vata balancing diet

Do you feel hungry very often, but you also skip meals & snack on frequently? Is your digestion too erratic? One day you suffer from constipation while some day your bowels are loose & other day it is normal.

If yes, then Vata dosha has got imbalanced in your body. Vata dosha is considered as the primary of all the doshas. It governs all physiological activities in the body. If vata imbalances then all bodily functions get disturbed.

So, is there any medicine for it? Yes, there is. The food you eat is the best medicine for it. Ayurveda recommends a diet for every body type. Foods as per each dosha are not only good for your stomach, but they also pacify aggravated doshas.

Taking a diet as per Ayurveda is an excellent way to stay away from medicines.

How to take your diet?

As per Ayurveda, a balanced diet is one that contains all six rasas (tastes) i.e., sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, & astringent. By including all six tastes, you can fulfill your nutritional & dietary needs itself without worrying about calories.

Diet for imbalanced vata dosha constitutes more of sweet, sour, & salty taste foods.

Routine eating of warm and nourishing foods is the key to balance vata dosha. It is tough to keep up with a routine as vata types tend to skip meals and experience irregular hunger. When you are distracted, you tend to binge eating.

For this, Ayurveda recommends some dietary rules.

  • Make a routine time for eating all three meals. Eat at a fixed time to regulate your digestion and hunger
  • Eat-in small amounts with a gap of at least 2 hours between two meals rather than eating one large meal at a time
  • Try to have your breakfast by 9 a.m. and don’t skip meals if you feel hungry
  • Avoid eating late night
  • Eat heavy, warm, nourishing, & cooked foods added with ghee or oil rather than dry, cold, raw foods, & salads
  • Avoid stimulants like tea & coffee instead drink herbal spiced teas, fresh juices, spiced milk or you may drink warm water throughout the day

So, what a vata imbalanced person can eat? Let’s find out.

Grains

It is better to eat sprouted, cooked grains, or as bread with no or little yeast. Dried grains such as granola and corn chips aggravate vata.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Amaranth, white or brown rice, quinoa, oats, wheat

Barley, millets, buckwheat, cornflour

Vegetables

Vegetables should be cooked with oil or ghee. Avoid overeating raw vegetables. If you are eating salad, add a little amount of sesame or olive oil with some hot spices to increase its digestibility.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Beets, carrots, radish, turnip, cooked onions, garlic, okra, squash, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, leeks, green beans, cucumber, pumpkin, eggplant, corn, sweet peas, sea vegetables

Alfalfa, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, raw onions, mushrooms, peppers

Beans

Mostly beans actively aggravate vata, are hard to digest, and cause constipation & gas. Beans should be eaten in small amounts as soup, or cook with oil or ghee & spices like ginger, cumin.

Cook beans for 30 minutes without soaking. If your digestion is weak, then avoid eating beans.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Mung beans, red lentils, tofu, hummus

Aduki beans, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima beans

Fruits

Eat sweet & sour fruits which are heavy in nature and hence, helps ground the light vata. It’s better to add little cinnamon or natural sweetener while eating raw fruits.

Dried fruits are good if soaked overnight.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Baked or stewed apples, apricots, avocado, banana, berries, cherries, coconut, dates, figs, grapes, papaya, lemon, oranges, lemons, mangoes, plums, peaches, pineapples

Dried fruits, unripe fruits, cranberries, pomegranate, prunes, watermelon

Oils

Vata types should use oil in plenty if their skin is too dry. Most oils are good & nourishing for vata.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Sesame, mustard, peanut, coconut, almond, olive, avocado, flaxseed, sunflower, ghee

Safflower, corn, margarine

 Herbs & Spices

To balance vata, spice your food moderately with a mix of spices rather than using individual spices.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Turmeric, mint, basil, black pepper, rock salt, bay leaf, caraway seeds, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, fennel, fresh ginger, nutmeg, oregano, licorice

Fenugreek, coriander seeds, parsley, cilantro, saffron, cayenne, dry ginger, mustard seeds

Dairy products

As dairy products are cooling, nourishing, & heavy, it should be taken as per your digestive strength. Milk should be made warm with spices like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, & fennel.

Add some spices in dairy products if you have a weak digestion, and fermented dairy products are better.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Butter, milk, cottage cheese, fresh yogurt, cheese, sour cream

Hard cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt

Nuts & seeds

Nuts are good for vata when taken slightly roasted with little butter & salt. Do not eat them in large quantities at a time.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Almonds, coconut, cashews, pistachio, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, filberts

Peanuts, pine nuts

Animal products

Animal meat is one of the effective foods to pacify vata but eat only 2-3 times a week, especially during lunch as they are heavy to digest and forms ama (toxins).

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Chicken, turkey, fresh-water fish, duck, lamb, seafood

Red meat, white meat, shellfish

Beverages

Vata types should take more fluids and best if taken at room temperature or warm. Never take any cold beverages, not even cold water.

Recommended

Better be avoided or minimized

Warm water, herbal teas, spice tea, sour fruit juices

Alcohol, coffee, black tea, soft drinks, soda, carbonated water

Key take away

Do not try to change your eating habits all at once. Start with one dietary change, and then move on gradually. Take care of your diet, especially in autumn and winter, as vata tends to aggravate naturally in these seasons.

Taking a diet that suits your body is a great way to stay away from illnesses. So, start from now to bring down your raised vata levels.