Ayurveda defines five distinct body types and diets appropriate to each of them, but the word best might not be what you would expect! Each body type has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose your diet carefully. Before you dive into an Ayurvedic diet, read this article on what the best diet according to Ayurveda is and how to determine which one you are!
What is Ayurvedic nutrition? How can it be integrated into a modern lifestyle, and what are some of its most popular diets? Keep reading to find out.
Different Diets According to Ayurveda
If you’re following a strict Ayurvedic diet and are looking for a way to boost your metabolism while minimizing inflammation, try consuming lots of ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper. These foods are considered by many nutritionists as warm and spicy spices that can help increase metabolism while reducing cravings.
Know Your Dosha
There are three main doshas in Ayurvedic philosophy: vata, pitta, and kapha. Each of these doshas has an element and a season associated with it. Pittas, for example, have fire as their primary element and summer as their season. Kapha people’s elements are water and winter while vatas thrive in air and springtime. Knowing which dosha you most relate to will help you choose your diet.
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According to Ayurvedic theory, Vata is predominantly dry and cold, with qualities of lightness and dryness. It’s associated with wind in terms of both mental activity (think daydreaming) and movement (such as energy or physical exertion). The Vata body type tends toward thinness; pale, cool skin; and light, yet oily hair.
Perfect for individuals with a pitta dosha, a pitta-based diet emphasizes spicy foods, moderate protein and plenty of raw vegetables. A pitta-based diet is also rich in vitamin C and fiber—it’s low in meat, cholesterol and salt. It’s also important to avoid dairy products if you have a pitta dosha; many people with a genetic predisposition towards over-acidity can find dairy especially difficult to digest.
Kapha, a dosha associated with water and earth, rules your body’s mucus membranes (i.e., sinuses, lungs, mouth), lungs, skin, body fluids and reproductive system. It makes sense that if you want to eat a Kapha-balancing diet you should focus on foods that are light and pungent like citrus fruits and ginger.
Good Things That Go Well with Each Dosha
The Kapha Dosha has a naturally slower metabolism. This can make it difficult for them to lose weight, but there are a few foods that support their digestion and boost their body’s ability to burn calories. One such food is ginger! Ginger stimulates circulation, which increases perspiration (an important function of Kapha). To reap its full effects, try adding ginger and/or turmeric into your recipes during cooking. With each bite you take, you will feel less burdened by your extra pounds.
So, what’s considered a balanced Ayurvedic diet and how can you maintain it long-term? A balanced Ayurvedic eating plan: Consists of six tastes; bitter, sweet, salty, pungent, astringent and sour. Has seasonal foods in season. Contains pre-digested food.