Leaning Into Your Dosha: Why You Should Eat According to Your Ayurveda
You've most likely heard of Ayurveda but just in case you're a little foggy on the subject, let's do a quick mental refresh because this stuff is fascinating! Ayurveda is an alternative medicine system that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. The word Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words of Ayur, which means life, and Veda, which means science or knowledge. According to Ayurvedic medicine, we're all made up of a combination of five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and space. There are three main types of Ayurvedic Doshas, aka ‘bio energy centers' and believe it or not, food plays a huge factor in supporting each one. Read on to get to know your Doshas and what foods best fuel them.
The three main types of Ayurvedic Doshas include Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. Every person has a mix of all three Doshas but one is typically the most prevalent in each person. It’s important to keep your Dosha, or energy system leveled to keep your life and health well-balanced too. It's believed that when your Dosha is balanced, your mind and body wellness is at its peak. Now let's dive into the Doshas. These Ayurvedic types are based on body type, personality, and sensitivities.
Vata is defined by energy/movement and also symbolizes space and air elements. The activation of the nervous system is guided by Vata. People with the Vata Dosha are said to be thin and quick-thinking, and may susceptible to anxiety, dry skin, and constipation.
Understanding The Vata Diet:
Vatas should focus on eating warm, cooked foods rather than ones that are raw. For a Vata, it is crucial to make sure that they include a lot of high quality oils or ghee and stay extra hydrated since their bodies tend to run on the drier side.
Foods To Focus On: berries, melons, summer squash, zucchini, soups, stews, avocado, coconut, olives, eggs, nuts, seeds,
Foods To Avoid: dry foods like popcorn, crackers, white potatoes, and dried fruits.
The Kapha Dosha represents earth and water elements. Kapha is responsible for strength, immunity, and growth. People with the Kapha Dosha are calm, have a solid body frame, and may susceptible to diabetes, obesity, and sinus congestion.
Understanding The Kapha Diet:
Since Kaphas are naturally oily, they should focus on eating foods that are light, warm, dry, and rough. An abundance of fruits and vegetables are a great option for balancing Kaphas along with salads and other raw vegetables. Kaphas should aim to eat warm food over cold or cool options.
Foods To Focus On: green & black tea, potatoes, dried foods, beans, and popcorn, cooked broccoli, cauliflower, and dark leafy greens.
Foods to Avoid: cheeses, pudding, nuts, cakes, pies, breads, pastas, red meat, and fried foods. Kaphas should also be mindful of over hydrating and sip on room temperature/ hot beverages.
The Pitta Dosha is a representation of fire and water. It is thought to control hormones and the digestive system. Pitta people are fiery, have oily skin, and may be susceptible to heart disease, stomach ulcers, and heartburn.
Understanding The Pitta Diet:
A Fiery Pitta does well with foods that are dry, mild, cooling, and grounding. Raw foods are encouraged and tend to be very cooling to Pittas. Pittas should opt for cool over warm or hot foods.
Foods To Focus On: fruits like dates, limes, melons, oranges, berries, and watermelon, beans, nuts, oats, pasta, popcorn, and most vegetables.
Foods To Avoid: hot spices, fiery dishes, minimized alcohol and caffeine consumption, as well as processed foods, pastries, and canned foods. Any food that will increase internal heat is a no-go for the Pitta Dosha.
So now that you've completed your Ayurveda 101 class, head to the grocery store and whip up a meal that best supports you & your Dosha.