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Nourishment for the Mind - The Gunas - Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas

Ayurvedic nutrition and the influence on our mind

The nutritional science of Ayurveda is very extensive and offers an individual selection of foods, spices and preparations for each person. The individual diets are based, among other things, on the system of moods, called gunas.

Ayurveda distinguishes between three different states of mind that can be influenced by our diet. However, just as diet affects our mood, our mood also affects our appetite.

The Ayurvedic "Gunas"


Tamas is called the state of mind of sleep, sloth and depression. People in this condition tend to consume processed foods, reheated foods, fast foods, and canned foods. Conversely, foods like the ones mentioned above, but also old cheese, alcohol and white sugar encourage this sluggishness over time. We feel drained and can't pull ourselves together.


Rajas is called the state of mind of activity, but also of anger and restlessness. Spicy foods and spices, such as chili and garlic, are considered to be Rajasic foods. Likewise, all stimulating food and drinks. Coffee not only makes you active, but conversely, restless people in particular tend to drink too much of it. Rajasic minds often toss and turn at night, suffer from stress and cannot find peace.


Only a sattwic diet helps here. Sattwa is the state of mind of balance and harmony. We find it easier to get into this state when our food is fresh and as unprocessed as possible. The sattvic foods include above all fresh fruit and vegetables, but also milk, cereals and fresh herbs.

I do it like this:

The road to sattwa is always via rajas, so when I'm tired or sluggish, I consciously choose stimulating foods. I season with pepper and chilli and try to bring some momentum back into the day. When I feel restless, I avoid those foods.

Despite the stress of everyday life, I always try to put the freshest, sattwic food on the table, so as not to give rajas and tamas a chance.

Would you like to delve deeper?

Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Gunas can do so in one of my seminars. The next seminar "Ayurveda Nutrition" will take place on March 27th, 2021. Further information at

Our authorNicole Krämer is an Ayurveda and nutritionist from Siegburg. She gives cooking courses and seminars in her practice for prevention, shoots DVDs like "Vegan cooking in spring" and, as an Ayurveda cook, accompanies seminars and cures in Ayurveda clinics and health centers.


Practice for prevention/

Cooking School Siegburg

Cecilienstr. 52

53721 Siegburg


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