Body types in Ayurvedic medicine are called doshas. The specific dosha tends to cause problems when out of balance that concentrate in different areas with different symptoms. These doshas can be kept in balance by following some dietary principles.
The Vata dosha affects the mind, emotions, and body systems including breathing, circulation and the nervous system. This can lead to illnesses such as anxiety, insomnia, constipation, joint problems, and hypertension. Vata types should eat on a regular schedule, taking in large quantities of salads and raw vegetables, as well as cooked foods, eaten warm, not hot. With this body type, avoid cold foods and drinks, legumes, and sugar. Try to balance three tastes, salty, sour, and sweet. The latter taste includes such things as milk and pastas. Yoghurt and aged cheese provide for the sour taste.
Pitta dosha relates to the metabolism and generally gives these individuals healthy digestion when the dosha is in balance. When it gets out of balance, unhappy conditions may occur like anger, impatience, and ulcers. If you have a Pitta dosha, try to get back in balance by eating more dairy foods, whole grains and foods with lots of protein. Stay away from spicy or acidic foods like tomatoes as well as alcohol. Try to combine sweet, bitter, and astringent elements like bean soups, spinach, and leafy green vegetables and take turmeric (curcumin).
Kapha dosha individuals tend to have lots of stamina and healthy immunity to diseases as long as the dosha stays in balance. Bodily conditions such as depression, elevated cholesterol, allergies, and weight gain may occur when these people get out of balance. To re-balance, the diet should consist primarily of fruits, beans, and vegetables. Try to avoid fatty foods, meat, and dairy products. Ginger root and hot spicy food is particularly good for kapha people.
As noted above, the dosha dietary types tend to focus on vegetarian foods rather than meat. Even if you not ascribe to the benefits of Ayurvedic, there are well-known advantages to vegetarian diets. One well recommended vegetable in Ayurvedic diets is Okra. One cup provides 4 grams of fiber but only 35 calories. It still has 3 grams of protein and is high in magnesium, calcium, potassium, Vitamins A and K and folic acid. Ayurvedic medicine considers it tridoshic, in that it is good for all three doshas. Okra is good whether it is pickled, broiled, baked, fried, or steamed. Boiling okra produces a viscous substance that serves as a good thickener for soups.
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Morningstar, Amadea, and Desai, U. The Ayurvedic Cookbook. (Twin Lakes, Wis: Lotus Press, 1997