Dosha Body Types - Ayurveda

This section of my blog is for those who are or who are becoming spiritual and one with themselves. The ones who have learned to look at life's obstacles differently than others. I for one am on the path to becoming a very spiritual individual person and am hoping others are interested! Spiritual means reflecting or affecting your human self/spirit or soul! This Ayurveda section is for people who believe the body is its own medicine! What you give your body is truly the outcome. A - yur - ve - da Ayurveda means the traditional Hindu system of medicine. Which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and diet, behaviors that are beneficial or harmful for life and consciousness, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing. Ayurveda is called "the mother of all healing". It is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body, and environment. It is possible for each of us to achieve and maintain a vibrant and joyful state of health by identifying our mind-body type and then creating a lifestyle that sustains and nurtures our unique nature.

The Five Elements in the picture above. Ether Earth Fire  Water  Air  The 3 doshas are made! (Dosha is each of three energies believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity.) The 3 dosha types are: Vata Pitta Kapha We are made up of all 3 dosha's, but are pre dominant in one. They are known as mind-body types, the dosha's express particular patterns of energy- unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.

In the Hindu culture, they believe that everyone is predominant in one or two dosha's. I found out I am pre dominant in Vata, and my sister is Pitta! In having a certain pre dominant dosha, there are certain things your body can and cannot accept.. and when your body doesn't accept some certain things your body will have a certain outcome. We are having all these problems with our bodies and we cant seem to find out why. Learning our dosha type can benefit us in so many ways with those problems.

The dosha quiz, will ask you several questions about yourself.

The quiz will give you enough information about your type!

If everyone knew their Ayurveda Dosha type, I believe no one would be suffering from certain health issues, bloating would not be a common word anymore and everyone would be generally healthier people.

BODY TYPES

PITTA BODY TYPE

Pitta is FIRE. The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production. The primary function of Pitta is transformation. Constitution: - hot, moist, light - medium height - skin is soft, warm - have strong metabolism and good digestion (unless Pitta dosha is imbalanced) - intelligent and sharp Mentality: - irritable - anger - strong will - bold - while very kind and helpful to friends and followers, can be cruel and unforgiving opponents - quick to get emotional and have no trouble expressing anger Excess: - anger/hate - overheats mind/ body - jealousy - frustration and ambition Cause of high Pitta: - food hot in temperature - food hot in spice (because Pitta is FIRE) - working in heat - exposure to sun and heat - not eating pitta pacifying diet Balancing Pitta: - moderation - coolness - exposure to natural beauty (due to the cool colors nature offers) - pitta pacifying diet Pitta-Balancing Nutritional Guidelines According to ayurveda, it is important to eat foods that have a balancing effect upon the dominant dosha or that will pacify (stabilize) a dosha that has become excessive or aggravated. - Since an excess of pitta dosha overheats the mind and body, favor cool foods and liquids - Foods with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes are best - Reduce foods that are pungent, salty, and sour - Require cool, slightly dry and little heavy diet - Vegetarianism is best for pitta - Should avoid fried and overly cooked foods - Eating late should be avoided - Food should be cool, raw, not heavily spiced and not cooked with a lot of oil - Should not eat when angry, irritable or upset - Should eat main meals between 10am-2pm Recommendations:

  • Dairy can be helpful in balancing the heat of Pitta, take milk, butter and ghee. Sour, fermented products such as yogurt, sour cream and cheese should be used sparingly as sour tastes aggravate Pitta. Ghee (clarified butter) is recommended. Find a ghee recipe here.

  • All sweeteners may be taken in moderation except molasses and honey.

  • Olive, sunflower, and coconut oils are the best oils to pacify Pitta. Use less sesame, almond, and corn oil, which are more heating.

  • Wheat, rice, barley, and oats are the best grains to reduce Pitta. Eat less corn, rye, millet, and brown rice.

