The world around us is fast realising the secrets of Ayurveda and that it holds the key towards living happier, healthier, and more balanced lives. The truth to this is provided in the three doshas called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We are all composed of varying quantities of these doshas but generally one or two of these doshas takes the prominence in our body much like a zodiac sign for our personality. Following the lifestyle guidelines for our dominant dosha is the best thing that we can do to maintain bodily harmony and balance.
Vata Dosha – Ether and Air
Vata dosha has the qualities of being light, dry, cold, mobile, and subtle. So Vata people must engage in activities that are heavy, stable, grounding, and warming.
Do’s for Vata:
- Maintain a regular schedule, as Vata is irregular by nature and needs regular routines to stay balanced.
- Perform daily abhyanga (self oil massage), in fall and winter to keep your skin from dryness.
- Drink warm beverages.
- Do include more healthy fats in your diet (ghee, coconut oil, avocado) for nourishment and moisture.
- Eat 3 meals a day at appropriate intervals and have a snack if you are hungry.
- Get plenty of rest. Plan on 8 hours of sleep each night, starting at or before 10pm
- Favor healthy cooked foods with a focus on tastes that are sweet , sour, and salty. Foods with high moisture content like soups and stews are ideal.
- Spend time in a natural environment each day for overall wellness and grounding.
Don’ts for Vata:
- Don’t keep an erratic schedule or skip meals.
- Don’t overwork yourself, or over exercise.
- Don’t drink cold and iced foods and drinks, especially with meals.
- Don’t go on raw food diets as it will complicate your digestion.
- Don’t travel frequently, especially by air. You can’t get much more ungrounded than that.
- Don’t consume coffee or other stimulants as it will make you hyper but leave you more exhausted.
- Don’t eat on the go as you’ll have a harder time digesting it
Foods to eat and avoid
| ||Foods to eat|| ||Foods to avoid|
| ||Major||Minor|| |
|Vegetables||Green Beans, onion (cooked), pumpkin, carrots, artichoke, asparagus, watercress, summer squash (Zucchini), sweet potatoes||Broccoli, spinach, radish, lettuce, bitter gourd, cucumber||Cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, mushrooms, peas, tomatoes, turnips, potatoes (white)|
|Fruits||Apricot, avocado, bananas, berries, dates, figs (fresh), cherries, plums, papaya, mango, lemons, kiwi, grapefruit||Apples, peas, pomegranate, cranberries, raisins||Prunes, watermelon|
|Grains (Vata type should avoid a mono-diet of brown rice)||Basmati rice (brown or white), brown rice, oats (whole cooked), sushi rice (white), wheat berries||Amaranth, barley, quinoa||Buck wheat, corn, oats (dry), rye, cereals (dried)|
|Legumes & beans||Aduki beans, tofu (cooked), mung dhal (split or whole)||Black chickpeas, urad dhal, moth beans||Black beans, kidney beans, soybeans, white beans, lentils, tempeh|
|Nuts and seeds|| ||Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts|| |
|Dairy products||Buttermilk, cow’s milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, ghee||Cheeses (hard or soft), ice cream (homemade), sour cream, goat’s milk||Commercial or powdered dairy products|
|Animal products||Fresh and organic chicken, turkey, seafood, eggs|| || |
|Oils / fats||Almond, sesame (dark or light), sunflower, canola||Coconut, olive, soy, mustard, walnut||Animal fats, corn, vegetable (mixed)|
|Sweeteners||Amajake (rice milk), brown rice syrup, brown sugar, dates, fruit juice concentrates, honey (raw and uncooked), maple syrup, sugarcane juice||Barley malt, molasses, dried fruits (apricots, bananas, papaya, peaches, pineapples, raisins)||Honey (cooked), white sugar, sugar substitutes (saccharin, sweet’ n low, NutraSweet)|
|Herbs, spices, and flavourings||Anise, asafoetida, basil, black cumin, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, chili pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, curry leaves, fennel, garam masala, ginger (dried or fresh), mango powder, mustard seeds, nutmeg, peppermint, pippali, rosemary, saffron, tamarind, thyme, turmeric, vanilla||Cayenne, fenugreek, mint, carom, cilantro, garlic||Garlic (raw), extremely bitter and astringent herbs and spices|
|Condiments||Mustard, tamarind, olives, mayonnaise, vinegar, sea salt, rock salt, daikon, pickles, ginger, lime, chutney (coconut or mango)||Cilantro, rose water, chili pepper, coconut (grated)||Garlic (raw), ketchup, onion (raw), salt (iodised), preservatives and additives, chemicals|
|Seaweeds (Soak and rinse thoroughly before use)||Arame, kombu, wakame, hijiki||Agar-agar, blue-green algae, pulse, kelp, seaware|| |
|Brews and beverages (Drinks should not be cold, and most fruit juices should be diluted with water or milk for Vata types)||Almond milk, coconut milk, orange juice, aloe vera drinks, apricot juice, berry juice, carrot juice, cherry juice, date shake, grapefruit juice, lemonade, mango juice, grape juice, papaya juice, peach juice, pineapple juice, salted drinks, sour drinks||Carob drinks, carob-banana shake, lassi, milk shakes, mixed vegetable juices||Alcohol, cold drinks, prune juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, pungent drinks, caffeinated drinks, carbonated drinks|
|Teas||Ajwan, twig, basil, chamomile, chicory, cinnamon, cloves, comfrey, eucalyptus, fennel, ginger, lavender, lemon balm, liquorice, lotus, orange peel, mashmallow, peppermint, saffron||Alfafa, jasmine, barley (grain tea), raspberry, nettle, hibiscus, ginseng, chrysanthemum||Dandelion, mormon tea, blackberry, corn silk|
|General considerations||Foods of sweet, sour and salty taste, warm, oily and heavy/ adequate foods|| ||Foods of pungent, bitter and astringent tastes, dry, light and cold foods|