According to Ayurvedic science, we crave foods that are good for us to stay balanced. If our body, mind, or spirit are not stable, our connection with ourselves is wrong. The modern lifestyle has a huge impact, extreme consumption and never-ending rush are the main reason that negatively affects our wellbeing.
Ayurvedic ancient texts emphasize proper diet, as essential for maintaining health and happiness. Ayurveda forms health by supporting the body’s inner intelligence to create harmony. There are so many modern diet advisors with every day new nutritional theories, who recommend ”one special diet fits all” while, Ayurvedic wisdom maintains the statement there is no only one diet or food that is healthy for all people.
Let me shortly refresh what Doshas are, but if you need a better understanding of them, please go to my post here. There are three doshas in Ayurveda, which represent the dominant of our mind&body state: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. All three Doshas are present in everyone, Ayurveda explains that we all have a dominant dosha that’s been since we were born, and ideally an equal (although very often fluctuating) balance between the other two. When the doshas are balanced, we are stable and healthy, while they are out of balanced, we suffer diseases, which is usually manifested by poor digestion, skin problems, sleep problems, frustration, irritability, and anxiety.
Those with a predominance of Vata dosha normally have a thin frame and outstanding agility. The life force comes in bursts and Vata people are likely to experience unexpected bouts of fatigue. Their sleep is light and their digestion is very sensitive. When that dosha becomes imbalanced, it manifests in the body as weight troubles, constipation, hypertension, dizziness, restlessness, and digestive difficulties.
Their emotional characteristics are full of passion, Vata people love excitement and new experiences. They are quick to anger but also to forgive, when Vatas are in balance, they are energetic, very creative, and flexible. They very often take initiative for any activity. When out of balanced, they are likely to worry and often suffer from insomnia.
Before you read any further, understand that following a Vata-pacifying diet is a practice far more than it is a collection of meals. Vata characters need foods that quiet their tendency towards anxiety and overactivity. Vata would be balanced by a diet full of freshly cooked vegetables and grains that are soft, high in protein and healthy oils, seasoned with a variety of mild spices. Regularity in meal times is essential for Vata kinds, and those with Vata-dominant natures do well with one-pot meals such as soups or stews. They can use more oil in cooking their foods than the other two doshas and experience better digestion if they limit their intake of raw fruits and veggies. Dairy products and meals cooked or served with oils balance Vata. The best choice would be steam veggies and sprinkle with a little clarified butter (ghee) or olive oil. Sweet, ripe and juicy fruits are good for Vata. Some astringent fruits should be avoided such as cranberries, pomegranates, and raw apples. Fruit should always be eaten by itself on an empty stomach. Many Vata types can satisfy their need for protein by the use of dairy products; all dairy products are good. Almonds are the best choice, soaked in water and left overnight with skins removed; they are a satisfying early morning food. Since Vata people tend to be addicted very easy, they should avoid refined sugar, caffeine, and tobacco. Intensity itself can be bad for Vata, so one should seek relaxation and meditation to balance the dosha.
Remember the food needs to be served either warm or hot, that way of preparing meals calms Vata, nourishes the tissues, maintain moisture, and keep Vata kind warm. Be a vegetarian is best for Vata people and they should refrain from eating meat, eggs, alcohol, and salt.
Slow down, be steady, and babe steps change
No one expects you to wake up tomorrow morning and eat a perfectly Vata-balancing diet for the rest of your life. It is not a matter of clinging to a rigorous set of do’s and don’ts or getting overly stuck in the details; the point is to be slow by successfully following a Vata-pacifying diet step by step. It is often far more helpful to pay attention to the principles of life patterns. Any strides that you take to turn your diet toward being more Vata-balancing than it is today should be considered wins.
Grounding, Nourishing and Stabilizing
While the heavy quality is the exact opposite to Vata’s thinness, unusually heavy, dense foods can easily exhaust Vata’s delicate digestion. Vata dosha is balanced by regularity in routine, so it is good to eat three meals a day and eat them at around the same times every day. Not skipping meals, especially breakfast. Overeating in one time can also be too much heavy, so it is better to eat regularly to avoid any temptation toward overeating. In general, it’s recommended to think in terms of grounding Vata’s thinness with nutrition—eating foods that offer solid and stabilizing sources of energy with proper nourishment to the physical body. Ideal samples include cooked grains, mildly spiced milk, root veggies, stewed fruits, nuts, and seeds. Highly processed foods, canned meal, and pastries are often quite bulky, lack prana (life force energy), and are generally quite aggravating to Vata types. Likewise, stimulants such as caffeine or alcohol should be avoided because they tend to ruin Vata’s need for grounded stability.
Eat a bit bigger quantities, but don’t overeat it will help to balance the delicacy of Vata.
Avoid eating too many sweeteners, they all help to pacify Vata type.
Oils are helpful in the digestive system and support reduce Vata, use up to three small spoons daily of ghee or extra virgin olive oil.
Dairy products pacify Vata. All low-fat dairy products are recommended, remember milk is easier to digest when warm.
Rice and wheat are the best grains for setting Vata. Reduce the amount of barley, millet, buckwheat, and rye grains.
In favor are sweet and heavy fruits such as mangoes, dates, figs, bananas, avocados, nectarines and apricots, all berries, coconut, melons, papaya, pineapples. And yes, all dried fruits. To ease digestion, fruits are best eaten lightly cooked or eaten alone.
Cooked vegetables are best, raw vegetables should be reduced. Asparagus, beets, and carrots are in favor. Other vegetables may be taken in balance if cooked in ghee or extra virgin olive oil. Sprouts or cabbage tend to produce gas and should be eaten in moderation.
Minimize your consumption of beans, all beans can increase Vata. There is an exception of tofu and mung bean dahl.
Spices pacify Vata are as following cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger, mustard seed, basil, fennel, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme, and pepper.
All varieties of nuts are recommended.
Enjoy your meal!