Ayurvedic Foods and Lifestyle
Foods to eat and foods to avoid
Ama is waste products from digestion which toxify the system and cause harmful reactions in the body such as diseases even mental and emotional disorders.
Foods that are heavy on your digestion are:
- fried foods
- hard yellow cheeses
- flesh foods
- left over food
- processed foods
- rich combinations of foods
Always avoid cold foods and drinks such as ice cream and cold water as this dampens the digestive fire and causes 'ama' - toxins.
The body requires that you form sustainable habits which will help the digestion and balance of lifestyle. Such as:
Eating at the same times every day.
Not skipping meals.
Eating your largest meal at noon when digestion is strongest.
Eating at different times every day can cause physical and emotional stress on the body.
Don't eat when you are emotionally upset, arguing with someone or having a problem in the mind.
When you are not hungry.
When you are overtired.
Exercising the body for the right amount for your constitution. Vata's require light soothing exercise like yoga, swimming, walking in nature, and Tai Chi. Pitta requires exercise which is non-competitive and relaxing such as running, swimming, pilates, Tai Chi and surfing. Kapha requires more prolonged vigorous sports like hiking, jogging, tennis, and kayaking.
We are all a mix of the doshas (as all elements are present within all matter) That is why some implications will overlap. In Ayurveda, there is constantly an interplay between the energy of the person and the energy of the food along with the energy of the environment which is the seasons.
As a general rule in summer its better to eat more sweet cool, bitter astringent, raw and high water content foods, green vegetables, and sprouts. In the winter we want to eat more pungent bitter and astringent foods that are warm and dry and include ginger and cayenne. In fall more sweet fruits, naturally salty warm heavy and high fiber foods, including soaked nuts, dried fruit, and seeds.
Ayurveda for your age
These are our general guidelines, which should also be taken into consideration after you know which dosha you are and have taken our Dosha Quiz
Once the aging process begins we are in a vata stage of life, hence the need to pay more attention to a vata balancing diet. This may differ for all as some age in their 40's and others may at their 70's, as it depends on how well you have looked after yourself.
Children need to eat a Kapha balancing diet, as they are drinking breast milk to closest food to this is coconut water and a great substitute as well as bottled tea with balancing fennel, cumin, and coriander it stops colic. Young adults are mostly on the go and making strides in the World. This is the pitta stage of life and should eat a Pitta pacifying diet.
People with a mainly Vata constitution should mainly eat sweet fruits and vegetables to help them feel satisfied and calm. Salty tastes add heat, whilst sour tastes increase acidity. Bitter, much "too pungent and astringent tastes will create emotional instability and drying out" of the nervous system. Heavy, oily and warm, sweet and salty foods eaten at a similar time of day helps to balance vata's. Watery soupy foods are also recommended to help with any constipation.
Vata's are not recommended to much cold, dry, light foods in vata season ( winter and fall). Foods such as lettuce leaves without adding oils are making gas and bloating for vata. So to make these light foods more digestible soak seeds and dried fruits and add sweet, oily dressings to salads. Pungent spice is also good in moderation for vata's such as ginger in the form of warm teas taken before eating. Cold drinks are a "no-no" as well as carbonated drinks and ice water.
The best diet for pitta type is raw and bland and regular meals three times a day as they have a strong faster metabolism. They are the most sensitive of the doshas to toxins in the air, food, and water as well as vata types but they are less. It is most important for pitta types to eat organic food and drink only filtered water. Sweet bitter and astringent tasting foods, which are cooling and heavy are most balancing for pitta. Spicy, oily, salty, and sour foods tend to
foods will aggravate pittas, but lemons have a cleansing effect on the liver and therefor pittas can take them as and pickedimbalance Pittas. Overeating, alcohol, salt, caffeine, coffee, tobacco, mustard, garlic, onions, ginger, and other stimulants aggravate emotions and physical heat and natural aggression of pittas. Food that is sour such as citrus avoid eggs is another big hazard to pittas, as one of the major tendency is acid indigestion. Foods for pitta types to there overall effect is alkalinizing and liver purifying.
Cooling tastes such as bitter and astringent leafy greens are balancing. Sweet juicy fruits such as apples, watermelon, cucumbers are wonderfully balancing. Herbs that balance Pitta dosha are coriander, cardamom, fennel, cumin, and turmeric, occasionally black pepper on cool days. Fruits and vegetables are most balancing for pittas so eat more asparagus, cilantro, celery, fresh leafy greens, green beans, okra, peas, and sprouts. Slightly heating foods such as strawberries, persimmons, tomatoes, daikons, beets, carrots should be eaten when pitta is not aggravated. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds can be used and may be better than nuts. Nuts and seeds are hot and oily and should be eaten sparingly, and only after being soaked and sprouted they can be used in moderation. Coconut oil and coconut water are great for pitta as it is cooling and sweet.
Sweet, sour & salty foods imbalanced Kapha whilst pungent, astringent, and bitter foods tend to be more balanced because of there drying qualities. Oily foods should be eaten with care as should any sweeteners. Vegetables are particularly balancing, as are green leafy salads, because of there bitter, astringent qualities. Vegetables with warm water, combined with pungent spices cayenne, ginger, cardamom, turmeric and black pepper. Asparagus, broccoli, brussels, cabbage, carrots cauliflower, celery, eggplant, leafy greens lettuce, parsley, peas, pepper, spinach, and sprouts are all balancing for Kapha. Pears, apples, and pomegranates, are all the best fruits for Kapha. Nuts and seeds are heavy and oily so seeds like flax, pumpkin, and sunflower are best for Kapha. Kaphas are aggravated by salt and should avoid olives, the salt that is more agreeable for them is celtic salt which is sun-dried mineral salt having 82 minerals.
Kaphas have the slowest digestion and have a tendency to move the bowel only once a day, unlike the other doshas. It may help them to eat just twice a day - the morning and evening to help reduce body weight. Kapha does well on live food diets which are raw as cooked foods produce more mucus. Kapha's that are a combination with pitta will do very well with raw as that pitta element gives them more digestive juice. Kapha - Vata's can build their digestion on raw foods and stay all year round if they add pungent spices and stay light at meal times. Meals for Kapha should be six hours apart with no snaking in between, a drink of ginger tea will help get the digestive juices get ready for divine digesting.