Best Ways to Harmonize Your Diet with Ayurveda
Ayurveda is ancient wisdom known as “the science of life” and is an alternative form of medicine that has been practiced for over 5,000 years. Many of us turn to Ayurveda and the Ayurvedic diet to cure our body in a holistic way that considers the entirety of our being.
The Ayurvedic diet looks at eating, cutting out, or restricting particular foods based on our dosha (otherwise known as our body type). To understand what Ayurveda says about diet more meaningfully, we first must look at the doshas.
What are the Doshas?
According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha is a type of energy, body, and personality. When boiled down to their elemental types, Vata is air, Pitta is fire, and Kapha is earth. Everyone is born with a unique combination of doshas, although having a “dominant” dosha is most common.
Each dosha has unique needs and is unique, beautiful, and divinely inspired. Within the Ayurvedic tradition, there is an excellent focus on balancing, harmonizing, and healing the doshas through foods and activities. If you’re interested in discovering which dosha you are, feel free to take a dosha test here. Prepare to be amazed!
Vata Dosha (Air)
The Vata dosha is the dosha of creativity, spontaneity, and energy. Vata types carry innovative minds, short memory, and rapid brain processing. Vatas are outgoing, laid-back, clever, and eager to learn. They embody the nomadic spirit of the doshas, as their ability to adapt quickly serves them well in traveling and new situations. They can flourish in various arts, such as research, writing, marketing, and education.
Renowned as a “people person,” Vatas has no trouble making new friends and making the most out of social situations. When stressed out, however, they may lack patience, confidence, and willpower.
Vata qualities include:
- Dry skin and hair
- Brittle nails
- Feels the cold
- A lean figure may struggle to put on weight
Pitta Dosha (Fire)
The Pitta dosha is the fiery side of the doshas. Pittas are armed with willpower, capable of decisive action, and are goal-oriented. They like to get things done. They seek to excel in everything they do with a fiery passion, which can make them frustrated and judgemental when things don’t go their way.
They are friendly, hospitable, and genuine. Pittas are great workers, well-organized, and carry a strong memory.
Pitta’s qualities include:
- Medium build, maybe muscular
- Oily skin
- Little body hair
- Always hot
Kapha Dosha (Water/Earth)
Kaphas embody the gentle, caring, and calm dosha. Known for being grounded or wise, they are “earth” personified. Kaphas carry around the biggest hearts, trustworthy stability, and appreciate the beautiful things in life. Willing to take life at a slower pace, Kaphas may sometimes ignore the need for physical activity and slump into inertia and heaviness.
Kaphas are known for their impressive strength and stamina. If able to push themselves, Kaphas will likely easily maintain their health, power, and energy.
Kapha’s qualities include:
- Larger build
- Soft features, full lips, big eyes
- Soft skin
- Stable temperament
As you understand your own dosha’s needs, you’ll be fully prepared to take advantage of its inner “secrets” and be able to harmonize your body more efficiently. Food, for example, is an excellent way to balance your dosha, body, and spirit.
Balancing Vata Through Diet
You may need to balance Vata dosha if you’re particularly sensitive to the cold or want to start feeling more grounded in your mind. You’ll want to eat foods opposite to Vata dosha’s qualities.
If Vata dosha is cold and dry, this means an increase in warm, moist foods.
Here are some ideas:
- Chai tea
- Butternut squash soup
- Gnocchi with pesto
- Baked sweet potatoes
Balancing Pitta Through Diet
Pitta dosha may need balancing if you feel fiery, irritated, or have an infection/rash. To balance Pitta dosha, you’ll need to eat foods that are sweet, bitter, and cool – the opposite of the fiery qualities of Pitta.
Here are some ideas:
- Fruit salad
- Date and almond shake
- Vegetable omelet
- Tofu, rice, and greens
- Wholegrain pasta with mushrooms and red pepper
- Vegetarian burgers
Balancing Kapha Through Diet
To balance Kapha dosha
You may need to balance Kapha dosha if you’re feeling exhausted or find that you’re frequently procrastinating. Dry, light, and warming flavors are best for balancing Kapha dosha; you’ll want to avoid eating foods high in oil, protein, salt, or sugar.
Here are some ideas:
- Stewed apples and a fruit smoothie
- Muesli with warm, plant-based milk
- Vegetable soup
- Lemongrass curry
- Sweet potato soup
- Lentil bolognese
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