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This Ancient Take On Healthy Eating Could Be Everything You’re Looking For

Healthy eating means something a little different for everybody. For example, have you ever noticed that your friend can get away with eating yogurt every morning but even just a little bite of dairy makes you breakout? Or that your other friend is thriving off her Paleo diet but too much meat makes you bloated for days?

This is because we each have unique mind-body types, called Doshas in Ayurveda. Therefore, a diet that may be medicine for me could be poison for you.

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest health system and a subject that I’m super passionate about. I recently wrote the #1 Best-Selling Ayurveda book, Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, with foreword by Deepak Chopra. I’m all about modernizing this ancient health system so it can benefit our lives today.

Recommended Read: What Are the Doshas? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Determining Your Ayurvedic Dosha

According to Ayurveda, our Doshas determine the diets we should be consuming. There are three Doshas, or mind-body types: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Let’s break down each one.


If You Are a Vata:

You have the qualities of the wind: dry, cold, and ever-moving. You are the friend who’s always freezing when everyone else is in shorts. You may have dry skin, as well as a dry colon, which leads to constipation.

You’re easily bothered by the wind and tend to have cracking joints. When you’re out of balance, you feel bloating, gas, constipation, insomnia, or anxiety.

If You Are a Pitta:

You have a lot of fire qualities. You tend to get hot easily and gravitate towards iced water to cool off. You have oily and sensitive skin and breakout very easily.

You are hungry right at meal time and aren’t a happy camper if you skip lunch. Your digestive system runs in overdrive, leading to hyperacidity, heartburn, and loose stools.

If You Are a Kapha:

You’re an Earth mama. You have a calm, soothing demeanor and people tend to come with you with their problems. You have a stable and supportive body, with the tendency to gain weight easily if you don’t watch what you eat and exercise.

When you’re out of balance, you’ll feel mucusy and experience phlegm, coughs, or sinus infections. Your digestion is on the slower end and a heavy meal will keep you on the coach for hours. You’re a big lover of naps.


Your Ancient Guide to Healthy Eating For Your Dosha

Now the big question . . . what should you eat for your mind-body type? Here are my recommended food suggestions for each Dosha.

Still Not Sure Which Dosha You Are? Take This Ayurvedic Dosha Quiz to Find Out!

Healthy Eating for a Vata Diet:

A vata diet should focus on warm, grounding, moist foods with sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
Foods to Favor:

  • Cooked Vegetables: sweet potatoes, turnips, onions, garlic, beets, carrots, green beans
  • Ripe, Sweet Fruits: bananas, figs, mangoes, grapes, plums, peaches, stewed fruits
  • Cooked Grains: rice, quinoa and oats
  • All dairy
  • Oils: sesame, ghee, and olive oils
  • Warming Spices: cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cardamom, cloves and black pepper

Foods to Avoid:

  • Dry or unripe fruits
  • Excess of raw vegetables
  • Cold foods and beverages


Healthy Eating for a Pitta Diet:

A pitta diet should focus on cool, dense, grounding foods with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes.
Foods to Favor:

  • Bitter Vegetables: brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, parsley, sprouts, zucchini
  • Sweet Fruits: mangoes, melons, cherries, prunes, raisins
  • Grains: wheat, barley, oats
  • Oils: olive, sunflower and soy
  • Cooling Spices: coriander, mint, dill, caraway and parsley

Foods to Avoid:

  • Pungent, sour, salty tastes
  • Spicy foods or beverages
  • Red Meat


Healthy Eating for a Kapha Diet:

A kapha diet should focus on light, airy, dry and warm foods with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes.
Foods to Favor:

  • Pungent and Bitter Vegetables: kale, cabbage, okra, peppers, eggplant, squash
  • Astringent Fruits: raspberries, lemons, limes, cranberries, pomegranates
  • Grains: whole grain cereals, crackers, rice and wheat
  • All legumes
  • Oils: almond, sunflower, olive oil

Foods to Avoid:

  • Hot or steamed cereals and grains
  • Excess oil in cooking
  • Excess use of sweeteners


A Final Word on Dosha Diets and Ayurveda

Keep in mind we are a combination of all three Doshas in varying amounts. Eat according to the imbalances that you feel to avoid leaning too much into one Dosha.

To learn more about the Doshas, check out my book Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda.

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Sahara Rose

Sahara Rose is the best-selling author of the Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda and has been called “a leading voice for the millennial generation into the new paradigm shift” by Deepak Chopra. She is Certified Ayurvedic, Holistic and Sports Nutritionist, wellness blogger, and host of the Highest Self Podcast. Discover your mind-body type and receive a free mini-course on her website and connect with her on social media.

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