this is a salad eaten on the go.
The goat, sheep, water buffalo, camel, and cow all give nourishing milk. Of these, cow’s milk is the most sattvic. However, four hours after milking, cow’s milk becomes rajasic.
Mountain salt (rock salt) is sattvic and therefore recommended above sea salt, which is rajasic.
Too much salt and spice has a rajasic effect, which fuels desire and leads to over-satiation, the loss of taste and the loss of pleasure
Rajasic spices like black pepper, red pepper and garlic
If you are ever in doubt about what food you should eat just remember fresh is always the way to go. That will give you a good start. Also you can see our page on a Sattvic diet to give you more information.
For me I am also very success driven, I live very much in 2 worlds, the spiritual and the material, and I am not ready to give up the material. So for me my diet is about 30 percent Rajasic and 70 percent Sattvic I find this a good balancing point to keep me centered and stress free, while also giving me that fire and passion inside.
Keep one thing in mind when deciding where your balance is, and that is Sattvic and Rajasic diets both serve there purpose and can be used together for people not focused on a purely spiritual lifestyle. But be careful and realize that both of these diets can become Tamasic under certain circumstances, such as overeating or not eating fresh foods.
For more information visit the Tamasic page, it is important when planning your diet and the balance that is right for you.