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Ideal Ayurveda Diet For Your Dosha

Ayurveda considers a customized diet for each individual based on their needs. This takes into account the physical condition of the person, their body type (prakruthi), digestive powers (agnibal), and daily and seasonal factors.

ayurveda diet doshas
Noni-Ingredient-Kapiva

Ideal Ayurveda Diet For Your Dosha

Modern medicine recognizes how important a wholesome diet is for keeping you healthy. The ancient science of ayurveda too recognized the importance of a balanced and healthy diet. Ayurveda considers ahara or food to be one of the 3 pillars of life. The other two pillars are sleep and a regulated sex life.[1]Luisella Verotta, Maria Pia Macchi, Padma Venkatasubramanian. Connecting Indian Wisdom and Western Science: Plant Usage for Nutrition and Health. CRC Press.2015.

According to Ayurveda, both the body and the diseases that it suffers from are the product of ahara.[2]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

Healthy digestion of wholesome food produces ojas (vigor) while an abnormal or impaired digestive or metabolic process can cause the build up of toxic byproducts known as ama which eventually leads to disease.[3]Wallace, Robert Keith. “The Microbiome in Health and Disease from the Perspective of Modern Medicine and Ayurveda.” Medicina 56, no. 9 (2020): 462. [4]Manohar, P. Ram. “Critical review and validation of the concept of Āma.” Ancient science of life 32, no. 2 (2012): 67.

What Is An Ideal Diet According To Ayurveda?

Ayurveda considers a customized diet for each individual based on their needs. This takes into account the physical condition of the person, their body type (prakruthi), digestive powers (agnibal), and daily and seasonal factors.[5]Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006). Let’s take a look at a few guidelines described in ayurveda for a healthy diet:

The Importance Of Taste (Rasa)

According to ayurveda, each taste or rasa associated with food has a specific property and provides nourishment when you have it in the right quantity.

  • Sweet taste gives overall strength, makes skin lustrous, and is good for your throat. But excessive consumption will lead to an imbalance of kapha dosha and contribute to the development of congestion, obesity etc.
  • Sour taste stimulates your digestive forces or ‘agni’. It is also said to awaken the mind and provide energy. But excessive consumption can lead to indigestion, water retention, and heartburn.
  • Salt is considered to be heavy as well as oily. When used excessively it can cause water retention, raise your blood pressure and induce vomiting. But in the appropriate amount it helps balance electrolyte levels, promotes energy, and is considered to have an antispasmodic effect. Ayurveda promotes the use of rock salt because of its mineral content.
  • Pungent taste is thought to aid in the cleaning of your sinuses and elimination of waste. It also helps improve digestion and the absorption of nutrients. It is thought to contribute to physical vigor and vitality. But excessive consumption may lead to thirst and fatigue.
  • Bitter taste is thought to stimulate the other tastes. It is said to be good for the pancreas and reduces fat. It’s also considered to be useful for lowering fever. But excessive consumption of bitter tasting foods may cause dizziness.
  • Astringent taste is said to help in the absorption of nutrients. However, excessive consumption may lead to constipation and stomach ache.[6]Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).

Prakruthi based diet

According to ayurveda, the three forces (doshas) of kapha, pitta, and vata control your biological processes. These doshas are linked to elemental factors of space, fire, water, earth, and air. Based on which dosha is predominant will have a particular constitution (prakruthi) or body type. Ayurveda recommends tailoring your diet to your prakruthi.
Let’s take a closer look at the dietary elements specified for different body types:[7]Sharma, Shikha, Seema Puri, Taru Agarwal, and Vinita Sharma. “Diets based on Ayurvedic constitution–potential for weight management.” Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine … Continue reading

Diet For Vata Dosha

This constitution is related to the elements of air and space and people with this constitution typically exhibit the quickness and mobility shown by these elements.

