These guidelines can be used according to your mind-body constitutions, to maintain dosha balance, and to restore balance if necessary.
A Food Plan to Balance Vata Dosha -
Taste preferences - sweet, sour and salty. Avoid anything pungent. It has a drying effect on your system. Ideally, in summer, prefer sour and salty tastes. Consume salty and pungent foods in winter. Use sweet taste as a supplement during both seasons.
Most non - vegetarian diets suit your prakriti. Aquatic meats help to promote your Kapha levels.
Dairy products like butter, cheese, yogurt and clarified butter are generally considered good for you.
Of the frozen desserts, Kulfi is a better option than ice - cream.
Oil is a vital requirement of Vata bodies. Your prakriti needs frequent oil massages.
Favor warm food, moderately heavy textures, added butter and fat. All soothing foods are good for settling disturbed Vata. Use foods such as: warm milk, cream, butter, warm soups, stews, hot cereals, fresh baked bread.
Since vata is a cold dry dosha, warm, nourishing foods such as these are good for stabilizing vata. On the other hand cold foods such as cold salads, iced drinks, raw vegetables and greens are not very good for persons with vata imbalance.
Breakfast is highly recommended. Use hot cereals such as cream of rice or wheat or any other breakfast that is warm, milky, and sweet. Take a hot or herbal tea with snacks in the late afternoon. Avoid drinks with high caffeine as vata gets disturbed by it.
Use spicy foods such as spicy Mexican or Indian foods that are cooked in oil. Use warm moist foods such as cooked grains and cereals, bowl of hot oatmeal or cup of steaming vegetable soup.
Warm milk is good. You can add a little sugar or honey to it if you prefer. Avoid eating candies as it disturbs vata. Prefer salted nuts that are heavy and oily as opposed to dry salty snacks. All sweet fruits are Ok for vata. Avoid unripe fruits as they are astringent. Take warm or hot water instead of ice water and drinks.
Spices: cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, ginger, cloves in moderation.
If your basic constitution is mixed (vata-pitta or vata-kapha), include portions for the second influential dosha.
Vata dosha is aggravated and increased during autumn and early winter. During these seasons all mind-body types can include some of the above foods and decrease others. Mental and emotional peace and constructive lifestyle routines are important to restoring and maintaining balance.
A Food Plan to Balance Pitta Dosha
Taste preferences - sweet, bitter and astringent Pungent foods should be to the bare minimum.
Ayurveda suggests the intake of bitter and astringent foods during both summer and winter to promote Vata in summer and Kapha in winter. You could feast on sweets all year round.
You should avoid oily foods. Ayurveda recommends a reduced intake of oils and fats, as these promote the fire in your prakriti. Clarified butter is a better option.
Among dairy products, yogurt is good for you. Milk, cheese, and cottage cheese can be used moderately. Indulge in all kinds of frozen desserts.
Considering the fire element domination in the Pitta , Ayurveda advises you to cultivate a
handful of simple habits.
Favor Cool or warm but not steaming hot foods. As far as practical use less butter and added fat. Consume food with moderately heavy textures.
Since Pitta promotes strong efficient digestion, you can generally eat just about everything. Take cool, refreshing food in summer. Reduce the consumption of salt, oil, and spices, all of which are "heating" to the body. Salads are good, so is milk and ice cream.
Avoid pickles, sour yogurt, sour cream, and cheese. Avoid vinegar in salad dressing; use lemon juice instead. Alcoholic and fermented foods should be avoided. Their sour Rasa aggravates Pitta. Coffee is also pitta aggravating due to the acid in coffee. Herb tea is good. Prefer mint, licorice root or other pitta pacifying tea.
Breakfast: Cold cereals, cinnamon toast, and apple tea is a good breakfast for Pitta. Avoid coffee, orange juice and doughnuts - they aggravate pitta.
The vegetarian foods are the best for pitta. Consuming red meat tend to heat the body from the fat. Consume abundant amounts of milk, grains and vegetables.
