Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine originated in India and is about 5000 years old. The name “Ayurveda” is a combination of two Sanskrit words that indicate life (Ayur) and science (Veda), so the translation of Ayurveda is “the science of life.” Ayurvedic medicine seeks to create a strong, healthy body through a series of diet, exercise and lifestyle practices, including sleep and mindful living.
Types of Ayurvedic Doshas
Characteristics of an Ayurvedic diet is that you consume food according to your dominant constitutional type or dosha. There are three types of Ayurvedic doshas that derive from five different elements: space, water, air, fire and earth. Each element provides different attributes or qualities.
1. Vata (space and air): Vatas are often described as creative, intense, or expressive. Attributes include light, dry, cold, and rough.
2. Pitta (fire and water): Pittas are often described as intelligent, joyful, and driven. Attributes include sharp, liquid, hot and mobile.
3. Kapha (earth and water): Kaphas are often described as calm or lethargic. Attributes include moist, soft, heavy and static.
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After reading the types of each dosha, you may find that one sounds more like the qualities you embody. Those who practice an Ayurveda lifestyle think that each of us represents all three doshas. Your prominent dosha will determine your eating style.
Consume Foods for your Dosha
Once you have determined your dosha, you can create meals around foods that help you to balance your energy and nourish your body.
1. Vata Foods to Eat: Sweet fruit such as cooked cherries or apple, cooked vegetables like asparagus or beets, red lentils, grains including quinoa or rice, dairy products, eggs, fish, black pepper, beefs, coriander leaves, vinegar, pecans, peanuts, chia or flax seeds, white wine or beer, sesame oil and ghee.
Vata Foods to Avoid: Raw apples, watermelon, raw or dried vegetables, barley, potatoes, corn, chickpeas, yogurt, split peas, lamb, turkey, red wine and chocolate.
2. Pitta Foods to Eat: Raisins, watermelon, sweet or bitter vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, pasta, black beans, dry cereal, unsalted butter, egg whites, white chicken meat, almonds, dry white wine, beer and coconut.
Pitta Foods to Avoid: Apricots, avocado, pungent vegetables like onion or raw leeks, spinach, soy sauce, salted butter, sour cream, bread made with yeast, beef, chilli pepper, dark chicken, red or sweet wine, and chocolate.
3. Kapha Foods to Eat: Astringent fruit like applesauce or prunes, pungent or bitter vegetables like celery or granola, polenta, carrots, lima beans, buttermilk, cottage cheese, turkey, shrimp, and dry red or white wine.
Kapha Foods to Avoid: Sweet or sour fruits like grapefruit or figs, sweet or juicy vegetables like zucchini or cucumber, oats, pasta, kidney beans, pancakes, soft or hard cheese, fish, ketchup, hard alcohol, and chocolate.
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10 Ayurvedic Healing Foods for your Diet
Lemons are both purifying and nourishing, and they stimulate digestion. For reducing toxins, drink unsweetened lemonade as many times during the day as desired.
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2. Dates & Figs
Dates and Figs are prized as excellent sources of energy. They also help build tissues. Eat one or two every day.
3. Mung Beans
Mung Beans are among the best beans for their excellent digestibility and health-giving qualities. They are beneficial when people are sick or otherwise in need of light food.
Ginger promotes proper digestion and helps remove ama. Dried ginger is more concentrated in its flavour and its effects. To aid digestion, sprinkle a thin slice of fresh ginger with salt and lemon juice, and eat one-half hour before a meal.
5. Cumin Seeds
Cumin seeds serve as a digestive and alma reducer for all types of dosha. To remove toxins, start the day by drinking water mixed with a pinch of power cumin and ginger.
6. Green Vegetables
Green Vegetables are both purifying and nutritive. Their bitter flavor stimulates the liver, helps balance blood sugar, and aids skin conditions.
7. Seasonal Fruits
Seasonal fruits are highly nutritive and purifying. Fruits juices should be completely ripe for maximum healing value.
Almonds are nourishing and life-supporting. Ayurveda recommends peeling almonds because their skins are slightly toxic. Eat several almonds daily to increase energy and strength.
Water is beneficial for everyone and helps all healing virtually. It promotes digestion and when imbibed while hot, is particularly effective for removing ama.
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Lassi is a beverage made by mixing one part yogurt into two parts water. It is a nutritive digestive aid, taken during or after a meal. You can flavor lassi either with honey or raw sugar and a little ground cardamom or with toasted ground cumin seeds and salt.
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