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Ayurvedic Diet for Vata Body Type

Ayurvedic Diet for Vata Body Type

Ayurvedic Principals

The philosophy behind Ayurveda believes that the whole universe comprises of five main elements – Air, Fire, Water, Ether and Earth.  These five elements are represented in the three doshas of – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.   The moment any of the doshas exceed their desired amount, problems of imbalance will occur.

Ayurveda offers some of the best methods to help restore the right balance.  Ayurveda advises on both nutritional guidelines and lifestyle changes.  Once the changes are implemented, equilibrium is met.

Panchakarma or the Theory of Detoxification is a pioneering Ayurvedic principal, designed to reinstate harmony within the three doshas.  Panchakarma helps to create smooth circulation through the body. Excess and undesirable toxins are removed, thereby restoring one’s health.

Ayurvedic Body Type in relation to diet 

In Ayurvedic medicine, diet is of the utmost importance.  One needs to follow a regular eating lifestyle, for ultimate health.  In Ayurvedic tradition, every person has a specific body type and it is important to understand that exact type. When Ayurvedic practitioners look at their patients, they determine the body type, then prescribe the appropriate diet.  A healthy diet complete with the correct foods for that particular dosha, means imbalances will be eliminated and the body will have abundant energy.

Diet for Vata Dosha

Those who are predominately Vata in dosha, generally are seen to be very thin.  Vata energy helps physiological activities such as the motor and sensory functions.  A Vata diet requires moist, warm cooked food.  One should choose to eat steamed and boiled goods. Spices such as basil, oregano, thyme, ginger and tarragon are best for the Vata dosha.  Fried, baked, cold, frozen and canned foods are to be avoided altogether.

Vata-Balancing Nutritional Guidelines

According to Ayurveda, it is important to eat foods that have a balancing effect upon the dominant dosha or that will pacify (stabilize) a dosha that has become excessive or aggravated. Since Vata is drying, cooling and light, favour foods that are oily, warming, or heavy. The best tastes to pacify Vata are sweet, salty and sour. Minimize foods that are pungent, bitter, or astringent.

Recommendations:

  1. To balance the lightness of Vata, eat larger quantities, but don’t overeat.
  2. All sweeteners pacify Vata and may be taken in moderation.
  3. Fats and oils are beneficial to the digestive system and help reduce Vata. Use up to 3 teaspoons daily of ghee or extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Rice and wheat are the best grains for balancing Vata. Reduce the amount of barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, and rye.
  5. Favour sweet, heavy fruits such as bananas, avocados, mangoes, apricots, plums, berries, coconut, figs, grapefruit, orange, lemon, melons, papaya, peaches, pineapples, rhubarb, kiwi, dates, nectarines and dried fruits.
  6. Eat fewer dry or light fruits such as apples, cranberries, pears, and pomegranates. To ease digestion, fruits are best eaten lightly cooked, sautéed or eaten alone.
  7. Cooked vegetables are best. Raw vegetables should be minimized. Favour asparagus, beets, and carrots. Other vegetables may be taken in moderation if cooked in ghee or extra virgin olive oil, including peas, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and sweet potatoes.
  8. Sprouts and cabbage tend to produce gas and should be minimized.
  9. Dairy products pacify Vata. For optimal digestion, boil milk before drinking it and consume it while warm.
  10. Spices that pacify Vata include cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, basil, asafetida, cilantro, fennel, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme, and black pepper.
  11. All varieties of nuts are recommended.
  12. Beans can aggravate Vata, so minimize your consumption of them, with the exception of tofu and mung bean dahl.
  13. For non-vegetarians, use fresh, organic chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs.

Note: Favouring heavy foods such as sweets, oils, and richer foods may contribute to weight gain. Focus on natural grains, and heavy, moist fruits and vegetables. Keep your sweets to a minimum and use low-fat milk products. Cook your food for easy digestion.

Summary

Ayurveda holds the key to eliminating a plethora of problems and ailments.  A specific diet chart is allocated for each body type/dosha and their issue/ailment. The right methodical application of Ayurvedic concepts balances the patient, increases their energetic vitality, therefore enabling them to lead a much healthier, happier lifestyle.

 

Dr. Santosh Yadav BAMS

Ayurvedic Practitioner

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