HomeAyurvedic CookingAdjusting Food to my Dosha

SpicesAdjusting Food to my Dosha

When you look at the food list for your constitution you notice that food is gradually divided in categories from “best for your dosha” to “eliminate from your diet”. Does it mean that Vata for example should never ever eat an apple and Kapha will never taste a banana or potato?

Relax, there are ways we can adjust the food that is generally not recommended for us. There are five rules that need to be observed:

  1. Consistence of the dish.
  2. Temperature of the dish.
  3. Spices we use.
  4. Oils we use.
  5. Frequency and amount of consuming of this specific cuisine.

Let’s see examples how this rule works for the three doshas.

Vata. This dosha is supposed to avoid the food which has the same attributes: dryness, lightness and coldness. Examples are: beans, lentils, all cabbage family, buck wheat, raw vegetables. The science of Ayurveda helps us transform dry, light and cold ingredients into Vata appropriate food. Vata food needs to be:

  1. Homogenous.
  2. Hot.
  3. With warming, releasing gas, and stimulating spices. (See: Six tastes; and Food list for Vata).
  4. With warming oils: Ghee (clarified butter), sesame or pine nut oil.
  5. It’s OK to eat food not from your food group in small amounts and from time to time following the above adjustments.

Examples of adjustments:

–                Making occasionally liquid puree from beans or cabbage, serving it hot with Ghee (clarified butter) or sesame oil with ground coriander, turmeric, fennel or other Vata spices will do no harm.

–                Green apples are believed too hard to digest for Vata. But they can be enjoyed when baked in the oven with cinnamon and served with whipped cream. Do not use microwave, since microwaving destroys the ability of food to be digested.

–                Green leaf salads can be eaten in small amounts with sesame or pine nut oil at lunch when the digestive fire is the strongest.

–                Dry fruit are said have to be avoided. When soaked and enjoyed with warm meal and some cardamom or cinnamon they nourish Vata pretty well.

Pitta. This dosha should be careful with sour, salty and spicy food since they have the same properties as Pitta constitution. Smoked, fatty, too spicy, too hot, fermented food aggravates this fiery dosha. Tomatoes, bell peppers, all red fruit and berries, citrus fruits are theoretically bad for them.

The science of Ayurveda helps us transform hot, sour and salty ingredients into Pitta appropriate food.  It needs to be:

  1. Of moderate consistency (not too thin,watery, and not too solid).
  2. From warm to room temperature. Temperature of food has to be neither hot nor cold. Heat aggravates Pitta immediately and cold does the same indirectly. When taking cold food the system has to warm it up to the body temperature and in this way warms up the inflammable Pitta. Cold drinks and food result in overheating and lead to acne and other inflammations in the system. Ice cream and conventional yogurt (not Lassi) also overheat Pitta.
  3. Use of spices is modest. Pitta digestion doesn’t need to be stimulated and will do best with a little salt, some bay leaf and raw ginger. (See also: Six tastes; and the Food list for Pitta).
  4. Oils, that will make Pitta food more compatible are: Ghee, Olive, Corn, Walnut, Peanut, Coconut, Flax seed and Hazelnut oil (Taken in moderate amount).
  5. It’s OK to eat food not from your food group in small amounts and from time to time following the above adjustments.

Examples of adjustments:

–                Grapefruit is considered too sour for Pitta, but drinking grapefruit juice diluted with warm water and rose petals or cardamom makes it acceptable.

–                Don’t do it the regular practice, but if you “had to” eat an ice cream, have a piece of ginger sprinkled with juice of fresh lime after that (even if it happens later at home). Lime and lemon juices commercially made from dry concentrate are everything else but food and must be avoided especially by Pitta.

–                Almonds with skin are heating and not good for Pitta. When soaked and peeled they become cooling and can be consumed.

Kapha. To feel well Kapha should eat food that will dry out the excessive water and stimulate their low digestion. Sweet, sour and salty taste; heavy, fatty and cold food potentially are bad since they have the same qualities. The science of Ayurveda helps us transform heavy, sour and salty ingredients into Kapha appropriate food.  It needs to be:

  1. Light dry consistency such as chips.
  2. Hot to warm temperature. Cold food kills Kapha’s digestive fire.
  3. Spices with bitter, pungent and astringent taste will balance food for Kapha.  Examples: peppers, fresh ginger, fenugreek, and turmeric. (See also: Six tastes; and The food list for Kapha).
  4. Oils, suitable for Kapha, such as Mustard, Sesame, Cottonseed and Sunflower, should be warm to hot, never cold and used moderately.

5. It’s OK to eat food not from your food group in small amounts and from time to time following the above adjustments.

Example of adjustments:

–                Potato eaten as potato chips.

–                Small amount (½ cup) of hot whole milk taken at appropriate time with turmeric and ginger will cause no mucus. The appropriate time for consuming milk is the time when Moon energy is active: from 6 pm till 6 am (see Dairy products; and Time – the most powerful force).

–                All kind of sugar is increasing Kapha, but small amounts of natural fruit juice concentrates and raw not heated honey can sweeten their life.

TODAY’S TIP: When we reheat food it loses ferments that are needed to digest it. Now imagine what is left in precooked, frozen, and several times reheated dish. It becomes something else but food, having nothing that helps digest it. See also Ritucharya-seasonal routine; and Dinacharya-daily routine.


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