Ayurvedic Eating Guidelines For Your Dosha and Good Health

Ayurvedic Eating Guidelines For Your Dosha and Good Health

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Ayurveda determines body types by doshas. Doshas are based on the five elements of nature; ether, air, fire, water and earth. This article provides you with information about ayurvedic eating guidelines for your dosha.

Once you identify your body-mind dosha type, the next step is to know what food is good and what food is bad for you. The bad food or the food that doesn´t go well with your dosha may cause health issues.

Get to Know Your Dosha

To find out your body type, take the dosha test over here.

As mentioned in my article about body types, the best way to know your exact dosha is to visit a qualified ayurvedic practitioner, as sometimes tests can be tricky and if you doubt some questions, then you might get a completely different result.

Some Ayurveda centres offer personalised consultation online or on the phone with professional Ayurvedic doctors.

What Are Important Factors in Ayurvedic Diet?

The approach of Ayurveda to diet to maintain mind-body balance and good health whilst improving your immunity and prevent ailments is to:

  • eat adequate food
  • in the right quantity
  • in a good environment, and
  • at the correct time

Ayurveda states that you are what you eat and the same food can serve as your own medicine, to regulate any imbalances in your system and contributes to natural healing.

The dietary plan and patterns of behaviour are decided upon by your dominant dosha or doshas.

In this post, I will write about the general food considerations and behaviour principles in the Ayurvedic diet and will include a list of the balancing and aggravating food for each dosha.

General Food Considerations in Ayurveda

Independent of your dosha type, in Ayurveda there are general diet guidelines common to all doshas;

  • The quantity of food to be eaten
  • Eating habits and manners
  • Correct combination of food
  • When, what and how to eat?
  • Food should be as natural and organic as possible
  • Storage and preparation of food
  • Season and time adaptation

Important Principles about Ayurvedic diet for health

  1. The diet of every individual should be nourishing for the body and mind to maintain good health and prevent imbalances.
  2. The amount of food to be taken depends on factors like; your digestive power (agni), profession (active or sedentary) and the physical activity, your dosha type and the season of the year.
  3. The food should include, when possible, the 6 tastes in the correct proportions (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent)
  4. Lunch should be taken after complete digestion of breakfast and dinner should be eaten after complete digestion of lunch (allow approx 4-5 hour gap between meals).
  5. After a meal, if the intake was adequate, you should not feel sleepy and you are able to continue with your work, play or errands.
  6. Drinking water before meals tends to weaken your digestive fire (agni) and may produce indigestion. This practice is sometimes used to lose weight, if practiced over a period.
  7. Drinking water just after a meal makes you increase weight. Ideally a small amount of water is to be taken during the meal and then more water or liquids can be consumed 2 hours after the meal.
  8. Meals are not to be taken late at night and ideally you don´t go to bed right after (allow at least 2 hours), otherwise there is the chance of having disturbed sleep, indigestion, gas and acidity.
  9. Food should be freshly prepared and warm during the cold season. Besides being tastier, it has more nutrients, it enhances the Pitta, help digestion and thus move the Vata dosha and reduces excess of Kapha; all 3 doshas benefit from this.
  10. Oily and greasy food is also important, if taken in adequate quantity. Besides making the food taste better, it nourishes and strengthens the physique, increases digestive juices, pacifies the Vata dosha, facilitates stool movements and helps to have a radiant skin.
  11. The eating environment is important. You should avoid distractions and eat consciously. Chew the food well and eat with a balanced rhythm that is not too fast and not too slow.
  12. Do not force yourself to eat if you are not hungry even if its meal time. Similarly do not skip a meal when you do feel hungry, just because you are dieting or you do not have the time. The body is intelligent and it generally guides you to what it wants. It is important to learn to give it the attention it deserves.
  13. Do not force yourself to eat food you detest, just find an alternative with similar nutrients. Today we are lucky to have many products and information available.
  14. Avoid eating when you are angry or stressed, specially if you are a Pitta or Vata dominant type.

