Your Guide to the Ayurvedic Diet

Health Tips
Last Updated Jul 16, 2020
Health Tips

Do you struggle with knowing what to eat and what to avoid? Wonder what lifestyle is ideal for you? The ancient system of Ayurveda makes it easy to choose the right foods and get your body back into balance. This article explores the Ayurvedic system and how to eat for your type.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda assumes that there are three elements (doshas) which work in harmony in the body. The three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. We all have a dominant dosha and a secondary dosha that dictates our health and wellbeing.

To keep the body in balance, it’s important to eat according to your body type.

What Body Type Am I?

The most accurate way to determine your dosha is to see an Ayurveda practitioner. There are many books and online tests that help you asses your constitution, but this may not be as reliable.

Eating for a Vata Dosha

The vata constitution tends to be cold, dry and light. It manages the body’s movement and digestive systems. For this reason, people with a vata constitution should eat foods that are:

  • Warm
  • Moderately heavy
  • Soups
  • Salty or sweet food
  • Nuts
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Sweet and juicy fruit
  • White meat

As a vata type, you should avoid:

  • Soft drinks
  • Cold food
  • Raw vegetables
  • Light food

Eating for a Pitta Dosha

Pitta people tend to be of a medium build and hardy digestion, so they can eat most foods. However, if they are out of balance they can experience some digestive issues such as ulcers and diarrhoea. It’s best to choose the following foods:

  • Sweet fruits including melon and mango
  • Cooling vegetables such as lettuce and cucumbers
  • Coconut and pumpkin
  • Ghee, buttermilk and unsalted butter
  • Milk, water and juice

It’s best to avoid:

  • Lentils
  • Most nuts
  • Sour cream, ice cream and yoghurt
  •  Acidic, sour and salty foods

Eating for a Kapha Dosha

People with a dominant kapha dosha tend to have a large build and can gain weight easily. To keep their body in balance, the following foods should be favoured:

  • Dry and light food
  • Spicy foods
  • Warm drinks such as herbal tea
  •  Apples, apricots, pears and cherries
  • Zucchini, eggplant, carrots and broccoli

Foods to avoid include:

  • Heavy, cold or watery foods
  • Salt
  • Most dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Cold drinks
  • Banana, figs, grapes, plums and strawberries
Originally published on Jan 31, 2014

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Wellness inspiration of the week

People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills… There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind… So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. — MARCUS AURELIUS