Ayurveda has always been revered in India. The doctors, known as Vaids, have demonstrated an uncanny knack of being able to dispense both cures and treatments with natural herbs and medicines that are both effective as well as suitable for the patient.
I Say Organic decided to take a look at what one should eat, according to Ayurveda. Whether your body type is Vata, Pitta or Kapha, or more commonly, two of the doshas, you can change how you eat to feel more energetic and healthy.
It is imperative that you consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner who can guide you the process of eating differently for the long-term. But here’s a short primer so you can start to mull over going organic with Ayurveda.
Vata, pitta or kapha?
Ayurveda divides bodies into three types or doshas – vata or air, pitta or fire, and kapha or earthy. Reflecting nature itself, these doshas are not just physical, but mental, emotional and behavioural too. Here’s a short guide to the symptoms typical of every dosha – remember you could have a combination of two, with one being dominant.
Vata: Dry or rough skin, insomnia, constipation, fatigue, headaches, intolerance of cold
underweight or losing weight, anxiety, worry and restlessness, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder, creative and quick to learn, slender, tall, fast-walker, discomfort in cold climates, changeable moods, high energy in short bursts, tendency to tire easily, tesponds to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety, especially when out of balance
Pitta: Prone to rashes or inflammatory skin conditions (including acne), stomach aches, diarrhea, controlling and manipulative behaviour, issues in vision or burning in the eyes, excessive body heat, hostility, irritability, excessive competitive drive, medium physique, or strong, well-built, sharp mind with good concentration powers, orderly, focused and assertive, self-confident, strong digestion, strong appetite and get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal, fair or reddish skin tone, often with freckles and sunburns easily, tires in heat, perspires a lot, impatient and quick to anger
Kapha: Oily skin, slow digestion, sinus congestion, nasal allergies, asthma, obesity, skin growths, possessiveness, neediness, apathy, depression, difficulty paying attention, easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced, loving, forgiving and compassionate, nonjudgmental, stable and reliable; physically strong, most energetic of all constitutions, slow in speech, reflecting deliberate thought process, outstanding long-term memory, may suffer from sluggish digestion, prone to colds and congestion, sinus headaches and respiratory problems including asthma and allergies
What to eat
Ayurveda identifies six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. Each has different effects on the mind and body; and aggravates or pacifies specific doshas. Ayurveda opines that like increases like – which means that for a pitta fire type, spicy foods may make things worse. Here are some broad guidelines for the three doshas.
Vata or air type: Icy carbonated drinks or foods that cause gas like chaats, raw veggies or grains are to be avoided, as is stale food or food kept overnight.
Your diet should ideally include more cooked, warm foods and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Sweet berries, organic fruits, small beans, organic rice, and organic nuts are better for Vata types. Moderate exercise or low-impact activities like swimming, yoga etc is good for them. Organic ghee and warm organic nut milks or organic milk powder beverages are highly recommended for vata types.
Pitta or fire type: Pitta types feel hungry more often than other types. Pitta types must avoid acidic fruits like citrus fruits or tomatoes. Avoiding overexposure to direct sunlight, fried, fermented and spicy foods as well as alcohol and tobacco is essential to stop build of the yellow bile in their systems.
Unctuous foods like ghee are highly recommended for them. The important thing is to cool their systems with fresh and sweet organic vegetables and organic fruits like cucumbers, melons, avocado, cherries. Watery produce and fresh organic greens are also good.
Kapha or earthy type: Kapha types do not get hungry very quickly due to the build of up of kaph in their systems. Cold foods should be avoided as much as possible as it aggravates their naturally congested systems.
Light, hot, and spicy foods as well as organic spices such as black pepper, ginger, cumin, chili are recommended. Bitter dark organic greens are also good for kapha types, who should avoid heavy or oily foods and processed sugars. Intermittent fasting is also beneficial for them.