What is Abnormal Diet in Ayurveda? A Few Habits To Avoid

Unless YOU ARE a PHYSICALLY ACTIVE person, and your digestive fire is strong, then you have to be very careful about the amount of food you eat, the frequency and the food combination.

Undigested food accumulates in the system and becomes toxic (ama), It creates blockages, and in turn, obstructs the natural flow in the body channels and inhibits the proper function of the body organs.

An inappropriate diet brings about digestive disorders, gas, acidity, diarrhoea, constipation and headaches. Consequently, this will impair your immune system and start getting auto-immune diseases.

These are important guidelines:

1. Repetitive or frequent intake of food.

How do I know if I have digested the last meal?

You have to wait until you genuinely feel hungry again, before taking the next meal. Generally, you will know you have stomached the food as you feel light and in a good mood.

Besides, the elimination of waste through stool and urine should be normal and the burping should not smell of food.

When finishing a meal you should not feel sleepy or lethargic. This is usually caused by overeating (when the Kapha dosha increases). On the other hand, if you do not eat enough or have insufficient vitamins and nutrients in your diet, then you will lack strength and vitality. This is when the Vata dosha increases. You should not skip meals if you are hungry.

2. Incorrect food combinations is a main cause of many metabolic disorders.

Some incompatible food (Viruddha Ahara) can be mixing proteins and dairies (fish and milk, banana and milk), protein and starch (meat and potato), take honey in hot water, or tea with milk and many more. Some food takes longer to digest and will slow down ingestion, and some food may rot and ferment in your gut.

3. Fasting on a frequent basis.

Though it is beneficial to fast every now and again, mainly to give your digestive system a break, it is not healthy to fast on a frequent basis.

Vata, Pitta and Kapha balancing habits

Some important factors according to your dosha;

The Vata type is a combination of air and space and usually demands sweet, sour, salty and moistening foods.

The Pitta type is a fire element and it is advisable to eat foods that have a cooling effect.

The Kapha type is based on water and earth and it is recommended to eat bitter, spicy and pungent food.

So What Should You Eat According to Ayurveda?

Balancing and Aggravating list of food for each dosha

Below is a list of the best and worst food for each dosha type. This list is by no means comprehensive but you can test how your system responds to some of this food.

Vata Balancing Food

These foods can be eaten regularly on a daily basis.

Vegetables | Pulses, Cereals; cooked vegetables, sweet potato, asparagus, broccoli, pumpkin, cucumber, beans, green peas | Black lentils, red lentils, white and brown rice, quinoa, tofu, mung beans.

Fruit | Nuts; sweet fruits; avocado, banana, cherries, coconut, figs, lemon, mango, melon, orange, papaya, plum, pineapple, prunes | All nuts in moderation.

Meat; chicken, beef, duck, turkey, seafood

Dairies; all dairies in moderation

Spices; all spices

Oils; all oils, preferably almond and sesame

Vata Aggravating Food

These foods should be eaten minimally as possible or occasionally

Vegetables | Pulses; frozen, dried vegetables & raw vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, lettuce, cabbage, parsley, tomatoes | black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans.

Fruit | Nuts; watermelon, all dried fruit, apples, pears, cranberries, raisins, dry prunes | peanuts

Meat; lamb, pork, rabbit, venison

Dairies; hard cheese, powdered milk

Pitta Balancing Food

These foods can be eaten regularly on a daily basis

Vegetables & Pulses; fresh vegetables; artichoke, asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, leafy greens, mushrooms, onions, potato, pumpkin, zucchini | chickpeas, mung beans, soybeans, tofu

Fruit; Apples, mango, coconut, grapes, pears, plum, prunes, raisins

Meat; chicken, fish, rabbit, turkey, venison

Dairies; unsalted butter, cottage cheese, soft cheese, milk, ghee

Spices & Herbs; coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, saffron, turmeric, cumin

Oils; coconut, olive, sunflower, soy

Pitta Aggravating Food

These foods should be eaten minimally as possible or occasionally

Vegetables | Pulses; chillies, hot pepper, onion, radish, tomato | Red lentils, yellow lentils

