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Ayurveda Vata Diet – Vata Pacifying Diet

When the Vata dosha gets out of balance
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How This Helps

From the time a human being is born, their life is governed by a unique combination of three life forces, or doshas. These are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These three doshas make up the constitution of each person, and if they fall out of balance, a person’s health is likely to suffer. Vata is cold, light, irregular, dry, and always changing. To balance Vata, make choices that bring warmth, stability, and consistency to your life. When the Vata dosha gets out of balance, they may become restless and have digestive issues. A Vata pacifying diet may help keep it in balance.

See: Ayurvedic Cold & Flu Remedies

Summary

Vata dosha can be calmed by sweet, salty, and sour flavors and is aggravated by astringent, pungent, and bitter tastes. Understanding these tastes and flavors will help you make better choices of what to eat and what to avoid. Try to have your food in a peaceful environment and offer your full attention to the food you are eating. Also, practice having three meals a day and try to eat at the same time each day to further reduce Vata. Following these small tips will help you balance the Vata dosha in no time.

What is Vata Dosha?

Understanding Vata Dosha

The Vata contains the properties of the elements air and ether. Vata is also responsible for governing the body’s energy and movement. It also controls nerve impulses.[1] Blood flow, removal of waste from the body, movement of thoughts, and our breathing, are all governed by Vata.

When the Vata life force falls out of balance, it can cause a person to become restless and forget to eat. This hurts their regularly changing digestion. People affected by Vata dosha also tend to experience sleep disorders.[2]

People affected by Vata dosha tend to live an irregular life, suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and many other joint problems.

See: Ayurvedic Diet For Gut Health

Vata Pacifying Diet

Understanding a Vata Pacifying Diet

A Vata dosha diet is ideal for pacifying the Vata dosha. A Vata diet should comprise of freshly cooked, whole foods that should be mushy or soft in texture. Any Ayurveda Vata diet should be rich in fat and protein, seasoned with several spices, and served hot or warm. [3][4]

Vata foods help calm Vata dosha by providing nourishment and lubrication to the tissues. They also preserve moisture in the body and maintain warmth while also supporting optimal digestion and ensuring the elimination of waste.

Vata foods

Ayurvedic Diet Vata Foods

Since by nature, Vata is dry, cool, light, and rough, so Vata recipes should focus on foods that neutralize these qualities. For example, you should eat Vata foods that are moist, warm, smooth, oily, and nourishing.

The primary foundation of a Vata dosha diet should be to favor warm foods over cold ones. Not only should the temperature of the food be warm, but it should also be energetically warming you from the inside. Minimize foods that have a cooling effect, such as cold drinks, frozen foods, carbonated drinks, raw fruits, and vegetables, etc. It is even best to avoid leftovers kept in the freezer or refrigerator.

Also, favor having moist and oily foods over dry. The dryness property of Vata is offset by eating cooked foods instead of raw. Try to garnish the foods you eat with a generous amount of high-quality, healthy oils or clarified butter (ghee). Drinking plenty of fluids, preferably warm or hot, will also help. Prefer to have oily foods such as coconut, avocado, buttermilk, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, and seeds.[5] [6]

Try to limit the intake of roughage such as raw fruits and vegetables. While fiber is necessary for the body, in conditions where Vata is out of balance, it is best to minimize the intake of fiber. Opt for foods that are smooth in texture, such as rice pudding, bananas, hot cereal, root vegetables, and others to offset Vata’s roughness.[7]

See: Ayurvedic herbs for constipation relief

Vata foods to have and to avoid

1. Fruits

In a Vata dosha diet, fruits should be sweet and nourishing. You can have some raw fruit, but you should favor cooked or stewed fruits. Fruits to avoid are those that are astringent, exceptionally cooling, or rough.

Fruits to include:

● Cooked apples

● Ripe bananas (not green)

● Apricots

● Berries

● Cantaloupe

● Coconut

● Fresh or cooked dates

● Fresh or cooked figs

● Grapes

● Kiwi

● Lemon

● Papaya

● Plums [8]

Fruits to avoid:

● Raw apples

● Green bananas

● Dry dates

● Dried fruits

● Dry figs

● Pears

● Persimmons

● Pomegranate

● Watermelon

2. Vegetables

Vegetables to include in an Ayurveda Vata diet should be cooked, moist, and sweet. It would help if you tried to avoid having exceptionally rough, dry, and cold vegetables, especially most raw vegetables.

Veggies to include:

● Asparagus

● Avocado

● Cooked carrots

● Beets

● Cilantro

● Green beans

● Leeks

● Black olives

● Cooked onions

● Parsnip

● Pumpkin

● Cooked peas

● Cooked spinach

● Sweet potatoes

● Winter squash

● Watercress

● Zucchini [9] [10]

Veggies to avoid:

● Bell Peppers

● Broccoli

● Brussels Sprouts

● Cabbage

● Raw carrots

● Cauliflower

● Celery

● Fresh corn

● Eggplant

● Mushrooms

● Green olives

● Raw onion

● White potatoes

● Sprouts

● Tomatoes

3. Grains

Grain to be used in Vata recipes should be nourishing, sweet, and easily digested. You should cook them thoroughly before having them. Rice pudding, oatmeal, and cream of wheat are some good examples of the smooth quality that is needed in a Vata diet. Avoid grains that are extra dry, rough, or life, or are unusually heavy and dense.

Grains to include:

● Cooked oats

● Amaranth

● Quinoa

● Pancakes

● All types of rice

● Sprouted wheat bread

● Wheat

Grains to avoid:

● Barley

● Cold, dry or puffed cereals

● Corn

● Granola

● Crackers

● Muesli

● Oat bran

● Wheat pasta

● Dry oats

● Rice cakes

● Tapioca

● Wheat bran

See: Ayurvedic herbs for detoxification

Other Vata foods to include

Other Vata Foods to have

Apart from these, you can also consume certain legumes, but they need to be well-cooked and well-spiced. Avoid beans that are too rough, dry, and hard for the delicate digestion of a Vata person. You can include red lentils, miso, soy sauce, soy milk (served warm), and tofu (also served hot). Avoid the harder to digest beans such as kidney beans, brown lentils, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, and navy beans.

It is good to include dairy products in a Vata diet. They help balance Vata dosha. But avoid having highly processed dairy products, such as powdered milk. Avoid cold dairy products such as ice cream as well. In dairy, you can have cow’s milk, goat’s milk, cheese, buttermilk, butter, and fresh yogurt. Avoid having frozen yogurt and powdered milk.

Include nuts and seeds in moderation in a Vata diet. Nuts are oily and nutritious and soothing to the Vata dosha.[11] You can add almonds, cashews, coconut, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pistachios, pumpkin, and sesame seeds in your Ayurveda Vata diet. Avoid having popcorn.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for digestion & gut health