What Are Rajasic Foods to Avoid

Rajasic food, characterized by its stimulating and intense nature, comes under the second category of foods in the Ayurvedic hierarchy. These foods are believed to energize the entire system, specifically the nervous system. However, besides having a favorable effect on the intellect, these foods encourage aggression.

It is recommended not to consume Rajasic food in excess as the imbalance can derange the equilibrium between mind and body. Comprised mainly of spicy, salt, and hot ingredients, the following are some of the Rajasic foods to avoid, including:

Spices (Salt, Pepper, and Chili)

Rajasic foods usually contain spices like salt, pepper, and chili. However, it is said that excess of everything is bad, and consuming these spices daily can alter the physiology of our body.

Salt is composed of sodium and chloride. Although an appropriate amount of salt does help with various bodily functions, the excess can lead to health issues. High sodium levels can disrupt the balance of fluids in the body which leads to water retention and increased blood pressure. Continuous high blood pressure can stress the cardiovascular system, indicating the risk of heart problems and stroke.

Similarly, pepper, particularly black pepper, contains an active compound called piperine. Piperine can irritate the gastrointestinal lining which leads to digestive issues like heartburn, stomach discomfort, and acid reflux.

Chili peppers have capsaicin, the compound behind the spiciness. Capsaicin can irritate the stomach lining which causes gastrointestinal discomfort, heartburn, and even ulcers in sensitive individuals.


The main ingredient of alcohol is ethanol. Moderate intake of alcoholic drinks, like wine, can bring some health benefits. However, drinking too much alcohol might have negative effects. It can lead to dehydration due to extra fluid loss and affect the various bodily functions causing fatigue, headaches, and impaired cognition.

The liver is responsible for digesting alcohol, and excessive intake can damage the liver including fatty liver, inflammation (hepatitis), and even cirrhosis in severe cases. Alcohol abuse over time can seriously compromise the liver function.

Alcohol also affects the central nervous system which impairs judgment, coordination, and memory loss. Chronic alcohol abuse can result in long-term cognitive impairments and an increased chance of developing neurological disorders such as dementia.

Tea and Coffee

Caffeine, a natural stimulant that affects the central nervous system, can be found in coffee and tea. Caffeine encourages the release of adrenaline, temporarily boosting alertness and energy levels. Excessive coffee intake can lead to caffeine addiction and withdrawal symptoms if the consumption is abruptly reduced or stopped.

Caffeine is a diuretic which can maximize the urine production and potentially lead to dehydration if adequate fluid intake is not maintained. Additionally, it can increase the heart rate and blood pressure, as well as bring on agitation, irritability, anxiety, and disturbed sleep patterns. Be mindful of caffeine consumption, or maybe switch to decaffeinated options.

Fried Foods

Fried food may seem mouth-watering. However, the process behind cooking such delicious delicacies is not so tempting. The oil that is used to fry food is high in trans fat which leads to nutritional and chemical composition alteration. The bad cholesterol levels are increased, and the good cholesterol levels are decreased by the trans fats that is produced during frying.

This imbalance in cholesterol levels can result in heart disease, cardiovascular conditions, and stroke. Acrylamide is another compound that is formed by frying certain food items such as potatoes. Although there is no direct link to human beings, it is known to cause animal cancer. That is why it is advised to lower the consumption of fried food.

Processed Foods

The technique to manufacture the processed food is rather artificial. They frequently include extra sugar, salt, and bad fats. Maltose, high fructose corn syrup, or sucrose are three examples of added sugar. Consuming too much might result in diabetes, obesity, or weight gain.

Majority of the time, processed foods are deficient in vital nutrients including vitamins, fiber, and minerals. They frequently lack the healthy ingredients that are found in complete foods like phytochemicals and antioxidants. Excessive reliance on processed foods can lead to a diet deficient in important nutrients for general health and well-being.

Soft Drinks

Carbonated water, significant amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners, and varied flavors are commonly found in soft drinks or soda. They always lure you into consuming them daily, making you addicted to them.

High levels of added sugar lead to excessive calorie intake which leads to obesity and an increased risk of developing a Type 2 diabetes. On the contrary, soda’s acidity can also contribute to tooth decay.


Pickles are usually made by fermenting or pickling vegetables in a brine solution that contains salt, vinegar, and various spices. While pickles can be enjoyed with a wide variety of food items, excess can be harmful.

Pickles with high sodium content can contribute to high blood pressure, water retention, and cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, vinegar is the most common ingredient in any pickle recipe. Vinegar may cause heartburn or digestive problems due to acetic acid.


Spinach is a very nutritious food. It includes a number of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. However, excess intake can hamper certain bodily functions like interactions with medications.

Spinach also contains oxalates which are naturally occurring compounds that can lead to the production of stones in the kidneys. Excessive intake of foods high in oxalates, like spinach, may increase the risk of kidney stone formation.

Red Lentils

Red lentils, highly nutritious legumes, are rich in carbohydrates which provides a significant energy source. However, one drawback of consuming a carbohydrate-rich food is the risk of weight gain and the development of Type 2 diabetes.

Another risk with excessive consumption is the extra strain on the kidneys due to protein absorption. This excess protein can harm the patients with potential kidney issues. The health can escalate further if the intake is not moderate.

Refined Sugar

Refined sugar, also known as sucrose, is composed of glucose and fructose. It can be quickly digested because it has a high glycemic index. Although this feature sounds beneficial, quick absorption leads to a spike in blood sugar levels. Frequent consumption can develop risks of insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolism disorder.

Refined sugar lacks essential nutrients and dietary fibers. It might result in an imbalanced, nutritionally insufficient diet. Another reason to avoid having refined sugar is that there is a risk of a spike in insulin release which promotes fat storage that leads to obesity and weight gain.


As per the food philosophy, excess Rajasic food can make a person aggressive and play with cognitive abilities. Rajasic cuisine is therefore recommended to consume during the noon time for quick digestion and absorption. So, keep a check on your dietary plan and regulate your choice of food items accordingly.

About the author

Navkiran Kaur