Health is essential for a good and quality life and one of the most important and easiest thing we can do for good health is to eat wisely and exercise smartly. The ancient classic ‘Charaka Samhita says, “The life of all living things is food; the entire world seeks food to attain good complexion, clarity, good voice, long life, understanding, happiness, satisfaction, growth, intelligence.”
In Ayurveda, the three pillars of life are Aahara (Food), Nidra (Sleep), Bramhacharya (Celibacy) in which Aahara or Food is the most important since, without food, there would be no life. The Aahara is again differentiated into two types hita (Wholesome) and ahita (Unwholesome). Hita Aahara is responsible for normal growth and development of the body while Ahita Aahara interferes with normal body functions and causes many diseases.
Why should we eat according to our body constitution?
According to Ayurveda, universal life force manifests as three different energies, or doshas, known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and we are all made up of a unique combination of these three forces. Though everyone has some of each, most people rend to have an abundance of one or two of the doshas.
This unique combination is determined at the time of conception itself and continues to be the same throughout ones lifespan. A healthy body and mind occurs when there is equilibrium of the three doshas. An imbalance of the doshas can easily result in diseases.
As we move through life, the proportion of each of the three doshas constantly fluctuates according to the environment, our diet, the seasons, the climate, our age, and many other factors. For example, childhood will be predominated by Vata, Middle age by Pitta and old age by Kapha.
Therefore, if we eat food that are unique to our physiology and follow a sattvic (life supporting) routine that enhances digestion, then we will experience a life that is healthy and happy.
Now lets understand the different types of diet for the different doshas or what diet to follow based on each ones unique body constitution.
Vata pacifying diet
- How to eat is as important as what to eat for a Vata person. A Vata person should eat slowly and at regular intervals. Here, emphasis should be on food that are warm, soupy and easy to digest.
- Consider eating food that are sweet, sour and salty, since these are nourishing.
- Remember to always eat a little less than full.
- Beginning the day with a warm spiced tea will be good.
Recipe for warm spiced tea
- 14 tsp fresh and grated ginger
- 14 tsp ground cardamom
- 14 tsp cinnamon
- 14 tsp carrom seeds
- 1 cup boiling water
- Add the above mentioned spices to boiling water. Steep the tea, covered for 5 minutes. Strain and discard the herbs and spices and serve and have it while it is warm.
|Types of food||Preferred||Minimize/Avoid|
|Vegetables||Asparagus, Beets,Cucumbers andCarrots are the best,Green leafyvegetables, Celery,Seaweed, Squash||Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower,Cabbages, Raw Onions, Potatoes|
|Fruits||Favor sweet, sour fruits like Banana, Avocados, Berries, Grapes, Cherries, Plums, Pineapple, Mangoes and Papayas.||Dried fruits like Fig,Dates, uncooked Apples, Pears,Pomegranates,Persimmon|
|Legumes||Yellow Mung Beans,Tofu (marinated),Green Mung Beans||All other ben varieties like Soy, Chickpeas, |
Carbanzo, Kidney Beans have a tendency
to aggravate vata
|Spices||Most of the spices are favourable to Vata like,Asafetida/Hing,Cumin, Turmeric,Cloves, Mustard Seeds, Cardamom,Black Pepper, Ajwain seeds. Cinnamon, Dill,Fennel, Ginger etc||Excessive spicypeppers like Cayenne,and Chili Peppers|
|Cereals||Wheat Rice, Oatmeal cooked. Quinoa||Barley, Buckwheat,Corn, Millet and Rye|
|Milk Products||Almost all milk products including cheese are favorable,remember to boil milk before consuming||Ice cream, powdered|
milk and soymilk