  • Rasa
    • Have more of foods with sweet, sour, and salty taste
    • Minimize intake of foods with bitter, pungent, and astringent taste
  • Cereals
    • Have more of rice, wheat, oats, ragi
    • Minimize intake of corn, white bread, maize
  • Pulses
    • Have more of split red gram, green gram, split black gram, soybean
    • Minimize intake of red kidney beans, horse gram, Bengal gram
  • Veggies
    • Have more of beetroot, carrots green beans, sweet potatoes, radish, sweet corn, onion, capsicum
    • Minimize intake of cauliflower, cabbage, lady’s finger, turnip
  • Fruits
    • Have more of berries, banana, grapes, mango, sweet melon, papaya, peaches
    • Minimize intake of dry fruits, raw apple, pear, pomegranate

Diet For Pitta Dosha

This constitution is related to the element of fire. People of this constitution exhibit powerful intellect and ambition.

  • Rasa
    • Have more of foods with sweet, astringent, bitter tastes
    • Minimize intake of foods with excessively salty, sour, pungent tastes.
  • Cereals
    • Have more of rice, wheat, barley, oats
    • Minimize intake of ragi, millet, corn
  • Pulses
    • Have more of soybean, split red gram, split black gram, green gram
    • Minimize intake of horse gram, red kidney beans
  • Veggies
    • Have more of cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, green beans, leafy greens, lady’s finger, peas, potato, cucumber
    • Minimize intake of radish, brinjal, onion, garlic, capsicum, spinach, mushroom, carrot
  • Fruits
    • Have more of ripened fruits like orange, mosambi, guava, bananas, grapes (red/purple/black), mango, papaya, melons, pomegranate, sweet pineapple, sweet raisins
    • Minimize intake of unripe fruits including grapes (green), lemon, sour orange, green raw mango and all other unripe fruits.

Diet For Kapha Dosha

This constitution is related to the elements of water and earth. People with this constitution will generally exhibit the solidity and stability shown by these elements.

  • Rasa
    • Have more of foods with bitter, pungent, astringent tastes
    • Minimize intake of foods with excessively salty, sour, sweet tastes
  • Cereals
    • Have more of barley, corn, oats (dry), rice
    • Minimize intake of wheat flour, white bread, white rice
  • Pulses
    • Have more of green gram, split red gram, red kidney beans, horse gram, split black gram
    • Minimize intake of soy products
  • Veggies
    • Have more of cabbage, bitter gourd, leafy greens, beans, radish, brinjal, onion, capsicum, lettuce, mushroom
    • Minimize intake of sweet and juicy varieties of vegetable, cucumbers, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, olives, avocado
  • Fruits
    • Have more of apple, pear, cherries, berries, prunes, peaches, dry fig, guava
    • Minimize intake of banana, lemons, melons, orange, ripe papaya[8]Banerjee, Subhadip, Parikshit Debnath, and Pratip Kumar Debnath. “Ayurnutrigenomics: Ayurveda-inspired personalized nutrition from inception to evidence.” Journal of traditional and … Continue reading

8 Ayurvedic Tips For Healthy Digestion

1. Avoid Incompatible Foods

According to Ayurveda, foods that are not compatible in combination with other foods, or in terms of the season, or time of consumption can aggravate doshas and cause harm. When foods with properties which are not compatible with each other are consumed together it can lead to the formation of toxins. And you may experience ill effects such as indigestion, acidity, and flatulence. However, these same foods may be easily digested and beneficial when you have them separately. For instance,

  • the combinations of banana and milk as well as melon and milk are considered bad.
  • having ghee and honey together is considered incompatible if you have them in equal quantities.
  • having cold or rough food during winter is considered incompatible because it is not appropriate for the season. Similarly, having a lot of nuts in the summer is thought to be bad as it aggravates pitta.[9]Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).

2. Time Your Meals Right

As stated in ayurvedic texts the timing of your meals can also vary depending on your prakruthi:

  • People with a pitta constitution may have a maximum of three meals and take their largest meal at noon.
  • People with a kapha constitution may also have their largest meal at noon. They may skip breakfast too.
  • People with a vata constitution may go for small but frequent meals rather than three meals in a day. Eating at dawn and dusk is considered ideal for them.[10]Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).

