Can You Eat Sun Flower Seeds Past Best Before Date Healthy Eating For a Balanced Lifestyle

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Healthy Eating For a Balanced Lifestyle


The three gunas or qualities of nature are sattva (purity or transcendence), rajas (activity and distraction), and tamas (inertia or ignorance). These properties are present in all foods and have a profound effect on the mind and spiritual development.

Tamasic foods are processed, artificial, devitalized, overcooked or rotten. Not only do they destroy physical health, they also promote spiritual unconsciousness, psychological unhappiness and violence. Examples include canned foods, white sugar and flour, alcohol, and processed meats and dairy products.

Rajasic foods are stimulating and develop active properties. These foods are not necessarily harmful, but are often strengthening and beneficial for the body. If there are too many of them, they can cause disturbances in the mind and emotions and a desire for worldly things. Examples include spicy foods, garlic, and meat.

A sattvic diet promotes a calm and clear mind. Since things that are similar in nature increase each other, the foods that make up the sattvic diet are peaceful (non-stimulating) and clear (free from impurities). Sattvic foods are properly prepared using traditional methods. Many modern methods of food preparation affect foods by making them rajasic or tamasic and impairing health.

The sattvic diet emphasizes whole organic foods that are raw or freshly cooked (not microwaved), as well as “raw cooked” or lacto-fermented foods. Preferably, the diet will include a lot of locally grown foods, especially foods that you have personally participated in growing and thus strengthen your harmony with the natural environment.

It is predominantly a lacto-vegetarian diet, which places a high value on dairy products but avoids other animal products, including eggs, fish and meat. The sattvic diet excludes artificial processing and modification of food as much as possible. Unfortunately, this includes a disturbing percentage of modern staple foods.

It should be noted that avoiding meat, while pure, means that it is not necessarily the greatest diet for promoting physical strength, nor is it intended to be, as it is primarily focused on the spiritual, not the physical. Excluding animal products other than milk also excludes some important nutrients that can only be obtained from animal products. For this reason it will not always be suitable for all people, but in general it can be followed safely with wonderful benefits for shorter or longer periods of time for different constitutions, especially in conjunction with spiritual retreat or solitude.

Regardless of whether meat is included in the diet or not, everyone will reap the physical and spiritual benefits of including more fresh, local, organic and sustainably grown foods, proper food preparation, and avoiding commercially grown and processed foods.

Categories of Satvic food

Whole grains

Paramhansa Yogananda on processed white flour: “…there is no excuse for any sane and intelligent person killing himself or being dragged about half alive by eating devitalized or ill-chosen food.”

Whole grains are generally quite satvic, but must be soaked to neutralize unhealthy and devitalizing factors (mainly phytic acid) and facilitate digestibility. In the case of flour, the grain is best freshly ground to prevent rancidity. The flour can then be soaked with wet ingredients or flour from sprouted grains can be used. In general, slow cooking is preferred, but pressure cooking is not recommended, as high heat can denature the proteins too much.

Cold breakfast cereals and granola bars should be avoided as the cooking and manufacturing process renders the grains somewhat toxic and indigestible.

Soaked porridge is a great way to prepare grains. Wash the grains and soak at least overnight in clean warm water with a little organic yogurt, kefir, whey or buttermilk. The cooking time will depend on the hardness of the grains. Porridge can be served with flax seeds or nuts, raw butter or cream and natural sweetener. Homemade bread is also wonderful.

Raw milk

Sattvic dairy foods include: raw milk, cream, butter, ghee (clarified butter), soft cheeses made from raw milk, and fermented dairy products such as yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, or whey.

Dairy products are a very spiritual food with wonderful health benefits for the body, mind and soul. It can be consumed in abundance in its natural state. Modern practices, however, dramatically change its properties, turning sattvic foods into tamasic foods with adverse health effects. These practices include torturous environments for cows, grain and chemical feed, additional growth hormones, pasteurization and homogenization.

The consumer then accepts the physical, emotional and spiritual toxins associated with these practices.

The best source of milk is from cows fed on organic pastures, especially in the spring and fall when the cows are fed on fast-growing grass. It should be taken raw, but if it cannot tolerate raw milk, it is also excellent cultured.

Of all dairy products, ghee (clarified butter) is particularly important. It is the most refined essence of milk, and the transformation from milk to ghee is compared to the transformation from rasa (plasm) to ojas (vital spiritual force). Ghee serves as a vehicle for many Ayurvedic medicines as it carries its properties deep into the tissues. It specifically rejuvenates the brain and nervous system and contributes to spiritual practice and development. Ghee is one of the four mahasnehas (great fats) revered in Ayurveda. Sneha or fat is synonymous with love and ghee nurtures the quality of our love and devotion.

