Updated: May 4, 2020
Ayurveda teaches us how to balance our doshas with wholistic nutrition. What is a dosha?
A dosha is a combination of elements and how they constitute our body. There are 3 main doshas the Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. You can be one or a combination of these.
Kapha: responsible for our immunity and stability. It is composed of earth and water. It is the dosha that develops most in our childhood. This is why babies and children tend to be mucusy and catch colds often. Having an imbalance in this dosha we can experience edema, cancer, not enough flow throughout the body.
People who are mostly Kapha dosha are larger in size. This does not mean fat, but have larger bones and more muscle, and also thick hair.
Pitta: this dosha is responsible for the transformative processes in life. It is composed of fire and water. It develops mostly during our adolescent years. Imbalances in this dosha include ulcers and diarreah.
People who are mostly pitta dosha are often times hyper and the on-the-go type always fired up doing things. They are average size and are usually determined to do a lot in life.
Vata: this is the third type of dosha. It is composed of air and ether elements. It is the principle dosha and is very giving of life force energy. In order for pitta and kapha to function well there has to be vata balance.
Vata people are usually tall and slim. They have thinner hair and easily lose weight. However they have a lot of energy and are very giving. Sometimes too giving and they run low on fuel.
How do you know what type of dosha you are?
First of all, your dosha is determined at conception. Each parent is a particular type of dosha and when combined you become a new composition of elements. Sometimes you can be a combination of doshas.
Let us take a look at how we can heal and balance ourselves with nutrition.
First of all we have to beware of how we eat. When we eat too quickly or too slowly the process of our digestion further into our digestive tract can be affected. We need to be mindful while we eat. It is good to create a peaceful and nurturing atmosphere when eating your meals. Like eating with candle light and with your loved ones instead of by yourself. Eating fresh food that is full of prana and vitality will help you to get more out of the food during the digestive process.
In Ayurveda we refer to the production of toxins as Ama. Ama can be created when foods are not digested properly. It doesnt mean that it only comes from foods that are more toxic than others, like canned foods or processed foods. Our goal is always to reduce or eliminate the accumilation of Ama in the body. Sometimes people may develop skin irritations like eczema. This is because the toxins or Ama goes into the skin if it is not eliminated through our stool.
Some basic tips:
Fruits should be eaten alone (not mixed with nuts and dairy for example). This combination can actually be quite toxic to our digestion.
We should eat mostly grains, lentils, beans and fresh veggies.
Our bodies are not designed to digest meat. This is why so often you see people constipated, or have ulcers and even cancer. Meat is inflammatory to our body. It should not be eaten often or not at all.
Our meals should be compared to the energy of the sun.
This is I find most interesting. If we examine the sun we know that in the mornings the strength of the sun is weaker than during the day. So in the mornings we should consume light breakfasts and during the day (lunchtime) we should consume most of our protein. This could include a hearty salad that includes lentils or beans. Again at night when we eat our dinner we should consume something a little lighter. It is best to eat something cooked at dinner. When we go to bed we should always go with an empty stomach. Not only what we eat is important but also when we eat. It is best to eat with the sun cycle, or in other words have regular meal times.
How do we categorize the different food types?
We look at 5 different varieties. These are categorized according to the taste they produce. So we have sweet, sour, salty, bitter and astringent.
For example if you want to increase the energy of the vata dosha in the body you would eat more bitter and astringent foods. These are light, dry. They are good for someone who is lethargic and will decrease the earth and water element in the body.
For the opposite, if someone has too much Vata dosha in the body and they want to decrease it, it is good to consume more Kapha foods. These are higher in earth and water elements. Sweet and sour are also good.
In America, the foods affecting the pitta dosha are most commonly consumed. This can lead to ulcers of the stomach as these foods contain too much fire element. To decrease the fire element you want to increase kapha and vata foods.
I could provide more examples but I will stop here. If you have questions and would like to know more about this healing method please send me a message and I will gladly answer you.