‘You are what you eat’-Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Our diet has a very prominent impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet reduces the risks of diseases and can add years to your life. Every individual has a distinct body type that determines their physical and mental health.
Ayurveda is a 5000 year old medical practice, as mentioned in the Vedic texts. Yogis in Nepal and India regard Ayurveda as the highest form of medicine practice as it pre dates the modern medical system. According to the Ayurveda, the basis of a body is a combination of different types of energies. These different combinations of energies, which predicate the mind and body, are called ‘dosha’ or body-mind type.
The three doshas namely- Vata (Air & Space), Pitta (Fire & Water) & Kappa (Earth & Water), make up for distinctive physical and psychological characteristics of an individual. Every individual must make a balance with these doshas in order to lead a healthy life.
This body type is the leanest of all, holding a delicate frame and face difficulty in gaining weight. They tend to be impulsive, moody and challenging. They have little muscle tone and catch cold easily. No matter how much they eat, gaining weight is always a difficult task for them.
They often suffer from dry throat and blocked nasal passages. They tend to suffer from insomnia, so maintaining a good routine is highly advised.
Recommended Fruits: Sweet and sour fruits are preferred for the Vata Dosha, namely; oranges, melon, banana, avocado, berries, cherries, plums, pineapples and mangoes.
Recommended vegetables: For the vata dosha it is always advised to avoid raw vegetables and eat cooked vegetables like; zucchini, potato, tomato, cucumber, celery, carrot, eggplant, radish, spinach, okra and artichokes.
Recommended dairy: Oil, ghee, butter and cream are highly recommended with meals. Milk should always be boiled and consumed warm.
Must try dish: Makai Paneer bhurji; sautéed scrambled paneer with Indian spices, American sweet corn and cheese. Garnished with fresh cilantro, would make a perfect meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Read More: Ayurveda Vata and Its Properties
This dosha is the middle ground and individuals in this category have medium build. This body type has good muscle tone, high energy levels and a very strong and refined digestive system. They tend to be very intelligent, focused, and sharp and pose good concentration skills.
They may suffer from irritability, stress, diarrhea, headaches and other inflammatory conditions.
Recommended Fruits: Juicy and cool fruits like; grapes, mango, coconuts, melons, oranges, plums, figs and prunes
Recommended vegetables: High water content vegetables to cool off the body are recommended; lettuce, cucumber, kale, okra, bell peppers, peas, green beans, cauliflower, potato, celery, all leafy vegetables but spinach.
Recommended dairy: Milk, butter, egg whites (avoid yolk) and ghee
Must try dish: Veg Curry; Boiled carrot, peas, cauliflower, beans sautéed with Indian herbs, ginger and garlic with tomato puree would add an incredible flavor to your food. It can also be served with boiled rice or naan.
This is the largest of all body types in terms of physical structure, with wide shoulders and hips. They have a good stamina along with their strong build. Emotionally, they tend to be calm, grounded, loving and loyal. They are generally slow learners and take time to process information.
Their main health concerns include; overweight, excessive sleep, laziness, diabetes, sinus and chronic depression.
Recommended Fruits: Pomegranate, grapes, cranberries, apples, peaches, papaya, guava, figs and dates.
Recommended vegetables: Green leafy vegetables, cabbage, broccoli, beet root, cauliflower, sprouts, peas, zucchini, tomato, green papaya, celery and artichoke.
Recommended dairy: Butter milk and lassi, skimmed milk, and small quantities of ghee
Must try dishes: Lemon Coriander Soup – a perfectly balanced and a light meal with goodness packed in the vegetable stock. Add your favorite vegetables and season it with salt, pepper, lemon juice and cilantro.
Read More: What is Kapha Dosha in Ayurveda?
Conclusion: The benefits that one would get by identifying his dosha and following the descriptive path for their unique dosha, would not only improve their physical and mental health, but bring both the sides into harmony with each other.