Food List for the Vata Person
Food List for the Vata Person
Best – consume freely
Good – 2 – 3 servings daily
Fair – 1 – 2 servings daily
Allowed occasionally – 3 – 4 servings weekly
Avoid – 1 – 2 servings weekly
Eliminate – eliminate from diet
Fruits (should be organically grown, fully ripe, and eaten one hour before or after a meal, not with the meal):
Good: cherries, dates (fresh), figs (fresh), grapefruit, grapes, lemons, limes, mango, papayas, pineapple, prunes, strawberries.
Fair: apples (cooked) apricots, bananas, oranges, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, raspberries.
Allowed occasionally: raw apples, melons.
Eliminate from diet: dried fruits.
[sociallocker]Vegetables (all vegetables should be cooked if not otherwise noted):
Best: cooked onions.
Good: avocado, beets, carrots, chilies, cilantro (fresh), parsley, radish, seaweed, sweet potatoes.
Fair: artichokes, bell peppers, mustard greens, okra, peas, summer squash, turnips, watercress, winter squash.
Allowed occasionally: asparagus, cauliflower, celery, chard, cucumbers, spinach, sprouts.
Avoid: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, onions (raw), egg plant, potatoes, tomatoes.
Eliminate from diet: raw vegetables.
Grains (whole, not refined or precooked):
Good: couscous, oats, rice (brown).
Fair: amaranth, quinoa.
Allowed occasionally: barley, buckwheat, millet, rice (basmati), rye.
Avoid: granola, polished rice (white).
Eliminate from diet: uncooked or dry grains.
Legumes (to reduce the gas-forming action of beans, use cumin, asafetida, cayenne pepper, and black pepper alone or mixed together. It’s also helpful to soak them over night before cooking. Each time you replace the soaking liquid, it further reduces their problematic qualities):
Good: mung beans.
Allowed occasionally: adzuki beans, green beans.
Avoid: chick peas, kidney beans, lima beans, dal, lentils, pinto beans.
Eliminate from diet: soy beans, split peas.
Nuts and Seeds (should be eaten alone and not combined with other foods especially fruits):
Good: almonds (peeled), pecans, pine nuts, walnuts.
Fair: Brazil nuts, cashews, filberts, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds.
Allowed occasionally: coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.
Dairy: (make sure to buy quality milk products (see Dairy and A-da).
Best: buttermilk, ghee (clarified butter).
Good: butter, cottage cheese, cream, kefir, whole milk, sour cream, lassi (diluted yogurt).
Avoid: ice cream.
Meats, Fish, and Eggs: Ayurveda is strongly against eating animal flesh. If you do consume meat and fish, at least get fresh, local, organic; cook it at home; and avoid meat dishes in restaurants. The fact that Ayurveda recommends specific sorts of meat for different doshas, simply means that this science wants us to be as healthy as possible, even if we are not vegetarian yet.
Good: eggs, fish (all kinds).
Fair: chicken, duck, turkey.
Allowed occasionally: shellfish.
Avoid: beef, lamb.
Eliminate from diet: pork.
Oils (choose organic nonrefined oils):
Best: ghee (clarified butter), sesame oil.
Good: almond oil, avocado oil, butter, olive oil.
Fair: coconut oil, mustard oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil.
Allowed occasionally: safflower oil, soybean oil.
Avoid: canola oil.
Eliminate from diet: margarine.
Sweeteners (honey becomes a toxin when heated):
Good: maple syrup, molasses, nonrefined sugar.
Fair: fruit sugar, honey (raw).
Avoid: brown sugar.
Eliminate from diet: refined sugar, artificial sweeteners.
Spices (herbs and spices play a key role in making food balancing for your dosha):
Best: asafetida, cardamom, fennel, garlic, nutmeg.
Good: basil, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, salt (rock), turmeric.
Fair: black pepper, cayenne, horseradish, mint, mustard, salt (sea).
See also Ayurveda on salt.
Beverages (cold drinks before meal kill your digestive fire):
Best: organic whole milk (see Dairy and A-da).
Good: sour fruit juices (fresh made), herbal teas (spice or tonic).
Fair: sweet fruit juices (fresh made), water.
Allowed occasionally: beer, wine, tea (black or green).
Eliminate from diet: coffee, hard alcohol, iced and cold drinks, soft drinks.
