The food we take has profound effect on our physical and mental health. Those that want to elevate their mind to higher states of consciousness through meditation and yoga need to carefully select those types of food that are conducive to their health and mental clarity.
Food is divided into three categories based on their qualities and effect on the mind and body.
Sentient Foods (sattvik)
This type of food is conducive to mental and physical health and includes rice, cereals and other grains, beans and lentils (excluding orange / red type), fresh and dried vegetables and fruits, sprouts, dried fruits and nuts, all kinds of vegetarian oils, milk and milk products, honey, herbs and herbal teas (excluding narcotics of all kinds), spices with purely sentient ingredients (without onions, garlic and mushrooms), and seaweeds. Cucumber is sentient and good for health in the morning and daytime but has static effect in the night.
Mutative Foods (rajasik)
This type of food may or may not be good for the body but is not harmful for the mind in moderate amounts. It is stimulating and gives energy and includes dark chocolate, coffee and tea (green, black and white tee), ginseng and very hot spices (red chilly), etc.
Static Food (támasik)
The static foods may or may not be good for the body but are certainly harmful to the mind and are therefore strictly avoided by those practicing Ananda Marga meditation. This type of food tends to make the mind dull and lethargic and easily prone to anger, short-tempered and other negative emotions as it heats and activates the lower glands. This category includes: meat, fish, eggs, onions (also leek and other types of onions), garlic, mushrooms, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and narcotics. Any processed food that contains any of the mentioned items will also have the static energy. Any food that has become stale or rotten will also have the same effect. Over eating at one time, even sentient food, will also have a static effect on the mind and body.