Ayurveda is a holistic approach that comes from the ancient Vedic scriptures, which is a 5000-year-old medical philosophy and practice that foretells us that our body is made up of five elements or the Pancha dhatus. According to ayurvedic scriptures, ‘Health’ is a state of equipoise that depends upon the normal functioning of the Dhatus, Gunas, Malas, Agni and Doshas.
Depending upon the type of energy or gunas, they possess, human beings are categorized into seven different body types mainly the Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Kapha-Pitta and Vata-Pitta-Kapha type. Each of these doshas has its own specific set of physical and psychological attributes and is directly related to an individual’s health. When in balance, they foster health and well-being but when out of synchronization, they lead to irregular functioning of the various systems of the body causing diseases.
Thanks to the growing knowledge of herbs and spices, off lately ayurveda has come up with a unique way to bring the various doshas into balance by allowing one to follow a particular diet schedule. If you have been analysed as a Vata type person, this article details on what is Vata and also brings you the type of diet you should follow and things you can avoid, to normalise the dosha.
What Is Vata?
It is a type of energy that is made up of air and ether and is linked with movement, creativity, and impulse.
What Are The Physical Attributes Of A Vata Person?
A Vata type person is usually either small or has a large body frame. They have small eyes, delicate, thin skin, frizzy hair, and irregularly shaped teeth. They tend to get more affected due to sun rays. The people under this category are quick-witted, enthusiastic and creative. They also love to be in a warm nurturing environment and have a keen sight for dance and music.
What Happens When Vata Is Out Of Balance?
When the Vata doshas governing the body are out of synchronization, the individual tends to be agitated, experience lower back pain, neural problems, insomnia, poor circulation, constipation, dry skin, headache, poor digestion, cracking joints, emaciation, anxiety, and psychological problems.
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The Vata imbalance can easily be brought under control by following a specified set of food guidance:
What Is Vata Diet?
Vata Diet is a type of diet that focuses on balancing the Vata doshas by incorporating Vata-pacifying food options into your diet. The diet brings you a palate of freshly prepared home-cooked foods that are soft and mushy in texture, seasoned with a variety of spices and edible oils, rich in fats and proteins and served warm.
Given below are the various food alternatives you can choose from that will not only normalise the vata doshas by lubricating and nourishing the tissues but also preserve moisture, and aid in proper digestion, and elimination of wastes.
Indulge: Apples (cooked), bananas (ripe), berries, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruit, figs (ripe), apricots, dates, kiwi, lime, lemon, mango, papaya, orange, melon, peach, plum, pineapple, prune (ripe), and resin.
Avoid: Apples (raw), cranberries, pears, fig (dry), dried fruits, dates (dry), bananas (green), pomegranate, raisins (dry), prunes (dry), and watermelon.
Indulge: Avocado, asparagus, chillies, cilantro, beets, carrots, green chillies, green beans, garlic, leek, okra, mustard greens, olives, onion, peas, parsnip, pumpkin, spinach, squash, sweet potato, and zucchini.
Avoid: Artichokes, bitter melon, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots (raw), bell peppers, cauliflower, celery, chillies, eggplant, corn, dandelion (green), kale, lettuce, mushroom, olive (green), potato (white), radish, spinach (raw), sprout, tomato and turnip.
Indulge In: Oats, rice, quinoa, wheat, durham flour and amaranth.
Avoid: Barley, millet, corn, crackers, granola, muesli, oats (bran), pasta, rice cakes, tapioca, yeasted bread and oat bran.
Indulge In: Moong dal, toor dal, urad dal, miso, red lentil, soy milk, soy cheese, and tofu.
Avoid: Black beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lima beans, brown lentils, pinto beans, soybean, soy flour, tempeh, white beans and split peas.
Indulge In: Cow’s milk, goat’s milk, butter, cheese, ghee, ice cream, sour cream, yoghurt, cottage cheese, and buttermilk.
Avoid: Frozen yoghurt and powdered milk.
Nuts and seeds
Indulge In: Coconut, macadamia nuts, walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, pine nuts, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Indulge In: Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, basil, ajwain, caraway, anise, bay leaf, cumin, coriander, turmeric, hing, fennel, garlic, ginger, poppy seeds, peppermint, oregano, nutmeg, pepper, paprika, parsley, mustard seeds, rosemary, thyme, saffron, salt, vanilla, neem powder, cayenne pepper and chilli powder,
Avoid: Cayenne powder, chilli powder, neem leaves and fenugreek powder.
Indulge In: Olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, mustard oil, avocado oil, castor oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil safflower oil, sesame oil and ghee.
Avoid: Flaxseed oil, canola oil, corn oil and soy oil.
Indulge In: Honey, barley malt, date sugar, fructose, jaggery, rice syrup, maple syrup, and molasses.
Avoid: Artificial sweetener, white sugar and honey (when cooked).
Indulge In: Eggs, chicken, and sea water fishes.
Avoid: Other varieties of animal meat.
A Simple Vata-Pacifying Diet Chart
- Cereals with warm milk
- A multigrain or whole wheat bread sandwich or buttered toast
- Semolina or rice pudding garnished with nuts or fried seeds
- Boiled or sauteed vegetables served with rice or whole-grain pasta.
- Basmati rice accompanied with split moong dal
- Whole wheat bread along with sauteed okra garnished with coriander leaves and shredded coconut.
Note: Fats like butter or edible oils like coconut oil or olive oil or mustard oil can be used for cooking.
- Warm rasam with rice
- Spiced soup with multigrain breadsticks
- Options given in the lunch can also be taken as dinner
Note: Dinner should be light and be done 2hours before sleeping.
People who have a Vata dominant body type should always avoid fasting, performing strenuous physical activity, going for chiropractic treatments or working in a closed air-conditioned surrounding. They should also avoid dry, light and cold foods and foods that have a bitter, pungent and astringent taste. Regular practice of Abhayanga or oil massage specifically with sesame oil proves to be extremely beneficial for Vata-governing people.