3. Use Herbs And Spices

Spices and herbs have an important place in the ayurvedic diet. They add flavor to food. But that’s not all. They have medicinal properties too and can help balance the doshas. For instance,

  • Ginger relieves pain, helps with vomiting, asthma, cold, stomach spasms, and improves digestion. When used with rock salt it will help balance vata, with rock candy it will reduce pitta, and with honey it reduces kapha.
  • Black pepper works as a decongestant and expectorant, and helps in the digestion of fat.
  • Turmeric promotes digestion and has an anti-inflammatory effect.[11]Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).

4. Sip Warm Water During Meals

Ayurveda considers water to be critical for the sustenance of life. Let’s take a look at the ayurvedic view on water:

  • Warm water is considered light and thought to help balance all the doshas as well as digestion. It is also considered to be helpful in dealing with asthma, bronchitis, and fever.
  • Cold water is thought to take more time for digestion. It is only recommended if you’re experiencing fainting, excessive heat, giddiness, vomiting, or physical fatigue. It’s also recommended while consuming alcohol.
  • Having water before your meals weakens your digestive power and having water after a meal may lead to obesity. The best thing to do is drink warm water, in small quantities, while you’re eating. This is considered to stimulate digestion.
  • Drinking excessive quantities of water is thought to dilute nutrients and hamper digestion. It is recommended that only one third of your stomach should be filled with water during meals.[12]Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).

5. Have Hot Meals

Ayurveda considers it important to have your meals hot. If the food is hot then it not only tastes good but also stimulates your digestive power. In fact, it is considered particularly important to begin your meal by having something hot so that your salivary and gastric juices are activated right at the beginning of the meal.[13]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

6. Don’t Overeat

Ayurveda places an emphasis on avoiding overeating. The absence of any abdominal distress, discomfort in your chest, and a sense of ease while sitting, standing, lying down, inhaling, exhaling, walking, or talking indicates that you have not over indulged.

You should also wait till your previous meal is digested before eating. Otherwise, the undigested food can throw your doshas out of balance.[14]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

7. Eat In A Pleasant Ambience

Food should be taken in a pleasant environment. Unpleasant environments can cause negative emotions to arise in your mind which can have an impact on how food is processed by your body.[15]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

8. Eat Mindfully

Ayurveda places emphasis on being fully present while eating and paying attention to your food. If you’re not paying attention you could end up eating unhealthy foods or overeating.

  • Don’t hurry (or be too slow, for that matter) while eating, don’t talk, or laugh, or watch TV.
  • Pay attention to the flavor, texture, color and aroma of your food.
  • Chew thoughtfully and eat mindfully.
  • Ayurveda also suggests that your mind should be in a state of harmony while you eat. If you’re experiencing negative emotions like grief, anxiety, fear, or anger while you eat then your food will not be digested properly.[16][8 steps to mindful eating](https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/8-steps-to-mindful-eating “8 steps to mindful eating”).Harvard Medical School.2016. [17]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

References

References
1 Luisella Verotta, Maria Pia Macchi, Padma Venkatasubramanian. Connecting Indian Wisdom and Western Science: Plant Usage for Nutrition and Health. CRC Press.2015.
2, 13, 14, 15, 17 Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal of India 1 (2016): 1-6.
3 Wallace, Robert Keith. “The Microbiome in Health and Disease from the Perspective of Modern Medicine and Ayurveda.” Medicina 56, no. 9 (2020): 462.
4 Manohar, P. Ram. “Critical review and validation of the concept of Āma.” Ancient science of life 32, no. 2 (2012): 67.
5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).
7 Sharma, Shikha, Seema Puri, Taru Agarwal, and Vinita Sharma. “Diets based on Ayurvedic constitution–potential for weight management.” Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine 15, no. 1 (2009): 44.
8 Banerjee, Subhadip, Parikshit Debnath, and Pratip Kumar Debnath. “Ayurnutrigenomics: Ayurveda-inspired personalized nutrition from inception to evidence.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine 5, no. 4 (2015): 228-233.
16 [8 steps to mindful eating](https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/8-steps-to-mindful-eating “8 steps to mindful eating”).Harvard Medical School.2016.

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