We all know that for healthy living we require a balanced diet constituted of protein, carbohydrates and fats, minerals, vitamines etc.
Ayurveda has considered about the diet in detail. The Ayurvedic diet is one that not only nourishes the body, but also restores balance of ‘Tridoshas’ wich is very much essential for maintaining Health. Depending on our dosha, or constitutional type, some foods can be beneficial, and others should be avoided. These same foods may have the opposite effect on another dosha. The science of Ayurveda teaches that right diet is the foundation of healing. For maximum health and vitality, the ideal diet is one that balances our doshas.
Here we are recommending foods to balance each of the three doshas.
The qualities of vata are cold, dry, light, hard, and rough.
VATA PACIFYING FOODS:
General: Excess vata can be counterbalanced with nutritive and tissue-building foods that are warm, moist, heavy, soft and oily, as well as foods with a sweet, sour and salty taste. For example, vata pacifying foods include ghee, soft dairy products, wheat, rice, corn and bananas. A person with a vata constitution should favor foods like hot cereal with ghee, hearty soups and vegetables, and whole cooked grains and chapatis. Spicy foods are generally okay for vata.
Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumber, green beans, okra (bhindi), onions and garlic, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnips.
Fruits:Bananas, coconuts, dates, mangoes, melons, peaches, all sweet fruits in general.
Grains: Oats, rice and wheat
VATA AGGRAVATING FOODS:
General: Foods with the vata qualities, such as crackers, frozen desserts, and large amounts of raw vegetables and salads, will aggravate vata. Also, refined foods such as white flour and sugar, have light and dry qualities and would be best avoided by people with vata constitutions.Pungent, bitter, astringent; light, dry, cold foods,stimulants like smoking, alcohol, junk food, sugar, tea (esp. long leaf teas and green tea), brown rice.
Vegetables: Cabbage, cauliflower, celery, brinjal, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, peas, peppers (simla mirch) potatoes, sprouts, tomatoes, zucchini (tori). If you do have these vegetables cook them in pure desi ghee or unrefined til oil. Tomatoes are best avoided except as a small addition to salads.
Fruits: Apples, pears, pomegranates.
Spices: Vatas can have almost all spices and herbs in moderation When there is aggravated Vata, the following are to be taken with caution : coriander seeds (dhaniya powder), fenugreek (methi seeds), saffron, turmeric, parsley. Avoid too much hot, dry spices such as dried chili, which will aggravate dryness.
Pitta’s properties are hot, sharp, oily and light.
PITTA PACIFYING FOODS:
General: you can balance excess pitta with foods that are cool, dry and heavy with a mild, naturally sweet, bitter or astringent taste. For example, milk, rice, beans, steamed vegetables and fruit are good for pitta people. Mild spices like cumin, coriander and cilantro are particularly beneficial for pitta. Sweet, bitter, astringent; cold, heavy, dry. Moderation, coolness, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, green coriander (dhaniya), coriander seeds, cardamom, sprouts and raw foods.
Vegetables & Fruits: can eat most vegetables and fruits. Exceptions are given below.
Grains: Barley, oats, wheat, parboiled rice.
PITTA AGGRAVATING FOODS:
General: pungent and oily foods such as curry, fried foods and spicy condiments, as well as spices such as cayenne, garlic and dry ginger, should be avoided by pitta constitutions. Pungent, sour, salty, hot, light, oily. Stimulants like smoking, alcohol, coffee, pickles, vinegar, fried foods, spicy foods, fermented foods, curds, almond, corn, til, mustard oil.
Vegetables: Beets, carrots, brinjal, garlic, hot peppers, onions, spinach, tomatoes.
Fruit: Sour and unripe fruits. If there is aggravated Pitta avoid grapefruit, papayas, peaches, bananas, apricots.
Grains: Brown rice, corn, millet, ry
The qualities of kapha dosha are cold, heavy, liquid and unctuous.
KAPHA PACIFYING FOODS:
General: To balance kapha dominance, eat smaller amounts of food and emphasize food with vata properties of light and dry. Also, foods which are dry, hot or sharp are recommended, so look for foods with pungent, bitter or astringent tastes. Examples include puffed cereals such as puffed rice or corn; small, astringent grains, such as millet, amaranth, and quinoa; and light, bitter vegetables such as leafy greens. Spices like ginger, turmeric and chili are generally good for kapha people.
Favor: Warm light food, dry food cooked without much water, minimum of butter, oil and sugar, stimulating foods (ginger, chillies, pickles), raw foods, salads, fruits.
Vegetables: Generally all vegetables are good, but if you are suffering from any kapha disorder like lung congestion, congestive asthma, sinuses, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high cholestrol, then avoid all sweet juicy vegetables such as cucumbers, pumpkin family, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tori, ghiya etc.
Fruits: Apples, apricots, pears, pomegranates, dried fruits in general (apricots, figs, prunes, raisins)
Lentils & Legumes : If the dosha is not aggravated all except tofu and kidney beans are acceptable.
Spices: All are good – ginger is best for improving digestion, turmeric is excellent for drying out the mucous, chillies are excellent for removing mucous.
KAPHA AGGRAVATING FOODS:
General:Foods such as dairy products, wheat, avocados and oils have these qualities and will increase kapha in the body. Sweet, sour, salty; heavy, oily, cold. Desserts, sweets, ice cream, deep fried foods, possessiveness, miserliness, laziness.
Vegetables: all sweet juicy vegetables such as cucumbers, pumpkin family, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tori, ghiya etc.
Fruits: All sweet juicy fruits in general.
Lentils & Legumes : Tofu and kidney beans.
Spices: excess salt.