  • The sweeter fruits such as grapes, melons, cherries, coconuts, avocados, mangoes, pomegranates, fully ripe pineapples, oranges, and plums are recommended. Reduce sour fruits such as grapefruits, apricots, and berries.

  • The vegetables to favor are asparagus, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, celery okra, lettuce, green beans, and zucchini. Reduce tomatoes, hot peppers, carrots, beets, eggplant, onions, garlic, radishes, and spinach.

  • Pitta types need to use seasonings that are soothing and cooling. These include coriander, cilantro, cardamom, saffron, and fennel. Hotter spices such as ginger, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek, clove, salt, and mustard seed should be used sparingly. Very hot seasonings such as chili peppers, and cayenne are best avoided. Chew on fennel seeds after meals to cool down acid in the stomach.

  • For non-vegetarians, chicken, pheasant and turkey are preferable; beef, seafood, and eggs increase Pitta and should be minimized.

VATA BODY TYPE

Vata is AIR. It governs movement in the body, the activities of the nervous system and the process of elimination. Vata is the King dosha by influencing the other doshas. Constitution: - dry, cold, light - generally physically underdeveloped - skin is rough cold and dry - appetite and digestion are variable - creative and active Mentality: - anxiety - fear - mentally changeable and indecisive - good mental powers - often spend money quickly and easily - good and both grasping and forgetting Excess Vata: - nervousness - anxiety - insecurity - confusion - gas, bloating, indigestion (because Vata is AIR, air causes gas and bloating) Cause of high Vata: - cold weather, exposure to wind and air conditioning - lack of rest and proper nutrition - to much exercise - not eating a vata pacifying diet Balancing Vata: - regular habits - quiet - warmth - decreased stress - warm fluids - avoid raw food intake - vata pacifying diet - calm and safe environment Vata-Balancing Nutritional Guidelines According to ayurveda, it is important to eat foods that have a balancing effect upon the dominant dosha or that will pacify (stabilize) a dosha that has become excessive or aggravated. - Since Vata is dry, cold, and light, favor foods that are oily, warming, or heavy. - The best tastes to pacify Vata are sweet, salty and sour. Minimize foods that are pungent, bitter, or astringent. - Large amounts of any taste should be avoided because Vata is aggravated by excess - They require calming, grounding and nourishing foods - The food should be warm (because they are naturally cold), heavy, moistening and strengthening - Vata's meals should be frequent and regular snacks (3-4 meals per day) - Meals should not be eaten when nervous, anxious, afraid or worried - Should eat main meals between 2-pm-6pm Recommendations:

  • To balance the lightness of Vata, eat larger quantities, but don’t overeat.

  • All sweeteners pacify Vata and may be taken in moderation.

  • Fats and oils are beneficial in the digestive system and help reduce Vata. Use up to 3 teaspoons daily of ghee or extra virgin olive oil. Learn how to make ghee here.

  • All low-fat dairy products are recommended. Milk is easier to digest when warm or heated.

  • Rice and wheat are the best grains for balancing Vata. Reduce the amount of barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, and rye.

  • Favor sweet, heavy fruits such as: bananas, avocados, mangoes, apricots, plums, berries, coconut, figs, grapefruit, orange, lemon, melons, papaya, peaches, pineapples, rhubarb, kiwi, dates, nectarines and dried fruits.

  • Eat fewer dry or light fruits such as apples, cranberries, pears, and pomegranates. To ease digestion, fruits are best eaten lightly cooked or sautéed or eaten alone.

  • Cooked vegetables are best. Raw vegetables should be minimized. Favor Asparagus, beets, and carrots. Other vegetables may be taken in moderation if cooked in ghee or extra virgin olive oil, including peas, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and sweet potatoes.

  • Sprouts and cabbage tend to produce gas and should be minimized.

  • Dairy products pacify Vata. For optimal digestion, boil milk before drinking it and consume it while warm.

