“The doshas express particular patterns of energy- unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics” – Deepak Chopra
Doshas make up our bodily life functions and come from the five elements found in all living things – earth, air, fire, water, and ether. Doshas (in Ayurveda) refer to our unique physical and mental constitution that influence our personal well-being. Everyone has a dominant dosha or can be a mix of two or even all three. If we are not balanced in body, mind, and spirit, our body’s natural balance can be thrown off. Knowing your dosha can help you achieve this balance throughout the year to always feel your best!
There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. First step is to find out which you are. This quiz can help you figure out your dominant dosha type!
Once you’ve determined your dosha type, Ayurvedic principle stresses that making specific shifts in your nutrition, exercise, and environment, with the addition of some herbal remedies, specific to your dosha should help align the natural elements bringing you overall well being.
Vata types are thin in build, friendly, talkative, creative, quick-moving, have irregular eating habits (maybe skipping meals or forgetting to eat) and have quick burst of emotion. If your vata force becomes imbalanced, you can be prone to anxiety, insomnia, skipping meals which can result in unintended weight loss, and digestive problems. What can help if this happens? Slow down (try meditation), make sure not to skip meals and stay on a regular sleep schedule.
Eating to Balance Vata:
“Warm” and “cooked” are key factors in the Vata diet. Vata’s should choose nourishing soups and stews, hot cereals, hearty grains, and wholesome beverages.
To keep Vata in balance, favor the sweet, sour and salty tastes and avoid bitter, and astringent foods. Minimize cold and raw foods, and lean towards warm, oily, or heavy foods.
Pitta types are fiery, intense, have a strong appetite and ability to digest food, information, and experiences. If your pitta force becomes imbalanced, too much heat can arise in both body and mind, which may lead to heartburn, ulcers, and hypertension physically, along with irritability and anger. These are signs to slow down and chill out. Reduce competitive activities in favor of slower, mindful movements like yoga or walking outside.
Eating to Balance Pitta:
Because Pitta is so intense they should eat foods that neutralize their hot and fiery qualities. Pitta is calmed by consuming juicy, raw, and cooling foods with high water content. Avoid hot spicy, fried foods, sour foods like tomatoes, yogurt, vinegar and fermented foods like sour cream and alcoholic drinks. Foods should be fresh and organic, if possible. Avoid packaged, canned or bottled foods as well as processed foods whenever possible. Pitta is very sensitive to chemical preservatives and artificial additives.
Kapha types are solid, reliable, and also have a strong appetite. When there is excess Kapha, it may lead to weight gain, fluid retention, and allergies. Mentally there can be some resistance to change and stubbornness. Regular movement and exercise helps to balance out Kapha, as well as sticking to a routine.
Eating to Balance Kapha:
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. Reduce your dairy consumption, and avoid most sweeteners. Enjoy hot tea with your meals, and feel free to add spices to your dishes (except salt!).
Try these Dosha balancing recipes to help balance your doshas:
Vata: Turkey Kale Chili
Pitta: Detoxifying Green Smoothie
Kapha: Paleo Veggie Cauliflower