fbpx

An Ayurvedic Diet – How To Eat For Your Dosha

Usha Anandi. 17 | NOVEMBER | 2020

Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest organised system of healing. Dating back over 5000 years, Ayurveda masterfully teaches how to prevent and cure dis-ease with lifestyle, meditation, mantra, ritual, diet, herbology, and – when needed -, cleansing techniques.

My love affair with Ayurveda began while I was studying holistic nutrition. I’d been studying the Western side of things, often struggling with the science and the ability to grasp the concepts.

But in my second year, I found Ayurveda – and nothing was ever the same.

I was deeply, madly in love with the 5,000-year-old science and the way it reconnected me to Mother Earth, the practice of ritual, and the preciousness of my own human life.

Ayurveda showed me a feminine-based way to heal my body, use food as medicine, and remember my true nature.

And I want to share that magic with you as we dive deeper into the science of Ayurveda in our Inner Circle.

Over the next few months, I’ll be joined by some of my favorite Ayurvedic teachers and healers as we scratch the surface of this life science together. And I’m inviting you to join us…

When I began to learn more about Ayurveda, I realized I didn’t have to force myself to follow the most recent fad diet or wonder why after eating foods that others thrived on I was left feeling sluggish and tired.

Learning the science of Ayurveda was when I began to accept myself and my body for what it was.

And that’s why I want to share these teachings today. Because I believe you deserve to know what works for you and your constitution. So enough with forcing yourself to fit into boxes. Now’s the time to thrive by being yourself.

In our Western and even holistic world, we think of food as holding the same nutritional value across the board. Like when you and I eat broccoli we’ll both get the same value from it.

But Ayurveda says otherwise.

Each of us has a distinct and unique constitution that they are born with and cannot be changed. This is called Prakriti.

Prakriti is the principle of our inherent nature. That as we are born we are given a unique balance of each of the energies that make up the universe. And it is this balance that is responsible for making you who you are.

And when we can eat food that nourishes our inherent nature we can find a deeper sense of balance and also a deeper connection with the divine.

Ayurveda effortlessly alchemizes the mind, body and spirit. It teaches us that none is in any way separate. And it’s because of this it is a profound and effective method of healing.

“Ayurveda teaches us to cherish our innate-nature – ‘to love and honor who we are’, not as what people think or tell us, ‘who we should be’.”
-Prana Gogia

To help you along that healing journey I’ll give you the basics of eating for your dosha.

Ayurveda teaches us that the universe was created from 5 distinct elements:

  • Ether – ākāśa
  • Air – vāyu
  • Fire – tejas
  • Water – jala
  • Earth – pṛthvī

Just as these elements manifest the Universe around us, they create the flesh, bones, blood, and processes of our body as well. But they don’t stop there, the elements also influence different qualities in our mind.

As these elements combine they form the 3 major doshas, also known as humors or types.

If you don’t already know your dosha you can take this FREE quiz from Banyan Botanicals to learn your type.

And remember, no matter your predominant type – ALL of the doshas live within you and need to be in harmony for optimal health. It’s said that the doshas have the ability to either create life when in balance, or destroy life when out of it.

Below I’ll explain the doshas in detail and provide recommendations for each type.

Vata

Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash

Vata means wind and is a combination of air + space. The essence of Vata is prana, which is vital life-force, so essentially – the essence of Vata is life itself. Because of this, many of my teachers call Vata the “king of all Doshas”.

When we have too much Vata however, known as Vata derangement, we’re in trouble.

Vata has the ability to both create life and destroy it, depending on its levels in relation to the other doshas, pitta and kapha.

People who are predominately Vata tend to be lighter boned, with thinner frames and protruding joints that may pop or crack. They have thin hair with small, light eyes that dart around the room and dry, rough skin.

Vata types are extremely creative and excited by life itself. I often joke that they’re the kind of people who have five books on different subjects open at once. And considering I’m Vata, you can take that from someone who knows!

Vata is related to movement in the body, so when out of balance, Vata can hinder the smooth functioning of the nervous system, resulting in anxiety, panic, insomnia as well as ticks or tremors. The inhibition of movement also affects the digestive tract, resulting in constipation and hormonally, irregular menstrual cycles.

Foods to balance Vata:

Foods that balance Vata are warming, sweet, sour, salty, moist, grounding, building and nourishing:

  • Cooked apples
  • Ripe banana
  • Dates – fresh, cooked or soaked
  • Melons
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Squashes
  • Mushrooms
  • Lentils
  • Miso
  • Black Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Parsnip
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Coconut
  • Pine nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Ghee

It’s recommended to reduce foods that are astringent, bitter and pungent:

  • Dried fruits
  • Watermelon
  • Kale
  • Amaranth
  • Rice
  • Sprouted wheat bread
  • Oats
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Table salt

 

Pitta

Photo by Federico Respini on Unsplash

Pitta means bile and is a combination of fire + water. Physically, Pitta types tend to be of medium build and are able to build muscle quickly. They have a sharp, penetrating stare and have lighter hair with a tendency to bald or go gray earlier in life.

