Once you have determined your Ayurvedic constitution, i.e. balance of pitta, vata and kapha energies, it is important to understand how you can keep the energies in as equal balance as possible. This can be approached through every day life – considering your outlook, exercise regime and, of course, diet. To pacify the dominant energy type, activities and foods that are opposite to the dosha are most effective. “Feeding” your energy type with similar energies will only exacerbate your imbalance.
Someone with a Vata imbalance will prefer cooler, fresh foods, but to pacify vata energy it is best to eat sweet, sour and salty foods. These tastes do the opposite to the bitter or pungent flavours that a Vata type may generally prefer. Sweet flavours, such as wheat, with sour and salty tastes will help to create warmth in the vata body and also moist foods will provide a lacking density to the Vata type.
A Pitta individual may enjoy spicy food, sunbathing for hours, drinking caffeine and alcohol – but these “hot” activities aggravate the Pitta energy. It would be better for Pitta types to tend towards sweet and bitter flavours, turning to a diet of cool, fresh, simpler foods.
In terms of diet, the Kapha energy is almost opposite to that of Vata. The sweet, sour and salty tastes that create warmth and density for a Vata type are exactly what a Kapha individual should avoid. They should tend towards pungent or bitter flavours, such as chilli pepper, green vegetables and herbs. Maintaining a predominantly fresh, clean diet will help reduce the dense, grounded feeling of Kapha energy.
Through maintaining more balance in the diet, all three doshas can work simultaneously – reducing the number of ailments felt, improving digestion and circulation and increasing the general sense of well-being. Because each person has their own individual Ayurveda constitution (Prakriti) no one diet will suit all, and it is important to realize your own doshas in order to adjust your diet and lifestyle accordingly.
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