Eliminate from your diet all drying foods (including cookies and chips), frozen, canned, micro waved food, and any food with a storage term that is much longer than it would be if not stuffed with chemicals. Try to eat as little leftovers as possible and limit the intake of raw foods. The fact that fresh produce has been disappearing from the American market over the last seventy years is perhaps one of the reasons why one in five people now has some form of cancer.
Do not mix too many foods together; it’s hard to digest.
For seasonal eating see: Seasons and the doshas , Ritucharya
See also Diet for the Dual Dosha Types. Non animal protein. What it means to eat fresh.
TODAY’S TIP: I soak almonds in water overnight so they become more easily digested, getting their enzymes ready for the seed to grow.[/sociallocker]
What’s your view on gluten sensitivity!
As a practicing physician I am encountering Gluten Sensitivity Disease (GSD) as a major health issue . So advice on wheat as the best grain is in my opinion , at this time , of dubious value. Sorry for being critical. Specifically, anyone with GSD has raised inflammatory indices which seriously increases all chronic disease risk and exacerbates existing disease patterns . Wheat products are not the same as they were 50 years ago . Just as milk today is not ; because of homogenisation especially. So also with gluten . Flour is now so refined that airblowing it is a part of baking it , which in effect leads to the consumption of almost raw gluten and a flour particle size so small that it can cross the GIT mucous barrier u digested , which triggers an immune response/allergic reaction with all the resultant consequences of very poor digestive function.
So , I would say to commentators on Ayurveda , that they need to review their positions on modern wheat. It is a major health hazard today.
Wheat is an irreplaceable sattvic (righteous) product that gives strength and endurance.
Just recently, I consulted a respected Ayurvedic physician and got an individual food list. Even though I am a Vata type, it turned out that wheat is the best grain for me.
Wheat is not to blame in Gluten Sensitivity Disease, but the way people use it. Indians and Russians, for example, eat bread everyday and do not experience any difficulty. Blaming the wheat is like blaming a knife for someone’s death.
The three reasons the GSD is gaining ground in developed countries are:
1. Wrong time. Wheat can be properly digested only between 11 am and 1 pm, when the sun is strongest. If consumed around the noon, it provides us with strength and endurance for the rest of the day. At all other times, ama (mucus) is produced, and that is the root of all diseases.
2. Wrong quality. We must realize that only we are responsible for our health and not the producers who care about profit only. White bleached flour, or bread, which lasts for months, might be convenient, but in that case we need to count spending time and money on treatment of diseases caused by them. I bake my own healthy bread with no yeast.
3. Wrong combination. White bread with meat is the most common and the worst combination. One of my favorite authors, Atreya Smith, emphasizes that when we eat so the intestines are lined with an impermeable film where food rots and poisons the body and as a result the mind and consciousness.
Thank you for your comment.
Are turnips & parsnips good for vata type? Thanks.
Parsnips are good while turnips are too heavy to digest and should be avoided.
I’m having trouble finding information on organic hemp protein powder and organic barley grass powder. Are they suitable for Vata dosha diet ?
Hemp belongs to the Cannabinacea family of plants, which contain the narcotic mind-altering constituent, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and is a controlled plant in many countries.
In Ayurvedic texts hemp is called Bhanga or Ganja. It is generally
classified as being bitter, with light, sharp and drying qualities (all these qualities disturb Vata). It is heating in potency, with a pungent or catabolic post-digestive effect. It has the special quality of Vyavayi Vikasi, meaning a drug that spreads quickly to all the tissues, and has an effect on the central nervous system
that is stimulating, then depressing.
Hemp is tamasic in terms how it affects our personality. That means that it makes our mind dull, depressed and lazy. See my post “The Three Gunas”.
I recommend finding a different source of protein.
Organic barley grass powder is also unknown to ancient Ayurveda. But barley itself is a cooling diuretic and ideal grain for Kapha. Vata should consume it occasionally (3-4 servings weekly). Wheat is the best grain for Vata..
Appreciate your reply. I have a few more for you… Protein source would be organic whey powder, organic brown rice powder and quinoa (with other cooked foods). Cacao powder, fo ti capsules, brahmi capsules. Single dairy cream and sweet and sour sauce both from the supermarket are 2 others I am unsure of. What do you think of that little lot ?
When a product is powdered its qualities remain the same, so you can look up whey, brown rice and quinoa in the food list for your dosha. Cacao is not recommended for anyone since it is tamasic (ignorant). I do not know anything about fo ti. Brahmi is a not food but medicine that needs to be taken for a reason, not just as a protein source. I like dairy cream and all dairy products, but I never use sauces from the store, I make them at home from olive or sesame oil, fresh lemon or lime, salt, sugar, and sometimes some tahini butter.
