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Sattvic diet is a diet based on foods in Ayurveda and Yoga literature that contain sattva quality (guna). In this system of dietary classification, foods that harm the mind or body are considered Tamasic, while those that are neither positive or negative are considered Rajasic. Sattvic diet is meant to include food and eating habit that is "pure, essential, natural, vital, energy-containing, clean, conscious, true, honest, wise". Sattvic diet is a regimen that places emphasis on seasonal foods, fruits, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils, ripe vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and non-meat based proteins. Some Sattvic diet suggestions, such as its relative emphasis on dairy products, is controversial.
Sattvic diet is sometimes referred to as yogic diet in modern literature. In ancient and medieval era Yoga literature, the concept discussed is Mitahara, which literally means "moderation in eating".
Sattvic is derived from Sattva (सत्त्व) which is a Sanskrit word. Sattva is a complex concept in Indian philosophy, used in many contexts, and it means one that is "pure, essence, nature, vital, energy, clean, conscious, strong, courage, true, honest, wise, rudiment of life".
Sattva is one of three gunas (quality, peculiarity, tendency, attribute, property). The other two qualities are considered to be Rajas (agitated, passionate, moving, emotional, trendy) and Tamas (dark, destructive, spoiled, ignorant, stale, inertia, unripe, unnatural, weak, unclean). The concept that contrasts with and is opposed to Sattva is Tamas.
Sattvic diet is thus meant to include food and eating habit that is "pure, essential, natural, vital, energy-giving, clean, conscious, true, honest, wise".