Definition - What does Suddha Ahara mean?
Suddha ahara is a term that refers to what nourishes the body, and typically means “pure food.” The term comes from the Sanskrit suddha, meaning “purity,” and ahara, meaning “intake” or “taking.”
Although not as common a definition, suddha ahara can also refer to the purity of other types of “intake,” including purity of thoughts. Whatever the type of intake, suddha ahara is a discipline used on the path to higher consciousness, self-realization and union with the divine.
Yogapedia explains Suddha Ahara
As a dietary discipline, suddha ahara is one of the spiritual yoga sadhanas. It is believed that in order to obtain purity of mind, the yogi must first control his senses. Suddha ahara controls the sense of taste, teaches self-discipline and prevents disease. As to the latter point, suddha ahara is a discipline used for healing in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine.
According to Swami Sivanandaji Saraswati Maharaj, practicing suddha ahara means not overeating and choosing simple foods, as if they were medicine, simply for the purpose of nourishing the body, rather than for pleasure. His specific recommendations include giving up the foods that the mind craves for two weeks, giving up salt and sugar for a month, and living on rice, bread and dahl. He further recommended fruit and milk to aid concentration. According to the swami, spices and flavorings such as garlic, onion, mustard, tamarind and chilies should be avoided.