What are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Dosha in Ayurved? What should be your diet as per the Dosha?

Dosha and prakriti

Dosha and prakriti&  | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspiStock Images

Key Highlights

  • In a family, just like all members have their own individual strengths, qualities, features, talents, likes, dislikes, etc – the nature of each one’s body too can differ. In a family, people may or may not have similar doshas. 
  • The three Dosha are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).

Ayurvedic medicine system or Ayurved for short is one of the oldest holistic healing systems in the world. It was developed more than 5,000 years ago in India. More than treatment for diseases, the primary focus of Ayurveda is on helping one maintain the delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. It focuses on promoting good health and immunity. 

Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one’s life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. 

Our bodies are made of 5 basic elements (Pancha Maha Tatva or Bhuta) found in the universe: space (Aakash), air (Vayu), fire (Agni), water (Jal), and earth (Prithvi).

These Panch Maha Tatva combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They decide the nature of working or the work systems in your body – they control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth). Many factors, both internal and external, act upon us to disturb this balance and are reflected as a change in one’s constitution from the balanced state. 

In a family, just like all members have their own individual strengths, qualities, features, talents, likes, dislikes, etc – the nature of each one’s body too can differ. In a family, people may or may not have similar doshas. 

Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one dosha is usually dominant over the other doshas in a person’s body. In the physical body, Vata is the subtle energy of movement, pitta the energy of digestion and metabolism, and Kapha the energy that forms the body’s structure.

Vata Dosha
According to Ayurved.com, Vaat dosha governs breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue movement, pulsation of the heart, and all movements in the cytoplasm and cell membranes. In balance, Vata promotes creativity and flexibility. Out of balance, Vata produces fear and anxiety.

Pitta Dosha
Pitta Dosha governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, pitta arouses anger, hatred and jealousy.

Kapha Dosha
This life force controls muscle growth, body strength and stability, weight, and your immune system. Kapha dosha supplies the water for all bodily parts and systems. It lubricates joints, moisturises the skin, and maintains immunity. In balance, Kapha is expressed as love, calmness and forgiveness. Out of balance, it leads to attachment, greed and envy.

Food according to Doshas:

For Vata Dosha:
Eat salty, sour, and sweet-tasting foods. Warm milk, cream, butter, warm soups, stews, hot cereals, fresh-baked bread, raw nuts, and nut butter are good for Vatas. Avoid unripe fruits. Take less of salads, iced drinks, raw vegetables and greens are not good for those with Vata imbalance (i.e. where Vata is dominant). Avoid drinks with too much caffeine and candies as they disturb Vata. Eat cooked veggies like asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumber, garlic, green beans, onions, sweet potatoes, radishes, and turnips. Take well-ripened fruits like bananas, apricots, avocados, berries, cherries, coconut, fresh figs, grapefruit, lemons, grapes, mangoes, sweet melons, sour oranges, papaya, pineapple, peaches, plums, stewed fruits.

For Pitta Dosha:
Eat cool or warm food, not steaming-hot foods. Bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes are ideal. Consume salads, milk, and ice cream, herbal tea, specifically mint or liquorice root tea. Cold cereal, cinnamon toast, and apple tea are good in the mornings for a Pitta Prakriti person. Milk, grains, and vegetables are good. Avoid red meat, too many fats, pickles, sour cream, and cheese. Avoid egg yolks, alcoholic drinks. Eat sweet and bitter vegetables, like asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, green (sweet) peppers, leafy green vegetables, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, parsley, peas, potatoes, sprouts, squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrot, and spinach – and fruits like bananas, avocados, cherries, coconuts, figs, mangoes, melons, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, and raisins.

Kapha Dosha:
Reduce butter and added fat, and avoid pickles, sour cream, and cheese. Have barley, oats, Basmati rice, wheat. In fruits, have Bananas, avocados, cherries, coconuts, figs, mangoes, melons, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, and raisins. Eat sweet and bitter vegetables, like asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, parsley, peas, potatoes, sprouts, squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrot, and spinach, cabbage, radishes, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, green (sweet) peppers, leafy green vegetables. 

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

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