Avoid oily, hot, salty, and heavy foods such as fried food. Instead consume starchy foods such as vegetables, grains and beans. Avoid the tendency to overeat under stress.
Avoid processed and fast foods as they tend to be heavy on salt and sour tastes. Japanese and Chinese food are good choices. Avoid highly spicy food such as is found in Mexican restaurants.
To bring down aggravated Pitta, take two teaspoons of ghee (clarified butter) in a glass of warm milk. (Avoid taking the ghee if you have problem with high cholesterol).
Spices: black pepper, coriander, and cardamom.
If your basic constitution is mixed (pitta-vata or pitta-kapha), to maintain balance, include smaller portions for the second dosha.
Pitta dosha is aggravated and increased during summer. During hot, dry seasons, all mind-body types can choose some of the above foods and decrease others. Mental and emotional peace and constructive lifestyle routines are important to restoring and maintaining balance.
A Food Plan to Balance Kapha Dosha
Taste preferences - pungent, bitter, and astringent . Reduce use of sweet, sour, and salty tastes. Sweets must be avoided. Also try to restricting the consumption of excessive pungent foods in summer, instead prefer foods with a sour taste.
Among dairy products, cottage and other types of cheese are the best options for you. Butter should be avoided and only toned milk be used.
All frozen desserts are to be avoided.
For your Kapha prakriti, very little of fats and oils are required. Treat your body occasionally, with a warm oil therapy of mustard oil with a little amount of Apple vinegar.
To balance Kapha you need Warm, light and dry food, cooked without much water, minimum of butter, oil and sugar
Kapha need to restrict the consumption of too much sweet foods or fatty foods. Keep an eye on the salt consumption also, which tend to result in fluid retention
Light meals are to be favored such as light breakfast and dinner. Avoid deep fried foods. Eat lightly cooked foods or raw fruits and vegetables. Eat spicy, bitter and astringent foods. Watch out for eating too much food, a typical kapha tendency.
Select hot food over cold food whenever feasible. Dry cooking methods (baking, broiling, grilling, sautéing) are prefered than moist cooking such as steaming, boiling or poaching. As an appetizer eat bitter or pungent foods instead of salty or sour. Foods such as romaine lettuce, endive, or tonic water are good to stimulate your appetite.
Take ginger tea or a pinch or ginger to stimulate appetite. Other preferred spices are cumin, fenugreek, sesame seed and turmeric. Any food that is spicy is good for kapha such as very hot Mexican or Indian food, especially in winter.
Foods that are good for kapha breakfast are hot spiced cider, buckwheat pancakes with apple butter, corn muffins, and bitter cocoa made with skim milk and a touch of honey. Avoid cold cereals, cold juice or milk, and sugary pastries. Bacon and sausage aggravates kapha due to their salt and oil. For kapha types, breakfast is optional. (You may skip it if you like).
To pep you up in the morning, take honey, hot water, lemon juice and ginger. Try hot ginger tea. Try skipping a meal or two and take a spoonful of honey in hot water to keep you going.
You have a sweet tooth. So, cutting down on sugar is difficult but it is recommended. Take honey instead. Avoid taking more than a spoonful of honey a day.
Don't over indulge on dairy foods. Butter, ice cream, and cheese are among the worst foods you can take as it aggravates the kapha. Take warm low fat milk. Avoid hamburgers and milk shakes. Eat raw fruits, vegetables and salads. Watch out the restaurant foods, especially oily, salty, sweet or deep fried foods - these are all kapha aggravating. Eat salad with minimum salad dressing. Take a glass of hot water instead of ice water. Eat salad instead of soup especially in hot weather.
Kapha dosha is aggravated and increased in the spring of the year. During this season, eat less and choose more dry, fibrous foods. During wet, cold seasons,
If your basic constitution is mixed, include smaller portions for the second dosha.
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