Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 8
Aayuh sattwabalaarogya sukha preetivi vardhanaah;
Rasyaah snigdhaah sthiraa hridyaa aahaaraah saattwikapriyaah.
Foods which increase life, purity, strength, health, joy and cheerfulness,
which are oleaginous and savoury, substantial and agreeable, are dear to the Sattwic people.
After talking about the food and its impact on a person’s faith and personality, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the food that is consumed by the Sattvik person. He says that Sattvik person likes the type of food that increases the span of his life. Next He talks about the purity. Sattvik person eats pure food which gives his strength, health, makes him feel cheeeful and joyous. Then Lord goes on to say that this sattvik food is juicy, fresh, nourishing and naturally tasteful without adding any external element to bring that taste. In short Lord is referring to fresh vegetarian food.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
I want to start with a quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Vegetarianism is a greater progress. From the greater clearness of head and quicker apprehension motivated him to become a vegetarian. Flesh-eating is an unprovoked murder.” Purity and strength are the corner stones for any food we consume. Food is the source of energy and the energy should be as pure as it can be. When you eat a fruit which is fresh or drink milk both the aspects of purity and strength are fulfilled. Not only that a sattvik person according to Lord Krishna always like wholesome foods like fresh fruits, vegetables etc. He also talks about foods that are made by adding these milk products or fruits directly which are taste and substantial in quantity.
The whole point that Lord Krishna wants to make here is that Sattwik people eat food that doesnt have any spicy elements. This brings life into their personality, and they will be able to think about the bigger benefit of humanity rather than thinking about his own self. For example a sage who lives on forest food is less on ambition and more on service. Thus whenever we go on fasting etc we are prescribed to eat this of food only. Thus sattwik people et food that helps them to develop nature which is universal and for helping others.