The ayurvedic diet is been followed by people for the past thousand years. It is the type of diet that includes the balancing of different types of energy with your body, which also helps in improving your health. 

Unlike many other diets, the Ayurvedic diet gives you personalized recommendations on which foods to eat and which to avoid based on your body type. It’s also popular because it’s said to promote not only physical but also mental health.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about the Ayurvedic diet, including its benefits, drawbacks, and foods to eat and avoid.

Understanding about Ayurvedic diet

Ayurveda is a type of holistic medicine that focuses on promoting body-mind balance.

The universe is made up of five elements, according to Ayurveda: Vayu (air), Jala (water), Akash (space), Teja (fire), and Prithvi (earth).

These elements are thought to combine to form three distinct doshas, which are types of energy that circulate within your body. Each dosha is in charge of different physiological functions.

Pitta governs hunger, thirst, and body temperature. Meanwhile, the Vata dosha regulates electrolytes and movement, whereas the Kapha dosha promotes joint function.

The Ayurvedic diet is an Ayurvedic component that has been practiced for thousands of years. It is based on identifying your dominant dosha and eating specific foods to promote balance among the three doshas.

How does it work

The Ayurvedic diet is a type of eating plan that specifies when, how, and what to eat based on your dosha, or body type.

Here are some of the main characteristics of each dosha to help you decide which one best suits you:

Pitta (fire plus water). Intelligent, determined, and hardworking. This dosha has a medium physical build, a short temper, and may be afflicted with indigestion, heart disease, or high blood pressure.

Vata (space + air). Innovative, energizing, and lively. When this dosha is out of balance, people with this dosha tend to be thin with a light frame and may experience digestive issues, fatigue, or anxiety.

Earth + water = Kapha. Naturally serene, grounded, and devoted. Those with a Kapha dosha have a stronger build and may struggle with weight gain, asthma, depression, or diabetes.

Your dosha determines which foods you should eat to promote inner balance, according to this diet.

The pitta dosha, for example, prefers cooling, energizing foods and avoids spices, nuts, and seeds.

Meanwhile, the Vata dosha prefers warm, moist, grounding foods and avoids dried fruits, bitter herbs, and raw vegetables.

Finally, the Kapha dosha prefers fruits, vegetables, and legumes over heavy foods like nuts, seeds, and oils.

All three doshas should avoid red meat, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. Instead, the Ayurvedic diet promotes the consumption of nutritious whole foods.

Benefits

Here are a few of the Ayurvedic Diet’s potential benefits.

Promotes whole foods

Although there are specific guidelines for each dosha in the Ayurvedic diet, the diet as a whole encourages eating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.

Because these foods are high in essential nutrients, they can greatly benefit your health.

The diet also limits processed foods, which frequently lack fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

According to research, eating more processed foods may increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, and even death.

As a result, the Ayurvedic diet may aid in the prevention of chronic disease and the promotion of overall health. More research, however, is required.

Could aid in weight loss

Because the Ayurvedic diet emphasizes nutrient-dense whole foods, it may aid in weight loss.

While research on the Ayurvedic diet and weight loss is limited, some studies have found that it may be effective in this regard.

One study of 200 people with pitta or Kapha doshas, for example, found that following an Ayurvedic diet for three months resulted in significant weight loss. These individuals are said to be heavier than those with Vata doshas.

Following an Ayurveda-based lifestyle modification program that included dietary changes and yoga classes resulted in an average weight loss of 13 pounds (6 kg) over 9 months, according to another small study.

Foods to consume

Foods are classified in Ayurveda based on their physical properties and how they are said to affect your body. This assists in determining which ingredients work best for which doshas. 

The foods listed below are recommended for your specific dosha.

Pitta

  • Protein: small amounts of poultry, egg whites, and tofu
  • Milk, ghee, and butter
  • Fruits: ripe, sweet fruits such as oranges, pears, pineapples, bananas, melons, and mangoes.
  • Vegetables: cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, zucchini, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and Brussels sprouts are examples of sweet and bitter vegetables.
  • Chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, lima beans, black beans, and kidney beans are examples of legumes.
  • Grains include barley, oats, basmati rice, and wheat.

Vata

  • Protein: small amounts of poultry, seafood, tofu
  • Dairy: milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, ghee
  • Fruits: fully ripe, sweet, and heavy fruits, such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit, mangoes, peaches, and plums
  • Vegetables: cooked vegetables, including beets, sweet potatoes, onions, radishes, turnips, carrots, and green beans
  • Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, mung beans
  • Grains: cooked oats, cooked rice
  • Nuts and seeds: any, including almonds, walnuts, pistachios, chia seeds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Herbs and spices: cardamom, ginger, cumin, basil, cloves, oregano, thyme, black pepper

Kapha

  • Prkaphaotein: poultry in small amounts, seafood, egg whites
  • Dairy: skim milk, goat milk, soy milk
  • Fruits: apples, blueberries, pears, pomegranates, cherries, and dried fruit like raisins, figs, and prunes
  • Vegetables: asparagus, leafy greens, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, radishes, okra
  • Legumes: any, including black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and navy beans
  • Grains: oats, rye, buckwheat, barley, corn, millet
  • Nuts and seeds: small amounts of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds
  • Herbs and spices: any, including cumin, black pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, basil, oregano, and thyme

Foods to avoid

Here are some of the foods you should limit or avoid based on your dosha.

Pitta

  • Proteins: red meat, seafood, egg yolks
  • Dairy: sour cream, cheese, buttermilk
  • Fruits: sour or unripe fruits, such as grapes, apricots, papaya, grapefruit, and sour cherries
  • Vegetables: chili peppers, beets, tomatoes, onions, eggplant
  • Grains: brown rice, millet, corn, rye
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, sesame seeds
  • Herbs and spices: any spices not included in the list above

Vata

  • Proteins: red meat
  • Fruits: dried, unripe, or light fruits, such as raisins, cranberries, pomegranates, and pears
  • Vegetables: any raw vegetables, as well as cooked broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, and tomatoes
  • Legumes: beans, such as black beans, kidney beans, and navy beans
  • Grains: buckwheat, barley, rye, wheat, corn, quinoa, millet
  • Herbs and spices: bitter or astringent herbs like parsley, thyme, and coriander seed

Kapha

  • Proteins: red meat, shrimp, egg yolks
  • Fruits: bananas, coconuts, mangoes, fresh figs
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers
  • Legumes: soybeans, kidney beans, miso
  • Grains: rice, wheat, cooked cereal
  • Nuts and seeds: cashews, pecans, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts

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