  • Spices that pacify Vata include cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, basil, asafetida, cilantro, fennel, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme, and black pepper.

  • All varieties of nuts are recommended.

  • Beans can aggravate Vata, so minimize your consumption of them, with the exception of tofu and mung bean dahl.

  • For non-vegetarians, use fresh, organic chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs.

Note: Favoring heavy foods such as sweets, oils, and richer foods may contribute to weight gain. Focus on natural grains, and heavy, moist fruits and vegetables. Keep your sweets to a minimum and use low-fat milk products. Cook your food for easy digestion.

KAPHA BODY TYPE

Kapha is Water. Kapha governs the structure of the body. It is the principle that holds the cells together and forms the muscle, fat and bone. The primary function of Kapha is protection. Constitution: - well developed - excess weight - skin is soft, lustrous, oily - digestion functions are slow - happy, healthy, peaceful - comprehension is slow Mentality: - love - desire - kind and loyal - conservative - slow to respond Excess: - boredom - carelessness - greed and envy - feeling lack of love and support Cause of high Kapha: - cold and damp environment - aggravated by dietary factors such as cold, oily and heavy foods like dairy, watery fruits and vegetables (kapha is WATER, they do not need a lot of water, 6 cups daily recommended) - sweet grains, particularly wheat flour really increase kapha Balancing Kapha: - stimulation - regular exercise - weight control - warmth and dryness - kapha pacifying diet - reduce sweetness Kapha-Balancing Nutritional Guidelines According to ayurveda, it is important to eat foods that have a balancing effect upon the dominant dosha or that will pacify (stabilize) a dosha that has become excessive or aggravated. - Because kapha is heavy, oily and cold, favor foods that are light, dry, or warm - Foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes are most beneficial for pacifying kapha - Reduce foods with sweet, sour, and salty tastes - Avoid heavy, cold and oily foods - Accumulation of mucous in a body system is a sign of too much kapha promoting foods (that goes with anyone, since we are made up of 3 dosha's but only pre dominant in one) - Good to avoid breakfast - Should not sleep right after eating - Should eat between 10 am - 6 pm Recommendations:

  • Try a liquid fast one day per week, ingesting only fresh vegetables and fruit juices, and pureed vegetable soup.

  • Reduce the intake of dairy, which tends to increase Kapha. You can use small amounts of ghee, low-fat milk, and low-fat yogurt.

  • Honey is a sweetener that is said to best pacify Kapha. Other sweeteners should be avoided because they increase the Kapha dosha, contributing to problems such as blocked sinuses, allergies, colds, and lethargy. Take a tablespoon or two (but no more) of raw honey every day helps release excess Kapha; please do not cook with honey.

  • Drinking hot ginger tea with meals helps stimulate slow digestion and sharpen dull taste buds. Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea daily.

  • All beans are good for Kapha types except for soybeans and soybean-based foods such as tofu, which should be eaten in moderation.

  • Favor lighter fruits such as apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, and apricots. Reduce heavier fruits like bananas, avocados, pineapples, oranges, peaches, coconuts, melons, dates, and figs.

  • In general, all vegetables are recommended but reduce consumption of sweet and juicy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini.

  • All spices except salt are pacifying to Kapha. Use pungent spices like pepper, cayenne, mustard seed, and ginger freely in your diet.

  • Reduce intake of all nuts and seeds. Favor pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

  • For non-vegetarians, fresh, organic white meat chicken, turkey, eggs, and seafood are acceptable. Limit consumption of red meat.

  • A Kapha diet should be lively and full of energy to help spark the digestive and metabolic systems. Eat your largest meal at lunchtime and a smaller meal at dinnertime. Allow at least 3 hours to digest before bedtime.

  • Fats and oils: Use small amounts of extra virgin olive oil, ghee, almond oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil, or safflower oil.

  • Grains: Favor barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye. Reduce intake of oats, rice, and wheat.

Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have if you are concerned.

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