A Balanced Life comes from our Balanced Doshas through Balancing our Diet

Just like thumbprints, every being on this universe has a unique mind and body type. Upon understanding what work for our body/mind (e.g. diet and lifestyle), it allows our body to perform at its optimal level while contributing to our emotional well-being too. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all nutrition diet for all individuals.

Ayurveda works on the principles of Doshas.

The ancient Ayurvedic text Sushrita Samhita states, “He whose doshas are in balance, whose appetite is good…whose body, mind, and senses remain full of bliss, is called a healthy person.” When our body is balances, we only crave for foods that are good for us.

Ahara, aka proper diet, is key in promoting physical and emotional well-being in all individuals by using the body’s intelligence to concoct its own special diet plan. Ayurveda identifies six major tastes in our everyday diet: Sweer, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent

Each of these tastes has their health-benefits, and a diet that incorporates all will allow our body to be well-nourished and harmonious (i.e. better immune system). A well-balanced diet will mean to balance out the cravings that we have by ingesting food that we do not crave. For example, someone who has a constant diet of sweet food, e.g. fruits or candies, will have a constant craving for sweets, therefore, ahara means adding more pungent, bitter or astringent tastes to tame these sugary cravings.

These six tastes have a direct relation on our doshas, i.e. a vata body will attempt to have more bitter and astringent food in their body (to get more vata). Therefore, with the correct diet and control the negative aspects of each dosha can be calmed and the body will be balanced.

 (Elements: Air, Space)

Body Characteristics:

  • Slender, tall, fast walker
  • Generally have dry skin and do not perspire much
  • Does not absorb nutrients as easily as the other doshas
  • In balance: Creativity and Vitality
  • Out of balance: Anxiety and Overactivity
  • Meditative yoga, Taichi, walking
  • Avoid strenuous and high intensity exercises

Food to Avoid:

  • Hot and spicy food

Finding the Balance:

  • [Sweet, Sour, Salty]
  • Foods served warm
  • Dairy products
  • Sweeteners (stevia)
  • Food Leafy vegetables drizzled with olive oil
  • Fruits – juicy/heavy (avocados and bananas)
  • Carbohydrates

(Elements: Fire, Water)

Body Characteristics:

  • Medium physique, well-built
  • Good concentration powers, competitive but temperamental, strong appetite
  • Perspire a lot
  • In balance: Contentment and intelligence
  • Out of balance: Easily inflammed (e.g. pimples, ulcers) and anger
  • Cooling pranayama techniques
  • Take regular breaks from work

Food to Avoid:

  • Root vegetables (garlic, radishes)
  • Fried and spicy food
  • Alcohol

Finding the Balance:

  • [Bitter, Sweet, Astringent]
  • Food served cool
  • Reduced amounts of fats, oils and salt
  • Sweet, completely ripe food
  • Fresh leafy vegetables and fruits with high water content
  • Moderate amount of dairy products
  • Coconuts, mint, rice pudding etc.

(Elements: Water, Earth)

Body Characteristics:

  • Physically strong with a sturdy and heavier built
  • Absorbs nutrients from food easily and do not need to eat a lot to be full, therefore, a more well-rounded diet is recommended
  • Easygoing, forgiving, compassionate, not easily upset
  • In balance: Love and Forgiveness
  • Out of balance: insecurity and envy

Food to avoid:

  • Salty and oily food
  • Processed sugars

Finding the Balance:

  • [Bitter, Sour, Salty]
  • Foods served warm and spicy
  • Grains, barley, rye
  • Light, dry fruits (apples and cranberries)
  • Dairy products
  • Pumpkin, sunflower seeds and beans

Upon understanding our doshas, a proper diet and lifestyle will help to balance our system. It takes a little trial and error here and there, but to begin the change today is to see the change one day earlier! Listen to our bodies, have fun and try out different foods to find out those that are good/bad for you for your own unique diet plan.


Kin
June’15 YTT