Improve your Immunity with these Sattvic Food Principles
Our immune system is the one responsible for protecting us from foreign invaders like harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or more. It consists of cells such as phagocytes, macrophages, lymphocytes etc. If we do not keep our immune system strong then we might become vulnerable to various kinds of diseases, something as simple as cold, cough, flu, to more serious diseases such as cancer.
Before we move onto immunity and Sattvic food principles, let’s understand Sattvic principles.
Basic Sattvic principles:
● Sattvic is a concept from Indian Yogic philosophy. It means one that is pure, true, ethical, energetic, clean, strong, wise and vital. Thus, a Sattvic diet is meant to include foods which comply with its meaning. The meaning also extends to the eating habits; like the habit of eating in moderation (to avoid overeating).
● Sattvic diet must include naturally grown foods that are ripened and harvested according to nature.
● Foods should be consumed fresh.
● Foods consumed are supposed to be organic.
● Different varieties of foods should be consumed like whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds, dairy products, fruits and veggies and organic ghee.
● Just enough food is prepared so that there is no food wastage.
● The food should be chewed properly, eaten at a moderate pace and not rushed.
● Sattvic diet believes in removing foods belonging to the category of rajasic and tamasic. Rajasic foods are stimulating and contribute to physical and mental stress. Small amounts of rajasic foods are not a problem in an otherwise balanced life, but a diet made up of too many rajasic foods over-stimulates the body and mind and will lead to circulatory and nervous system disorders. Few examples: oils like avocado oil, hemp oil; seeds like- hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, spices like hing, fenugreek, garlic, chillies etc.
● Tamasic foods are impure, rotten, or dead and create heaviness and lethargy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Eating tamasic food leads to dullness, lack of motivation and purpose and negativity. Few examples are: over ripe fruits, long stored cereals, pulses, oils etc.
My verdict on sattvic diet- Although sattvic diet is rich in nutrients and encourages us to eat nutrient dense foods, it does at the same time eliminate other healthy foods such as eggs, fish, healthy seeds like hemp and sunflower seeds which are not only good source of protein but also other micronutrients.
Sattvic principles to help improve immunity:
As per Ayurveda, the food we eat not just nourishes us but also influences our thought process and personality. The word Sattvic is derived from a Sanskrit word “Sattva”, which means anything pure and something that promotes feelings of calmness, happiness and mental clarity.
The basic principle of having a sattvic diet is to eat a healthy, plant based diet. Sattvic urges us to eat healthy, good quality food every day at the same time to bring about healthy thoughts and urges one to stay away from negative thoughts and activities. It seems a sattvic diet without sattvic thoughts is of no use in terms of health.
Factors that negatively impact our immunity according to Ayurveda:
● Imbalanced diet- diet rich in sugar and processed foods or artificial additives and eating negligible amounts of fresh fruits and veggies or whole foods.
● Irregular sleep
● Sedentary lifestyle
● Chronic intake of medications
● Excessive consumption of alcohol
● Leftovers, reheated, frozen, canned foods
Few ayurvedic immunity essentials-
● Giloy- Giloy is scientifically known as Tinospora Cordifolia or Guduchi in Hindi. The stem of Giloy is considered highly effective because of its high nutritional content and the alkaloids found in it. This remedial plant is not only an abundant source of antioxidants, but it also helps in removing toxins from your body, alleviating the symptoms of cold, cough and fever and fighting liver disease and urinary tract infections, diabetes etc.
How to use Giloy stem or leaves? You can make Giloy shots with amla and ginger and enjoy!
● Ashwagandha- Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is a revered herb of the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine as a Rasayana (tonic). It’s used for various kinds of disease processes and specially as a nervine tonic. It’s also known by other names like winter cherry and Indian Ginseng. Ashwagandha is known for its antioxidants, antimicrobial, antitumor and immuno-modulating properties. Ashwagandha also helps lower inflammation in our body.
How to use it? You can make tea concoctions from the same.
Where to buy Ashwagandha from?
● Tulsi leaves- Found in our gardens, tulsi is rich in Vitamin C and zinc. It thus acts as a natural immunity booster and keeps infections at bay. It has immense anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties which protect us from a variety of infections.
How to use it?
Boil fresh Tulsi leaves, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom together and drink this concoction everyday to help boost your immunity.
Where to buy tulsi plants?
● Triphala- Triphala, a well-recognized and highly efficacious polyherbal Ayurvedic medicine consisting of fruits of the plant species Emblica officinalis (Amalaki), Terminalia bellerica (Bibhitaki), and Terminalia chebula (Haritaki), is a cornerstone of gastrointestinal and rejuvenative treatment. Polyphenols in Triphala modulate the human gut microbiome and thereby promote the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus while inhibiting the growth of undesirable gut microbes. The bioactivity of Triphala is elicited by gut microbiota to generate a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Where to buy?
● Black seed (kalonji)- Also known as black cumin, nigella or by its scientific name Nigella sativa, is packed with antioxidants and it has a compound called thymoquinone which is said to exhibit anticancer properties. Just add a spoonful of Kalonji seeds in your daily diet to improve your immunity and energy to fight against various infections.
Where to buy?
Tags: Immune system, Sattvik principles, sattvic diet, Immunity essentials, giloy, ashwagandha, tulsi leaves, triphala, black seed, rajasic, tamasic