“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food”– Hippocrates
In life we have all kinds of experiences; sweet, bitter and sour. What is important is to strike a balance and seek for inner peace. This philosophy is the crux of Ayurvedic diet as well. According to Ayurveda we must align our diet to our dosha body type. Our bodies are made up of three doshas; vata, pitha and kapha. These are the energies that make up our body but in different proportions. The basic philosophy of Ayurveda is that mind body and health must be in harmony. When a particular energy starts dominating the rest, there is an imbalance. By following an Ayurveda recommended diet, one can maintain a healthy and a happy lifestyle.
Food recommendations for people with predominant dosha type.
1. Vata: People with predominant qualities of vata are always on the go. When there is an imbalance in their body their activities will start to feel out of control.
• Try to minimize foods that are pungent, bitter and astringent. As these tastes tend to increase vata.
• You must eat foods that are heavy, oily or warm.
• Include rice, wheat and oats. These must be perfectly cooked, so that they can be easily digested. Avoid barley, corn, millet, buck wheat and rye.
• When it comes to fruits you will benefit from bananas, avocados, mangoes, plums, berries, melons, papaya, peaches, cherries and nectarines.
• Spices and herbs that calm vata are cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, basil, asafetida, cilantro, fennel, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme and black pepper.
2. Pitha: People with pitha as a dominating energy type enjoy a strong appetite and have the ability to digest food, information and experiences.
• Spicy, pungent, salty and sour foods aggravate pitha and should be minimized.
• Dairy products help balance the heat of pitta. It is recommended that you favor butter, ghee, milk and ice creams. Avoid fermented foods like yogurt, sour cream and cheese as sour taste increases pitha.
• Best fruits to eat are grapes, melons, cherries , mangoes and oranges. Basically those that reduce the intensity in your body and maintain the right balance.
• Nuts increase pitha dosha. However, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are an exception.
• Use seasonings that will soothe your body. Coriander, cardamom, saffron and fennel have a cooling effect.
3. Kapha: People with a predominance of kapha have a powerful build, good physical strength and love eating.
• Try to minimize the consumption of sweet, sour or salty tastes. These increase kapha.
• Consume foods that are light, dry or warm.
• Dairy products increase kapha so, reduce the intake of butter, yogurt and cheese. You can opt for small amounts of ghee, low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt.
• Honey is that magic potion that balances kapha. Other sweeteners increase kapha dosha resulting in blocked sinuses, allergies, colds, lethargy and weight gain.
• Pungent spices like pepper, cayenne, mustard seeds and ginger must be used in generous amounts in your daily diet.
Ayurveda is all about making the right food choices. In the wise world of Ayurveda you are what you eat. So discover your doshic predominance here http://www.holisticonline.com/ayurveda/w_ayurveda-dtest1.htm and eat what’s apt for you for a healthy body and mind.