Types of Food Bhagavad Gita | What Gita Says About Food

Types of Food and its Effect on Our Mind

There are certain Types of Food suggested in Bhagavad Gita which help us to stay in the mode of goodness after consuming it.

Contents of the Article

According to Bhagavad Gita there are three kinds of food which are, Satvic,Rajasic and Tamasic and these three varities of food are further explained as 
1."Satvic" food which are in the mode of goodness.
2."Rajasic" food which are in the mode of passion.
3."Tamasic" food which are in the mode of ignorance.

Satvic people like juicy, smooth, kinds of food ,whereas Rajasic people likes foods that are very bitter,sour,hot,etc & Tamasic people likes foods that are stale,rotten,impure (such as meat & alcohol).

In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna share us about the consequences of eating different kinds of food. What we eat as it has direct effect on our body and our mind also . Many of us never think about effects of food on our body.

In Gita Sri Krishna explains 

These days people talks about proper diet and keto diet and many other forms of diet but they didn't pay attention to our Holy text Bhagavad Gita where Lord Krishna said about three types of food.

In Bhagavad Gita it is mentioned at various places about the importance of food in our day to day life.Lord Krishna tells in Bhagavad Gita that the types of food we eat has a direct effect on our mind and soul and choice of food reflects our personality .The purpose of the food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and to increase the strength of the body.

So lets look at the verses from the Bhagavad gita chapter 17 about the types of food.

Arjuna was a great warrior and he has everything that anyone could dream of at that stage or any stage of life.He was a prosperous king ,a great scholar ,trained by great saints and posses amazing skills.

Read Also What Bhagvad Gita Says About Anger and How to Control it 

At the midst of the battle he was asking Lord Krishna

What is the mode of devotion of those who perform spiritual practices with faith but without following the scriptural injunctions, O Krishna? Is it in the mode of goodness, passion, or ignorance? (17.01)

Lord Krishna replied: The natural faith of embodied beings is of three kinds: Goodness, Passion, and Ignorance. Now hear about these from Me. (17.02)

Persons in the mode of goodness (Sāttvic) worship celestial controllers; those in the mode of passion (Rājasic) worship supernatural rulers and demons; and those in the mode of ignorance (Tamasic)worship ghosts and spirits. (17.04)

Every human being is born with natural faith, which can be of three kinds—Sāttvic (mode of goodness), Rājasic(mode of passion), or Tamasic(mode of ignorance).

Types of Food (Bhagavad Gita Verses)

Satvic Food

Lord Krishna says; The foods that promote longevity, virtue, strength, health, happiness, and joy are juicy, smooth, substantial, and nutritious. Persons in the mode of goodness like such foods. (Bhagavad Gita 17:8)

Food that enhances longevity, mind, strength, health, happiness and joy, that which is juicy, oily, stable and pleasant, is dear to one who is saatvic.

Rajasic Food

Bhagavad Gita says about Rājasic food as People in the mode of passion like foods that are very bitter, sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry, and burning, and cause pain, grief, and disease.(Bhagavad Gita 17:9)

Food that is bitter, sour, salty, excessively hot, pungent, dry and burning, are dear to the raajasic person, causing pain, sorrow and disease.

Tamasic Food

Bhagavad Gita says about Tamasic food as People in the mode of ignorance like foods that are stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten, refuses, and impure (such as meat and alcohol).(Bhagavad Gita 17:10)

Detailed Explanation

Mental health is the key for overall health. Saatvic food will provide you peaceful mind,strong health,longevity and pleasant mood all the time.The reason behind the supremacy of Saatvic food is that ,it is easy to digest ,and when you intake the food it will keep your mood and body idle.It wont change the state of your body,because the food is smooth and juicy without any odour.

To live a happy and peaceful life mental health is more important.For a healthy mind, choice of food reflects your inner state.Foods in the mode of goodness are pure, and create a sense of happiness without changing the state of your mood.This can be felt practically just start taking Saatvic food and feel the essence of the natural food.  

God has created nector like foods but human made it poisonous by adding their ingredients.You will read everywhere about Intake of Saatvic food will help you spiritually, but actually it is not .One have to be very selective about the types of food he is going to add in their daily routine.

