Each dosha has an energy associated with it, and it dictates the kind of food one should consume. When you eat according to your dosha, you increase your body’s ability to prevent and manage illness, be more mindful, and preserve your overall health and wellness. So come let’s dive deep into the complete guide of what an Ayurveda diet is and what all you should consider before getting on one.
Here is a beginner's guide to Ayurvedic Diet -
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian self-healing healing practice that goes back around 5000 years. Derived from ancient Vedic and Sanskrit writings, Ayurveda advocates that we are all made up of different kinds of energy. It further states that our main mind/ body is described by three doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
The three doshas are present in everyone, however, we all have a dominant dosha out of three, and the rest of the two work together in the body in balance. When our body is healthy, our doshas function in a state of balance and we start healthy living. When their state of balance gets disrupted we get more prone to acquiring diseases, some of which are manifested as skin conditions, digestive problems, excessive stress, sleep-related issues, and general irritability.
An Ayurvedic diet can help you combat problems that can be caused by an imbalance of your doshas and promotes attentive eating and mindfulness. By the use of Ayurvedic medicine, you can achieve a strong and healthy lifestyle by incorporating a variety of dietary, exercise, and lifestyle habits that leads to an overall increase in good health.
Those who get on an ayurvedic diet mostly consume whole foods and majorly cut back on processed foods, almost like going back to your roots and eating to nourish yourself. Ayurvedic herbs say that 90% of the problems and general diseases are linked to your stomach and one should respect their ayurvedic body type and not treat it as a “dumping ground”.
Types of Doshas and what you can eat
Vata (Air and Space)
The Vata dosha is in charge of body mobility, the nervous system, and most importantly the body’s elimination process. It tends to be cool, crisp, moving rapidly, and in a state of constant flux. People with a dominant Vata dosa are dynamic individuals who are always on the go. They are active and eager to use their creativity when they function in a state of balance.
Foods to eat
Vata responds well to warm, nourishing, and nutritious foods. It is preferred that as a Vata you eat foods that are somewhat heavy in their nutritional value as well as incorporate extra butter and fat. Relaxing and gratifying flavors like sweet, salty, and sour are preferred. Some examples are Apples, cardamom, chickpeas, cumin, turmeric, cherries, beef, eggs, fish, black pepper, raw nuts and nut butter, ghee, lentils, millet, warm soups, and stews, etc. Herbal drinks and teas are also a great addition.
Foods to avoid - Salads, chilled drinks, raw veggies and greens, caffeinated beverages, excess sugar, and unripe fruits are all bad for people who are in a state of Vata imbalance.
2. Pitta (Fire and some Water)
The Pitta dosha tends to have a lot of fire. They eat more and tend to have a large appetite that digests food efficiently. Their robust digestive abilities tend to help them digest a variety of food without any difficulties. Their temperament is generally hot-headed but they are also extremely bright individuals. Their diet generally contains a high amount of salt and spice.
Foods to eat
Pittas should consume relatively cool and warm foods that are of a sizable texture. Boiling foods are to be strictly avoided. Salads and milk are cool foods to eat to stay refreshed in the summers. Other foods include whole grains, pasta, broccoli, egg whites, white meat, coconut, etc. Incorporating herbal teas can help soothe them and improve gut health.
Foods to avoid - Pittas should keep a check on their consumption of butter and fat. Pickles and heavy dairy items are to be avoided. Oily, spicy, salty, and fried food should be consumed in very little quantities. Hot beverages and heavy nuts are also to be avoided.
3. Kapha (Earth and Water)
People with the Kapha dosha tend to have heavier bodies and can store fluids like water and fat quite well in their bodies. Their demeanor is naturally soft and melodious and they are loyal beings who maintain a balanced relationship with their loved ones. Their body thickly eliminates food and there is a huge influence of water on their general well-being.
Foods to eat
Warmer, dryer, and lighter meals are preferred for the Kapha dosa. Consuming spicy foods, unlike Pitta is helpful for Kapha dosa, especially in the colder months of the year. Other foods to add to the Kapha diet are cottage cheese, carrots and celery, wine, buttermilk, and seafood. Foods that are steamed and poached work wonders for their gut health.
Foods to avoid - The Kapha dosa should avoid overindulging in excessive sweet and fatty foods. Rice, pasta, wheat, and foods rich in carbs should be limited. Kapha’s have a natural tendency to overindulge and should consume small and frequent meals throughout the day to manage their health.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Diet
More focused on nutrition than taste
The ayurvedic diet encourages you to bring your attention to only locally sourced and whole foods and resist the urge to indulge in manufactured and processed food. Unlike other diets, there are no food restrictions in this diet. The only effort required from your side is to look at nutrition in a broader sense and eat foods according to your body’s natural makeup.
Can help in weight loss
There are a variety of benefits of following this diet like better sleep, increased immunity, and improved levels of energy. Another benefit that is not talked about more often in weight loss. Eating according to your dosha and promotes mindful eating that helps you make better decisions when it comes to eating, resulting in you shedding those extra kilos.
More sustainable than fad diets
There are no stringent rules to be followed in this diet that makes the adaptability of this diet more suitable for a long time. The key to sustaining this diet is to eat foods that improve digestive health, which in turn reduces inflammation in the body that can give rise to unwanted diseases.
Stabilizes your mood
Ayurveda advocates that harmful moods like anger, jealousy, ego, etc. are closely tied to the kind of foods you consume. When you eat according to your body’s natural makeup, it results in effective mood stabilization. When you feed your body with the right kind of nutrition, it works to establish harmony between your mental and physical state.
The Ayurvedic diet can be instrumental in bringing out lifestyle changes and improving overall wellness, especially if you are battling endocrine disorders. The basic principle is to eat foods that have health benefits and boost your immunity to function as a healthier and happier individual.
You can also try one of our juice to feel rejuvenated.
The best part about this diet is that it can be tailored to your individual needs after judging all your health parameters. Our aim is to simplify the various kinds of information going around about the ayurvedic diet so that you can make an informed decision and consciously work on your health.
Authored By : Tanya Thukral
Tanya is an Ayurvedic doctor who has a deep interest in spreading the message of healing and restoration through the age-old systems of Ayurveda and Yoga