Natural sweeteners

Sattvic natural sweeteners include: raw honey, jaggery, dehydrated cane sugar, stevia, date sugar, molasses, malt syrups and sorghum syrup.

The above sweeteners should still be used in moderation so as not to raise blood sugar levels, which is the main cause of mental and emotional instability. As with all foods, choose organic sources for sweeteners.

The following sweeteners are rajasic or tamasic and should be avoided: white sugar, brown sugar, concentrated fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.

Healthy non-animal fats

Sattvic non-animal fats include: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or butter, palm oil, linseed oil and sesame oil.

Avoid safflower, cottonseed, sunflower, canola, soy, cottonseed and corn, and especially hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated trans fats. All these oils contribute to many health challenges.


The fruit is particularly sattvic, as the fruit, together with the flowers, is the most developed part of the plant kingdom. The fruit helps develop the spiritual heart. It is best to focus on locally grown and seasonal produce, as this helps connect you with the rhythms of nature in your local environment.

The spiritual master Paramhansa Yogananda attributed special spiritual properties to certain fruits:

Peaches – selflessness

Oranges – reform zeal

Grapes – spiritual love

Banana – humility

Apple – self control

Strawberry – dignity

Pineapple – courage

Cherries – joy

The fruit should be consumed fresh, freshly cooked or lacto-fermented as chutney. Canning increases the tamasic quality, as does freezing, although to a lesser extent.


Most vegetables are fairly sattvic. It’s great to eat something raw, but perhaps best lightly cooked (stewed, blanched, baked, or fried in butter, olive oil, or coconut oil), as many vegetables contain harmful substances that affect digestion, assimilation, and cell function, and these substances they are neutralized by cooking. Cooking improves the digestibility of vegetables, but at the same time destroys enzymes and some nutrients.

So what to do?

Cook vegetables raw! Include some lacto-fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut). This process actually increases the nutritional value and adds greatly increased enzyme activity and friendly bacterial flora, optimizing digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Raw onions, leeks and garlic have a more rajasic quality, and although they have many medicinal properties, mushrooms are considered tamasic. Canned, frozen or heated vegetables also increase the tamasic quality.

Nuts and seeds

As with grains, nuts and seeds are generally sattvic, but require some preparation to neutralize harmful substances.

Start with raw organic nuts. You can either sprout them or soak them overnight with a little natural salt (Celtic sea salt is best) and then eat them wet or dry them in a low oven (less than 150 degrees) or in the sun for 12 to 24 hours.

Nuts prepared as above can then be eaten alone (chew well) or cooked with food. You can also blend them to create a wonderful nut butter.


“Beans, beans, magic fruit.

The more you eat, the more you eat.

The more you tattoo, the better you feel.

So let’s eat beans for every meal!”

– My elementary school

Legumes are notorious for their digestibility issues, but many traditional societies have largely subsisted on beans without difficulty. This is again mainly due to the method of preparation.

Soak all legumes in clean water with whey, lemon or lime juice and leave them in a warm place for 24 hours. Then pour off the soaking water and rinse well. Boil the beans until they soften and skim off the foam that rises to the surface. Finally, rinse the beans once more and add the appropriate spices and natural salt, lemon juice or liquid from milk-fermented vegetables, and raw butter or olive oil.

The most satvic legumes are mung and aduki beans. Small amounts of tofu are fine, but soy should only be consumed in its fermented form, such as miso, tempeh, and natto, as these preparations neutralize naturally occurring harmful substances.

Improperly prepared beans are irritating and rajasic, while canned beans increase tamas.


Most sattvic spices are mild and usually sweet with pungent and bitter notes. You can take them in abundance as they help in the digestion of other foods and have many health benefits. There are many of these spices and some examples include: cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, ginger and turmeric.

Very hot spices like hot peppers or chilies and garlic are more rajasic and stimulating, while spices that have been irradiated are lifeless and tamasic.


Unfortunately, most of today’s beverage choices are unhealthy. Coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages are too stimulating and rajasic. Pasteurized juices, carbonated drinks and alcohol have a general tamasic quality. Even the modern “medical drink” soy milk has some health challenges because it contains harmful substances and is not neutralized during preparation.

Sattvic drink choices include: pure spring water, raw milk, sattvic herbal teas such as chamomile and mint, sattvic fruit and vegetable juices diluted with pure water, properly prepared seed, grain, or nut milks (see related sections above), and lacto – fermented drinks made from milk, cereals, fruit and nuts.

Adapted from Dietary Supplements for Enlightenment: Guidance for Inner Peace and Self-realization, Jacob Griscom, CAS

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