Ayurveda believes that the best source of proteins is a combination of rice and lentils (Kitchari):
The combination of rice and beans make a “perfect protein”. There are 20 amino acids that combine with one another to make the proteins the body needs. Ten of them, the body can synthesize on its own. The other ten, called essential amino acids, the body does not make, meaning we must get it from our foods. So plant foods need to be combined to make a complete protein.
Rice, like most grains, is very low in the amino acid lysine. As a result, if you live on grains alone, you will likely become protein deficient. Legumes and lentils, on the other hand, have lots of lysine, but they are generally low in methionine, tryptophan and cystine. Fortunately, grains are high in these three amino acids.
So rice and beans, as found in kitchari, has been providing the ten essential amino acids and making complete proteins.
Are flax seeds OK? I’ve searched online and can’t find whether they are good for Vata.
Also, I really enjoy having smoothies with pumpkin and flax seeds for breakfast, and usually put either prunes, dried figs, or bananas in as a sweetener. Sometimes I also add avocado. Is there a better way to sweeten up my smoothie to avoid adding fruits, or is this OK? What problems does fruit in a smoothie cause?
Flax seeds balance Vata Dosha, and increase Kapha and Pitta Dosha.
Dosage- Powder 3-6 gramm
Flax seed qualities as per Ayurveda: hot, not good for eyes, reduces sperm / semen, useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating; increases Kapha and Pitta Dosha.
They are not ideal in bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods
Fruit in a smoothie does not cause problems when taken in the morning. Problems will arise if your smoothie is colder than room temperature. Ayurveda is strongly against iced drinks. They stop digestion and promote the accumulation of mucus in the body.
Some other sweetening options are succanat and honey.
Thank you for your questions.
Why do you make people like you on facebooked everytime they read your Article or they can’t read it I think it’s inappropriate
You do not have to like us on Facebook.
But if you still want to read means you like it.
Hello, I hope this is not off topic, but I have a question that I was hoping you might be able to help me with. I have depression, anxiety and gut dysbiosis, so have experimented with a variety of diets to help me feel better. I have settled on a mostly Vata-balancing Ayurvedic diet focused on a variety of whole grains and vegetables. I do use a good amount of Sesame Oil in my cooking (usually 2-3 T per day), and I know that this oil is very high in Omega-6 oils. I’ve read that too many Omega-6 oils cause increased inflammation which is theorized to worsen depression (in Western medicine). I’m curious if this a concern from an Ayurvedic perspective at all? Does Ayurveda take into account the Omega 3/Omega 6 balance of diet? Or do Vatas do better with higher Omega 6 levels possibly, which is why Sesame Oil is the preferred oil?
Thanks in advance!
Thank you very much for your comment.
First of all, you need to ascertain that you are a Vata person.Having such serious issues you must see a learned practitioner in person.Everyone is different and needs a different approach.
I am a Vata person myself.I cook and fry only with Ghee (clarified butter) and use for salads a variety of oils to make sure to consume all the necessary types of omega oils.
Sesame oil is very good for an external oliation (see Abhyanga) of the whole body helping in anxiety and insomnia.
Again I highly recommend that you see an Ayurvedic specialist for more personalized advice.
Larisa – i am diagnosed deficient spleen/blood and have been eating egg, chicken, root vegs, ses oil , seaweed, also white and brown basmati and rolled oats–this condition got better over the course of 4 months w/rare insomnia, some weight gain and less palpitation occurrences–however it seems the egg, chicken density or fat content has congested my liver which requires almost opposite of spleen for function–i work with an ayurvedic/TMC counselor, but he doesn’t know exactly specifics to recommend, just “trial and error”-since i just saw this website i thought i’d write and see what you have to say about this situation thank you
It is difficult to recommend anything specific. You should sit down with a
doctor and develop a very detailed plan of treatment and then correct it
as your condition changes.
I also sent you a personal message to your E-mail.
Hi I am Vata and have recently been suffering with bloating vomiting and strong stomach cramps.
My doctor has prescribed Omeprazole for 6 weeks. Could you suggest any thing else?
Thank you for your question.
The symptoms you describe can be caused by different conditions. A personal consultation with a good doctor is crucial. Your initial nature (prakriti) and the current condition (vikriti) need to be analyzed and then the doctor will suggest a treatment.
I hope you will get well soon.