Food nourishes our bodies, but the way we eat can also nourish our minds and souls.  A healthy diet using the ancient Ayurveda principles has become popular in the west and primarily consists of a whole food, plant based diet.  Ayurveda is considered a medical science and is used to create and maintain a healthy and mindful diet and lifestyle.

Introduction to Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that translates to “science of life” and promotes the power of self-healing through how and what we eat.  It is often thought of as a sister science to Yoga because they have many similar philosophies that focus on maintaining physical and emotional balance. 

Eating food based on your body/mind type

In Ayurveda one of the major principles is that everyone should eat to their specific mind/body make-up or energy which is called a “dosha.”  The 3 doshas are: Vata, Pitta, KaphaThese doshas contain elements of nature---space, air, fire, water and earth---and each person is categorized into one of these doshas based on their individual physical and psychological characteristics.  

Vata is related to space and air and has the qualities of movement, dry, rough, light and cold.  Vattas tend to be thin and have difficulty gaining weight.  They are creative, active and are good communicators.  To maintain balance, people with the Vata dosha should eat foods that are sweet, sour or salty, such as sweet and sour fruits, yogurt and salt. 

Pitta has the elements of fire and water and qualities of oily, sharp, hot, light, liquid and acidic.   Pittas are medium build and can gain or lose weight fairly easily.  Psychological characteristics of a balanced Pitta include a positive attitude, intelligent, confident and high achiever.  Good foods for Pitta’s include sweet, bitter and astringent tastes found in grains, dark leafy greens and legumes. 

Kapha is made up of water and earth with qualities of moist, cold, heavy and static.  Their build is short and stocky and have a difficult time losing weight.  Kaphas tend to be loving, kind, nurturing and compassionate.  Kapha doshas favor foods with bitter, pungent and astringent flavors that could include dark leafy greens, garlic, and fresh herbs. 

Ayurveda believes each of us is made of all three of the doshas, with one or two being more dominant.  In order to maintain optimum health the goal is to try keep these doshas in balance.  This can be accomplished through eating the foods that compliment your primary dosha. 

To discover your dosha type and learn more about the Ayurveda lifestyle we encourage you to read our dear friend’s blog “Food: A Love Story by Laura Plumb”

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