What Is a Helpful Diet for Meditation?


Please suggest a good diet plan for entire day so that I can practice meditation properly

I hear about sattvik diet but iam not sure about it. Please suggest a perfect diet plan.

—Sushman KOTIPALLI, India


Dear Sushman,

The subject of diets in this modern age is fraught with challenges and opinions. But in former times in India, as you presumably know, a vegetarian diet was considered best for yoga practice and Self-realization. But even this varies greatly among Hindu vegetarian-yogis. Garlic? Onion? unfertilized eggs? Local customs and local produce, too, inject so many variables. To reply fully would require another book to be written. However, in truth, it need not be complicated. In fact, Yogananda-ji warned us from making our diet yet another religion. Fanaticism in matters of diet is, alas, all too common.

Any diet that suits your constitution and promotes health, calmness, and non-attachment is fine. Vegetarianism is, of course, highly recommended for those who can adapt to it. In general, sattvic foods: those that are fresh and only lightly cooked vegetables and of course fresh fruits are best.

Carbohydrates (rice, wheat, lentils, etc) are generally necessary for most constitutions but should be consumed lightly because they can be heavy in the stomach and intestines. Cheese and dairy, especially if fresh, are fine for those who can absorb them. Processed foods and refined sugar, rice, and wheat are considered even by nutritionists to be unhealthy and caution should be employed not to overconsume these. Tea and coffee are considered mildly addictive and stimulating though, here again, in this modern and rajasic culture, are difficult to avoid. In all things, moderation should be the key. Modern guidelines for healthy eating are generally a good resource.

If one’s circumstance or body requires some meat, it is best to avoid beef and pork. Lamb, chicken and fish are better for those who need such things. There are, however, nowadays many meat substitutes available for those living in cities.

It may be helpful for you to experiment rationally and with valid nutritional counsel in order to arrive at a diet that is healthy for you but also fits your family, culture, budget and circumstances. Be reasonable; be non-attached; be healthy!

Blessings to you!
Nayaswami Hriman