Now there will be an argument that we have seen even people used to have Saatvic food they behave like people with the quality of Tama guna.So here is the explanation shared below with the verses.

Bhagavad Gita 16:23
One who acts under the influence of desires, disobeying scriptural injunctions, neither attains perfection nor happiness, nor the Supreme Abode.

Bhagavad Gita 16:24
Therefore, let the scripture be your guide in determining what should be done and what should not be done.You should perform your duty following the scriptural injunction. 

As Lord krishna said we have to follow all the teachings of the scriptures in order to have better outcome. 
So Satvic food will help you to calm your body and mind so that you get the maximum advantage of the food as compared to Rajasic and Tamasic food. Where as Rajasic and Tamasic food generates a intoxicates vibe in the body which makes difficult to focus on spiritual things.

Now lets decode the exact verse one by one.

What is Satvic Food?

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 17 Verse 8(Satvic Food)

aayuh-sattva-bala-arogya-sukha-preeti-vivirdhanaahaa |
rasyaaha snigdhaaha sthiraa hridyaa aahaaraaha saattvikapriyaahaa ||


According to sloka , sattvika foods increase the life span (ayuh) and strength of will (sattva) as well as physical strength, freedom from disease, happiness.The food should be in the form of Juice . Sattvika food should be mild and oily in state (snigdha).Benefit of sattvika food includes long lasting (sthira) effect on the body. Sattvika food is beneficial to the heart  (hrdya), stomach and other organs as well. 


aayuhu : longevity
sattva : mind
balaha : strength
aarogyaha : health
sukhaha : happiness
preetihi : joy
vivirdhanaahaa : enhances
rasyaaha : juicy
snigdhaaha : oily
sthiraaha: stable
hridyaa : pleasant
aahaaraaha : food
saattvikapriyaahaa : dear to one who is saatvic

What is Rajasic food?

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 17 Verse 9(Rajasic food)

katv-amla-lavana-aty-ushna-teekshna-ruksha-vidaahinaha |
aahaaraa raajasasyeshtaa duhkhashokaamayapradaahaa ||

The food which tastes very bitter (katu) , Very sour, very salty and very hot are liked by Rajasic people hence it is called Rajasic food. Rājasic  food which has Very sharp foods (tiksna) are tumeric root and other items, or pepper. Very drying foods (ruksa) are hing and kodrava. Burning foods (vidahinah) are those that cause internal heat, such as burned chick peas. These cause suffering (duhkha), lamentation (soka), and disease (amayam). The word suffering here refers to suffering when eating, causing pain to the tongue, throat or other organ. In the future, those foods cause despair. Amaya means disease.

katv : bitter
amla : sour
lavana : salty
ati : excessively
ushna : hot
teekshna : pungent
ruksha : dry
vidaahinaha : burning
aahaaraahaa : food
raajasasya : raajasic person
ishtaahaa : dear
duhkhashokaamayapradaahaa : causing pain, sorrow and disease

Bhagavad Gita on food

What is Tamsasic Food?

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 17 Verse 10(Tamasic Food)

yaatayaamam gatarasam pooti paryushitam cha yat|
ucchishtamapi chaamedhyam bhoojanam taamasapriyam||

Now here Lord Krishna mentioned about Tamasic food. Stale(Yatayamam) means that food which has lost its original state, being kept for a long time.Tasteless(Gatarasam) means that which has lost its natural taste. Putrid (Puti) means emitting a bad smell.Decayed(Paryusitam) means acquiring a rancidity by lapse of time. Refuse(Ucchistam) means the food that has remained over after being partaken by persons other than Gurus, etc.Such foods are Unclean(Amedhyam) and these are not fit for offering in sacrifice or worship.


yaatayaamam : stale
gatarasam : without essence
pooti : putrid
paryushitam : leftover
cha : and
yat : that which
ucchishtam : pre-tasted
api : also
cha : and
amedhyam : impure
bhoojanam : food
taamasapriyam : dear to taamasic

So these were the Types of Food elaboration from Lord Krishna.
Intake of Saatvic food (as much as possible), not only provides healthy body and mind but also it is essential for spiritual health as well.

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