Can You Eat Raw Sunflower Seeds Straight From The Flower 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 qualities are present in all foods and have a profound effect on the mind and spiritual development.

Tamasic food is 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 meat and dairy products.

Rajasic food is stimulating and develops active qualities. These foods are not necessarily harmful, and are often strengthening and beneficial for the body. In excess, they can create 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, clear mind. As things of similar nature increase each other, the food that constitutes a sattvic diet is itself calm (non-stimulating) and clear (without impurities). Sattvic food is properly prepared according to traditional methods. Many modern methods of food preparation have effects on food that make it rajasic or tamasic and impair health.

The sattvic diet emphasizes whole, organically grown foods that are raw or freshly cooked (not microwaved), as well as “raw-cooked” or lacto-fermented foods. It is desirable that the diet includes a lot of locally produced food, especially food in the production of which you have personally participated and which therefore strengthens your harmony with the natural environment.

It is a predominantly lacto-vegetarian diet that values ​​dairy products highly but avoids other animal products including eggs, fish and meat. The sattvic diet excludes artificial processing and alteration of food as much as possible. Unfortunately, this includes a disturbing percentage of modern food staples.

It should be noted that while pure, avoiding meat means that this is not necessarily the best diet for promoting physical strength, nor is it intended to be, since its focus is primarily spiritual, not physical. Excluding animal products other than dairy also excludes some important nutrients that can only be obtained from animal products. For this reason, it will not be right for all people all the time, but in general it can be safely followed with wonderful benefits for shorter or longer periods of time for different constitutions, especially in combination with spiritual retreat or seclusion.

Whether meat is included in the diet or not, everyone will benefit physically and spiritually from including more fresh, local, organically and sustainably grown foods, proper food preparation, and avoiding commercially produced and processed foods.

Categories of Sattvic food

Whole grains

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

Whole grains are generally quite sattvic, but they need to be soaked to neutralize unhealthy and devitalizing factors (mainly phytic acid) and make them easier to digest. In the case of flour, it is best to grind the grains freshly to avoid rancidity. The flour can then be soaked with the wet ingredients or sprouted grain flour can be used. Slow cooking is generally preferred and pressure cooking is not recommended as the high temperature can excessively denature the proteins.

Cold breakfast cereals and granola should be avoided because their cooking and production processes make the cereals somewhat toxic and indigestible.

Soaked porridge is an excellent way to prepare cereals. Rinse and soak the grains 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 beans. You can serve porridge 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 raw milk cheeses, 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. In its natural state, it can be taken in abundance. However, its qualities are dramatically altered by modern practices and turn sattvic foods into tamasic foods with adverse health effects. These practices include torturous environments for cows, grains and chemical feeds, additional growth hormones, pasteurization and homogenization.

The consumer then takes in 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 fast-growing grass. It should be taken raw, but if you can’t stand raw milk, it’s also great cultured.

Of all dairy products, ghee (clarified butter) is especially important. It is the most refined essence of milk, and the transformation from milk to ghee is compared to the transformation from rasa (plasma) to ojas (vital spiritual force). Ghee serves as a vehicle for many medicines in Ayurveda, carrying their qualities deep into the tissues. It especially rejuvenates the brain and nervous system, contributing to spiritual practice and development. Ghee is one of the four mahasnehs (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, malted grain syrups, and sorghum syrup.

However, the above sweeteners should be used in moderation so that they do not disrupt blood sugar levels, the main cause of mental and emotional instability. As with other foods, choose organic sources of 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 the use of safflower, cottonseed, sunflower, canola, soy, cottonseed and corn, and especially hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated trans fats. All of these oils contribute to numerous health challenges.


Fruit is especially sattvic, because fruit, along with flowers, is the most developed part of the plant kingdom. The fruit helps in the development of the spiritual heart. It’s best to focus on locally grown and seasonal produce, as this helps you connect with the rhythms of nature in your local environment.

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

Peaches – selflessness

Oranges – reformist zeal

Grapes – spiritual love

Banana – humility

Apple – self-control

Strawberry – dignity

Pineapple – courage

Cherries – joy

Fruit should be eaten fresh, freshly cooked or lacto-fermented as ajvar. Canning increases the tamasic quality, as does freezing, although to a lesser extent.


Most vegetables are quite sattvic. It’s great to eat some raw, but lightly cooked may be best (steamed, blanched, baked, or fried in butter, olive oil, or coconut oil) because many vegetables contain harmful substances that affect digestion, assimilation, and cellular function, and substances are neutralized by cooking. Cooking improves the digestibility of vegetables, but at the same time destroys enzymes and certain nutrients.

So what to do?

Raw-cook your vegetables! Include some lacto-fermented vegetables (such as sauerkraut). This process actually increases the nutritional value and adds greatly improved enzyme activity and friendly bacterial flora, optimizing digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Raw onions, leeks and garlic have more rajasic qualities, and although they have many medicinal values, mushrooms are considered tamasic. Canned, frozen or reheated vegetables also increase the quality of tamasik.

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. They can be sprouted or soaked overnight with a little natural salt (Celtic sea salt if best) and then eaten wet or dried in a low oven (less than 150 degrees) or in the sun for 12 to 24 hours.

Nuts prepared in the above way can be eaten alone (chewed well) or cooked with food. They can also be blended to create wonderful nut butters.


“Beans, beans, magical fruit.

The more you eat, the more you eat.

The more you love, the better you feel.

So let’s eat beans for every meal!”

– My primary school

Legumes are known for their challenges with digestibility, but many traditional societies largely survived on beans without challenge. 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 out the soaking water and rinse well. Cook the beans until they are soft and skim off the foam that rises to the surface. Finally, rinse the pods once more and add the appropriate spices and natural salt, lemon juice or milk-fermented vegetable liquid, and raw butter or olive oil.

The most sattvic legumes are mung beans and aduki beans. Small amounts of tofu are fine, but soy should otherwise only be taken in fermented forms such as miso, tempeh and natto, as these preparations neutralize natural harmful substances.

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


Most sattvic spices are mild and tend to be sweet with pungent and bitter notes. They can be consumed in abundance because they help in the digestion of other foods and have numerous health benefits. These spices are numerous, but a few examples include: cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, ginger, and turmeric.

Very hot spices such as hot peppers or chilies and garlic are more rajasic and stimulating, and spices that are irradiated are lifeless and tamasic.


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

Sattvic drink choices include: pure spring water, raw milk, sattvic teas made from herbs such as chamomile and peppermint, 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 dairy products, cereals, fruits and nuts.

Adapted from Nutritional Supplements for Enlightenment: A Guide to Inner Peace and Self-Realization by Jacob Griscom, CAS

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