They are often high achievers and strive for excellence. They are super organised and know that everything needs its own place. I often joke that when you walk into someone’s room, you’ll know if they’re a Pitta!

They have the strongest digestive fire of all the doshas so are able to eat the most cold and raw foods.

When out of balance, Pittas can develop frustration and anger. The thing about fire is that it spreads, which can manifest in the body as heat rashes and inflammation. They often experience heavier cycles with bright red blood and may need to watch out for menstrual headaches/migraines.

Foods to balance Pitta:

Foods that balance Pitta are cooling, mild, dry, grounding, stabilizing and dense.

  • Sweet apples
  • Coconut
  • Figs
  • Pineapple
  • Cabbage
  • Cooked carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Spelt
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • White meats
  • Egg whites
  • Shrimp
  • Coconut oil

It’s recommended to reduce foods that are salty, sour and pungent to avoid aggravating Pitta.

  • Bananas
  • Sour fruits
  • Grapefruit
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Corn
  • Brown rice
  • Soy meats
  • Egg yolk
  • Beef
  • Walnut

 

Kapha

Photo by Dylan de Jonge on Unsplash

 

Kapha means phlegm and represents the elements of water + earth. It is because of this that Kapha types are the most steady and grounded of all the doshas.

They are also the most generous and caring of them all too.

Physically, Kapha types often have a heavier build with larger joints. They have thick, lustrous hair and skin with large, soft eyes. They might struggle to lose weight and when out of balance are prone to lead sedentary lifestyles.

Kapha types might struggle with the build of phlegm and mucus in their bodies as well as cysts, tumors, or fibroids. While they have the most reliable digestion out of all the doshas, it’s often the slowest.

Foods to balance Kapha:

Foods that balance Kapha are warm, dry, rough and light.

  • Apricots
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chilies
  • Amaranth
  • Muesli
  • Rye
  • Adzuki beans
  • Mung beans
  • Tempeh
  • Flax seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • White meats
  • Venison

It’s recommended to avoid foods that are cooling, cold, moist, oily and smooth.

  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Raw tomatoes
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Ghee
  • Yoghurt
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Peanuts

It’s important to remember that we have each of the doshas within us.

This becomes especially apparent during the changing of seasons. Each of the seasons is ruled by one of the doshas.

During these shifting seasons, we may experience a temporary imbalance in the relevant dosha. And if you notice any of the following imbalances it’s important you eat foods to pacify that type.

Fall is ruled by Vata

If during this time you find it harder than normal to concentrate, find your thoughts are scattered and excess worry you might be experiencing a Vata imbalance.

During this time it’s recommended that you eat foods to balance Vata.

Winter + Spring are ruled by Kapha

In winter it’s natural to want to turn inwards and become more sedentary.

Though if you notice yourself sleeping excessively, gaining weight and becoming excessively stubborn you may need to eat more foods to redress the balance in that dosha.

Summer is ruled by Pitta

If you notice yourself suffering from outbursts of anger and frustration during the summer as well as proneness to heat rashes you may well be experiencing a pitta imbalance.

It’s important to eat cooling foods to regain balance in your pitta dosha.

Photo by Pratiksha Mohanty on Unsplash

 

“Because we cannot scrub our inner body we need to learn a few skills to help cleanse our tissues, organs, and mind. This is the art of Ayurveda.”
― Sebastian Pole

The digestive healing from following an Ayurvedic diet can be profound. Though of course, I’m not able to go into all the details in just this one blog.

But, if you are interested in learning more of the science of Ayurveda then join us in circle as we begin to unravel the mysteries of this ancient science and begin to find balance and harmony in our lives, together.

Our Inner Circle was created to keep you aligned with your path and accountable for your own transformation.

Please join us.

Your Guide To Sacred Self Care

Self-care doesn’t have to look like hours and hours of meditation every day because honestly, how sustainable is that? But if you want to find out how to get the most bang for your buck with your self-care rituals read on here…

A Guide to Smoking Herbs as Ritual

Long before cigarette companies perverted the sacred plant of tobacco and way before smoking was considered ‘cool’, wise people smoked herbs. Smoking is a ritual that can be used to connect you with your ancestors and your self, join me to learn more.

Discrimination in Women’s Health

Let us remember that the revolution happening in the United States is not something caused only by the murders of Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor, or George Floyd. It’s a call for justice and liberation from over 400+ years of racism, bias, and white supremacy.

2020-11-11T08:00:02-08:00
Go to Top