The type of food that a person eats, plays an important role in the quality of his/her overall health. All the nourishment that is necessary to keep the human body mobile and functional is derived from the food we eat.
In today's world, people are unaware of the Ayurvedic concept of food, which is beneficial to the body. It is important for you to now that there are food items that can be taken together, and there are the food items that should not be clubbed together.
Ayurvedic Approach to Food
Ayurveda considers each food item to possess a distinct mixture of energies and tastes. When the food items with the similar mix of energies and tastes are clubbed together, they affect the body positively.
Food items possess having a contradictory or different mix of energies and tastes when consumed, harm the body. Contradictory energies negatively affect the metabolic fire or Agni causing bloating, indigestion, gas, the creation of Ama or toxins, etc.
The Ayurveda suggests a meal with following characteristics to be perfect for the human body:
- The food should be easily digestible.
- It should be able to provide nourishment to the tissues.
- It should not be responsible for creation of toxins or Ama.
- It should not cause an imbalance of Tridoshas - Pitta, Vata and Kapha.
Ayurveda explains that there is a unique combination of Tridoshas present in every individual. The ratio of the Doshas is different for every individual, where one or more of Doshas may be dominant in an individual body.
This dominance of Doshas constitutes the Prakriti (physical nature) of an individual. The meal should be designed in a manner that is suitable for maintaining and aiding the Prakriti of an individual.
Different Body Types and Suitable Foods
The body type is defined on the basis of dominant Dosha in the individual Prakriti. The different body types are
- Vata Body
- Pitta Body
- Kapha Body
Following are the food item best for a particular body type according to Ayurveda.
The Vata body type
- Dairy products - Moderate quantities of all type of dairy products
- Grains - Pasta, Wheat, Rice, and Oats
- Fruits - Grapes, Papaya, Dates, Mango, Pineapple, Banana, Peaches, and Cherries
- Vegetables - Spinach, Olives, Beets, Zucchini, Eggplant, etc.
- Herbs and spices - Onion, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Pepper, Turmeric, Clove, Asafetida, Cinnamon, and Basil
- Beverages - warm milk and drinks, spiced or herbal teas, juices without ice.
The Pitta body type
- Dairy products - milk, buttermilk, ghee, soft cheese and unsalted butter
- Grains - oats, wheat, barley, and rice
- Fruits - banana, coconut, apples, mango, grapes
- Vegetables - sprouts, cauliflower, mushroom, broccoli, peas, potatoes, etc.
- Herbs and spices - coriander, fennel, mint, turmeric, lemongrass, rose, cumin
- Beverages - Cold drinks, juices, water, milk and coconut milk
The Kapha body type
- Dairy products - buttermilk, skim milk and goat milk
- Grains - millet, barley, rye, buckwheat, and corn
- Fruits - apples, pears, cherries, pomegranate, peaches
- Vegetables - eggplant, broccoli, celery, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, spinach, peas, spinach, etc.
- Herb and spices - All type of spices
- Beverages - spiced and herbal teas, juices and warm drinks
A regular diet of Dosha compatible food of similar energies prevents the creation of Ama and keeps the digestion healthy. This helps in retaining the balance of Doshas, excretory system and Dhatus or tissues as well as a strong Agni that according to Ayurveda is an indication of a healthy body.