Author: Shailesh Jain
We all know that for healthy living we require a balanced diet constituted of protein, carbohydrates and fats, minerals, vitamins etc. Ayurveda has expounded about the diet in detail. The Ayurvedic diet is one that not only nourishes the body, but also restores balance of ‘tridoshas’ which is very much essential for maintaining Health. Depending on our dosha, or constitutional type, some foods can be beneficial, and others should be reduced or avoided. These same foods may have the opposite effect on another dosha. The science of Ayurveda teaches that right diet is the foundation of healing. For maximum health and vitality, the ideal diet is one that balances our doshas. Here we Ayurvedic food recommendations to balance each of the three doshas.
You will find some individual foods contradicted in different articles and books. The suggestions below are from an author living in India. Geographical location must also be considered. In the end, it is up to your intuition and personal experience choosing foods that balance your dosha. This article is for educational purposes and not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe, or cure any illness. Readers are advised to seek professional care for health issues
The qualities of Vata are cold, dry, light, hard, and rough.
VATA PACIFYING FOODS:
General: excess Vata can be counterbalanced with nutritive and tissue-building foods that are warm, moist, heavy, soft and oily, as well as foods with a sweet, sour and salty taste. For example, Vata pacifying foods include ghee, soft dairy products, wheat, rice, and bananas. A person with a Vata constitution should favor foods like hot cereal with ghee, hearty soups and vegetables, and whole cooked grains and chapatis. Spicy foods are generally okay for Vata.
Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumber, green beans, okra (bhindi), onions and garlic, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnips.
Fruits: Bananas, coconuts, dates, mangoes, melons, peaches, all sweet fruits in general.
Grains: Oats, (basmati) rice and wheat
VATA AGGRAVATING FOODS:
General: Foods with the Vata qualities, such as crackers, frozen desserts, and large amounts of raw vegetables and salads, will aggravate Vata. Also, refined foods such as white flour and white sugar have light and dry qualities (and nutrition has been striped from the food) and would be best avoided by people with Vata constitutions. Pungent, bitter, astringent; light, dry, cold foods, stimulants like smoking, alcohol, junk food, sugar, tea (esp. long leaf teas and green tea), and brown rice.
Vegetables: Cabbage, cauliflower, celery, brinjal, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, peas, peppers (simla mirch) potatoes, sprouts, tomatoes, and zucchini (tori). If you do have these vegetables cook them in pure desi ghee or unrefined til oil. Tomatoes are best avoided except as a small addition to salads.
Fruits: Apples, pears, pomegranates.
Spices: Vatas can have almost all spices and herbs in moderation when there is aggravated Vata, the following are to be taken with caution: coriander seeds (dhaniya powder), fenugreek (methi seeds), saffron, turmeric, parsley. Avoid too much hot and dry spices such as dried chili, which will aggravate dryness.