Jain diet

Jainism is an ancient culture and religion originating from the Indian subcontinent.

Jains follow a principle of non-violence against all life forms which is reflected in their vegetarian diet practices.

As described by French Jain scholar, Dr. Pierre Amiel, “Jains are vegetarians. We eat vegetables, squash, beans, peas, tomatoes, fruits and salad. We do not eat steak, hamburger, hot dog, or any other type of meat. We forbid from our diet chickens, eggs, turkeys, and all types of poultry. The same is true of fish, crustaceans and other seafood. We, Jains, respect all forms of life. Also, we avoid any food product that would involve suffering, injury or death. We even try to minimize the violence caused to plants. As a result, we avoid consuming roots such as, onions, garlic, beets, carrots and potatoes. We do not recommend drinking beer, wine, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverages. We should avoid any waste of food. And conversely, we should offer food to the poor. The Jains fast on holy days. We prefer to drink boiled water. We do not eat before sunrise and after bedtime.”

Resources about Jain culture and religion can be found at JAINA (Federation of Jain Associations in North America) and the International School for Jain Studies.

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About This Diet

Foods that are restricted include:
Animal products.
Fermented foods and foods with yeast.
Root vegetables.
Aged cheeses.

Foods that are maybe OK in some instances include:
Non-aged or fermented milk and dairy.

Foods that are OK include:
Fresh cheeses.

Note: Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet.


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