Maintaining our dosha balanced is a daily task. We are always mindful of our Self and our environment. Ayurveda is dancing with nature, in tune with Self and our circumstances. Now that we know our dosha, we can begin to balance and maintain our health in order to prevent any dis-ease. Find out if you may have any imbalances here.
Vata is ruled by the Elements of space and ether. It is also known as the "King of the Doshas". This dosha is movement, like the wind. It moves everything through the system. Qualities that govern vata are dry, rough, cold, subtle, light, and mobile. The goal is to pacify these qualities with foods that are moist, smooth, hot, heavy foods to balance and ground the dosha.
The main taste in this diet are sweet, salty, and sour. Eating more foods and eating more frequently, as skipping meals is common if unbalanced. Adding pungent spices would be excellent for Vata as they aid in regulation of appetite. Meals should be cooked, and warm. All junk food should be avoided as they aggravate the dosha. The setting should be one of calm, serenity, and eating under these same feelings. Avoid eating during times of anxiety, fear, or nerves. Vata types tend to have irregular eating habits and should focus on making a routine for eating a specific time each day, and always carry snacks.
Most fruit is fine for Vata and should be consumed in moderation because it's qualities mirror Vata. Dry fruit should be avoided, as should apples and melons.
Vegetables should be cooked and prepared with oils and spices to aid in digestion. Cabbage family should be avoided because they cause gas. Be aware of any allergic reactions to nightshades.
Most whole grains are good for Vata, as they are both nourishing and heavy.
Most beans aggravate Vata, they are drying and promote constipation. Mung and tofu (soy) are best.
Nuts and seeds are great for Vata as they are warm, heavy, and moist.
Dairy, Animal products, Sweetners, and oils are suitable for Vata in moderation.
Most spices are good for Vata. Pungent spices are beneficial.
Pitta is ruled by the Element of Fire. This dosha governs digestion, consumption, and like a fire, it is always going. Burning and using it's energy, thus, most Pitta types have a big appetite, and rarely gain weight. Pitta dosha is aggravated by sour, salty, and pungent taste. Qualities of Pitta are hot, sharp, oily, light. moving, acidic, and liquid. We should focus on foods that are mild and bland tasting to cool the hot Pitta.
The main taste to pacify Pitta are sweet, bitter, astringent. Sharp or stong tastes should be avoided. Raw is best for Pitta as most fruit and vegetables are cooling and have water in them. A proper spice mix is ideal for Pitta because it consists of cooling spices. Avoid fried food and overly cooked food. Meals should not be consumed while angry, upset, or irritable. 3 meals is usually enough and eating late at night is not recommended.
Fruit is good for Pitta because it is cool, calm and quenches the thirst. Most juices are good as long as they are fresh squeezed with no added sugar.
Most vegetables are good for Pitta, especially if consumed raw. Steamed is another option for vegetables.
Nightshades can aggravate Pitta because of their acid content.
Most grains are good for Pitta, however, brown rice (short grain), buckwheat, corn, and rye should be avoided.
All beans except peanuts and lentils. (Yes, peanuts are considered beans).
No nuts or seeds for Pitta except Coconut and Sunflower.
Dairy should be kept to cottage cheese, cream, milk, rice milk, soy milk, unsalted cheese, and paneer.
Animal products aggravate Pitta and provoke anger and aggression. Best to avoid or limit. Egg whites are acceptable.
Oils include butter, coconut, ghee, soy, sunflower, almond, and canola are suitable.
Pitta types are best as handling sugar. They can utilize fruit sugar, honey, maple, and raw.
Kapha is ruled by the Element of Water and Earth. This dosha is the builder of the three. It is constantly accumulating. Kapha is Sanskrit meaning "mucus". Qualities that govern Kapha are moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, and static. Kapha types can gain weight by just thinking of eating the cupcake (totally a joke but being a Kapha type, I often feel this when I'm not eating appropriately). Qualities to pacify Kapha are dry, warm, and light. Kapha is aggravated by sweet, salty, and sour. (I adore these qualities).
The main taste to pacify Kapha are pungent, bitter and astringent. As most food is sweet in taste, less food is needed to be consumed (ya, this bummed me out greatly). We need to eat the least, and work out the most. Ha! Back to business. Kapha types need to eat less food, and with less frequency. They have the capacity to skip meals with no problem, as long as it is not often. They are better suited to prepare foods for their Vata friends. They should avoid eating at night, avoid breakfast, and eat between 10am and 6pm. They should be aware of not using food as an emotional crutch.
Most fruit should be limited as it has a high water content and we need to limit this. Dry fruit, however, is the exception. Also, sour fruits like lime, lemon, and grapefruit can aid in dissolving mucus and reducing fat.
Most vegetables are fine for Kapha, however steamed with spices is best to combat the vegetables cold nature.
Grains are good in moderation, favoring barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, rye, and any dry or popped grains.
Beans are fine for Kapha as they are drying in nature. Avoid chickpeas. (I never do but I add a ton of spices to balance it's nature and make it more digestible.)
No nuts or seeds except Pumpkin and sunflower.
Dairy should be extremely limited as it causes mucus to form. Use soy milk, goat milk and buttermilk in moderation.
Oils should also be avoided, and only use corn, soy, canola, sunflower.
No animal products for Kapha. Eggs aggravate Kapha.
Only sweetener consumed should be honey.
All spices are good for Kapha, including hot, spicy, and peppery. Salt should be avoided except in small amounts during winter.
Ayurveda states we should eat whole, living foods first, followed by cooked for a more light filled palette. A sattvic mind, a clear mind. I encourage you to try eating according to these guidelines and experiment with how you feel. The only thing that can happen is you feel better, right? At least I did. I cannot tell you how happy I was to find out I was Kapha. There was a reason why I have such strong hips and legs. I'm rooted to the earth. Grounded. Energized. I can tolerate the most, eat the least, sleep the least, and be active the most. I preserve and have an abundance in Ojas. I will gladly take all of these in exchange for being a large framed woman. I accept myself as I am and cherish my large statuesque physique. I love being a Kapha type and Ayurveda has allowed me to understand and appreciate this about my Self.
Wishing you much well being and health.
I often use "Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners" in my kitchen. Meals are easy, and adaptable. Breaks down the concept of how to cook using Ayurvedic principles. I highly recommend it if you are planning on pursuing this new journey of Self Healing.
ps. I have started working with Maharishi Ayurveda to bring this knowledge to the Latino Community and I'm so happy to be doing so! I hope to begin translating into Spanish, however, I feel that most of us are bilingual and appreciate both languages. They offer great products and wonderful articles, go peruse and enjoy! (fine print: i disclose i am part of their affiliate program)