Fruit; apricot, berries, peaches, pineapple, plum, kiwi, grapes

Meat; beef, duck, lamb, pork, seafood

Dairies; kefir, yoghurt, salted cheeses, butter cheese, sour cream

Spices; asafoetida, cayenne pepper, cloves, ginger, garlic, nutmeg

Oils; almond, corn, safflower, sesame

Kapha Balancing Food

These foods can be eaten regularly on a daily basis

Vegetables | Pulses; raw veg in summer and cooked in the colder season, asparagus, bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, spinach, onions, kale, cabbage | mung beans, red lentils, tofu

Fruit; dried and astringent are best; apricot, apples, berries, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, pomegranate

Meat; chicken, rabbit, turkey, venison, freshwater fish

Dairies; ghee, goat´s cheese, goat´s milk

Spices; all spices are ok

Oils; almond, corn, sunflower

Kapha Aggravating Food

These foods should be eaten minimally as possible or occasionally

Vegetables | Pulses; cucumber, olives, sweet potato, pumpkin, tomatoes, zucchini | black lentils, chickpeas

Fruit; sweet fruits; avocado, banana, coconut, dates, figs, grapes, mango, melons, kiwi, melons, oranges, papaya, plums, watermelon, tangerine

Meat; beef, duck, lamb, pork, seafood, shellfish, venison

Dairies; butter, cheese, cream, cottage cheese, kefir, sour cream, yoghurt

Spices; salt

Oils; most oils are ok

 

Is Ayurveda diet boring?

Ayurveda dishes are varied, rich, healthy and tasty. Have a look at the following menu of one of the ayurvedic resorts I´ve been to in Asia. There´s a wide variety of tasty dishes.

Ayurvedic_eating_guidelines_for_your_dosha_ayurvedic_menu

Kitchari recipe for all 3 doshas – A basic essential in Ayurveda

An all-time ancient recipe that is simple and known to be tridosha in Ayurveda (balances all 3 doshas) is called Kitchari. It is calming on the digestive system.

Kitchari is a combination of Indian beans (mung daal without shell) and basmati rice together with a mix of spices including ginger, turmeric, cumin seeds and black pepper. It is a nourishing dish containing proteins and is ideal during detox and cleansing programs.

Easy to prepare: Soak the rice and daal for 15 min. Pour little oil in a pot and when warm add the spices. Leave on low heat for about a minute. Then add the rice and daal and bring to boil, and after simmer for 30min on medium to low heat. If it is not yet soft after that time, leave it cooking a little longer.

Conclusion

Ayurveda believes by adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet, follow the abovementioned guidelines, and together with positive thinking and adding physical activity to your routine, you can benefit from a healthy lifestyle and be happier.

The Ayurvedic eating guidelines are simple to follow and understand, however, they DO require TIME & DEDICATION. You cannot change your diet lifestyle drastically. You can gradually learn and implement the ayurvedic diet according to your dosha.

I hope you have enjoyed this information and I would love to hear your opinion on how important a good diet is to a healthy lifestyle?

Always keep Happy & Healthy

 

 


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4 thoughts on “Ayurvedic Eating Guidelines For Your Dosha and Good Health

  1. i have little idea about Ayurveda. it is a simple, practical science of life, the principles and practices of which evolved through many centuries. Ayurvedic science is based on eternal wisdom of people who acquired the knowledge from experience and meditation. Ayurvedic system is applicable universally to all those seeking harmony and peace. that is my little contribution.

    1. That is all so true, and if we apply these practices into our daily routines and our diet to be in line with nature, then we will live healthier. Thank you for reading and participating. I appreciate. 

  2. Great post and a lot of very helpful information, I never realized the importance of drinking water at the specified times that you recommend. It’s interesting how all factors such as diet, skin condition and mood among many other factors can effect your health.

    Reading this post has inspired me to follow your guidelines to not only improve upon my health but also my mental health and happiness, thanks.

    1. Hi Neil, thank you for your kind words, and happy you are motivated to better your well-being. Have a nice evening.

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