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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
- Black Beans
- Sunflower seeds
- Pine nuts
- Olive oil
It’s recommended to reduce foods that are astringent, bitter and pungent:
- Dried fruits
- Sprouted wheat bread
- Table salt
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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
- Cooked carrots
- Sweet potatoes
- White meats
- Egg whites
- Coconut oil
It’s recommended to reduce foods that are salty, sour and pungent to avoid aggravating Pitta.
- Sour fruits
- Brown rice
- Soy meats
- Egg yolk
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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.
- Adzuki beans
- Mung beans
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- White meats
It’s recommended to avoid foods that are cooling, cold, moist, oily and smooth.
- Raw tomatoes
- Macadamia nuts
It’s important to remember that we have each of the doshas within us.