What To Eat On A Rastafarian Diet: A Quick Guide To Rasta Foods

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If you like Jamaica and you want to experience life like a true Rastafarian, there are some things you need to change in your diet.

First of all, the Rastafarian often reject the Western lifestyle because they think that western cultures are built on vanity, greed, materials, and unethical behavior.

When it comes to their diet, the Rastafarians believe that their body is a temple and they treat it as such.

In this article, we are going to show you the most important things you need to know about this diet and lifestyle.

If you find it interesting and would like to try it, make sure to read everything about the Rastafarian diet before getting started. It’s always good to know exactly what to expect before diving into the unknown.

Now let’s see what this diet is all about.

Rastafarian lifestyle and diet
Rastafarian Man | Image by Photo by Kristen Sturdivant

Rastafarian Diet

The Role of Ital

The culture, religion and many aspects of the Rastafarians’ life, including their diet is based on Ital. This translates to vital and it shows the strong relationship between Jamaicans and the environment.

When it comes to food, Ital plays an important role. The Rastafarian diet, which is based on the Ital beliefs, contains only natural, pure food.

You can’t simply start the Rastafarian diet without knowing more about Ital and its involvement in the Rasta circles. While in most of the cases, the Ital diet is associated with vegetarianism, the Rastafarian diet is more then that. It’s actually a way of healthy and pure life.

This diet is similar to the one Jewish have.

Before you decide that this is the right diet for you, it’s important to understand that a vegan diet raises some health concerns. Because it is very restrictive, most people can’t undergo this diet for more than a month or two.

The Contemporary Rastafarian Diet

vegetable stand at market
Rastafarian diet is vegetarian

Since the Rastafarian movement in the 1930s, a lot of things have changed. For instance, because of the globalization, the diet is now a lot more flexible then it used to be. Nowadays, you can keep the contemporary Rastafarian diet anytime you want to embrace a healthy lifestyle.

Due to the genetically modified organisms and the fear of diseases, the movement is growing. If you want to take on this diet, make sure to stack your fridge with natural food and a lot of healthy snacks.

Now let’s see what you are allowed to eat.

Eating Like a True Rastafarian

Rastafarian man on beach

The Rastafarian diet is based only on food that doesn’t have any additives, food coloring, flavoring, and preservatives. Also, it’s important to choose food that doesn’t contain salt.

Fortunately, you can add natural spices and herbs if you want to give more flavor to your food. Of course, packaged foods are not allowed.

First of all, the most important things on this diet are vegetables and fruits. As you might expect, most of these need to be eaten raw. This is an important rule to follow because by cooking the vegetables or the fruits you lose a lot of their nutritional quality.

coconut cut in half
Coconut is a staple in the Rasta Diet. Image Photo by Photo by Jeswin Thomas


The coconut is one of the most used ingredients. It is used as a fruit, oil or milk. This gives a lot of flavor to your food and it’s also a lot healthier than other vegetable oils.

If coconut is not your favorite, you can choose from a variety of fruits including oranges, strawberries, papaya, and melons.

Rastafarian diet
Cutting coconut Photo by Kevin Sanon

Also, you can eat onions, carrots, yams, and many leafy greens. Other options include peppers, pumpkin, mango, guava, passion fruit banana, breadfruit, coconut, avocado, sugar apple, soursop, tamarind.

Green leafy vegetables including collard greens, kale and spinach-like green called callaloo.

breadfruit growing on tree
Breadfruit is another stable of the Rasta Diet. Image Juhele

Nuts and grains are also allowed in this diet. You can eat brown rice and many roasted seeds which add flavor to the fruits and vegetables.

Also, these are great resources of protein, so you might want to load up on peas and beans because you are not allowed to eat meat, unless it’s fish and shellfish which needs to be bigger than 12 inches.

You might wonder what you are allowed to drink when you have this diet. Well, the best drink is obviously fruit juices and herbal drinks.

You can also try smoothies and cranberry water. Alcohol is forbidden. Also, you need to exclude coffee, soda, and other processed drinks because they are unhealthy.


These are some of the most important things you should know before you start the Rastafarian diet. Before you start any diet, it’s recommended that you check it out with your doctor and see if you are allowed.

Considering the fact that this is a diet full of nutrients and minerals, most people can do it. However, the protein deficit is a real concern, especially for those who don’t like beans and peas.

About the author

Mae has travelled to over 40 countries and lived in 8. Born in St. Petersburg, Mae grew up in Lithuania and has spent most of her adult life in the UK. She has been blogging for over 8 years and is the lead editor on Travel Belles.

1 thought on “What To Eat On A Rastafarian Diet: A Quick Guide To Rasta Foods”

  1. Shellfish is not allowed on Rasta diets because it violates rules of Leviticus regarding clean (kosher) food.

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