Let your Ayurvedic body type decide your diet.
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine. When translated
from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “the science of life” (the Sanskrit word Ayur means
“longevity” or “life” and veda means “science”). It is one of the surest paths to
good health. Ayurveda provides a direct prescriptive path to find out which foods,
supplements and behaviours are best suited for you. This is based on your unique
body type, or dosha. Benefits of this holistic approach extend to your mental and
emotional wellbeing as well, giving you balance and vitality.
In Ayurveda, the three basic body types, or doshas, are Kapha, Pitta and Vata, with
distinct characteristics. The best way to determine your body type is through the
detailed evaluation of your physical and medical history by an Ayurvedic physician.
However, even a basic understanding of Ayurvedic principles can provide insights
into your principal dosha. Most people are a combination of two doshas but typically,
Kapha dosha (Large built body)
Dietary Recommendations for Kapha dosha
People of Kapha dosha tend to be the large-bodied type, characterized by wide shoulders
and hips, thick hair and good stamina. They are generally resilient and stable but
are prone to health issues like weight gain, poor circulation, slow digestion, nasal
congestion and allergies.
A high protein diet does not suit Kapha body types. Light food, low in fat and protein,
along with plenty of vegetables is the ideal diet for Kapha dosha.
Holy Basil supplements are specially recommended for this body type.
Holy Basil (“Tulsi”) is said to possess powerful adaptogenic properties and may
be used to improve the body's response to stress. In addition, studies have
demonstrated that Holy Basil supports carbohydrate metabolism which leads to healthy
blood glucose levels. Holy Basil is revered as a sacred plant in Ayurveda.
Pitta dosha (Medium built body)
People of Pitta dosha tend to have medium-sized bodies. They usually have a warm
and goal-oriented nature. Major health complaints of Pitta dosha include stress,
irritability, acid reflux, sleep interruptions and pain around the temples.
Dietary Recommendations for Pitta dosha
Pitta body types should limit their intake of alcohol, coffee and hot spices. Sweet
juicy fruits like mangoes or melons, vegetables like cucumbers, kale and lettuce
are best suited for Pitta dosha. Drinks made with cumin, coriander and fennel seeds
are recommended for them to ease bloating and stress. Pittas should take anti-inflammatory
supplements like amla which has potent antioxidant properties that can
boost the immune system.
Massaging the head with coconut oil can relieve Pittas of headaches and pain around
Vata dosha (Small built body)
The third dosha in Ayurveda is Vata. Vatas tend to be small-framed with energetic
personalities. Vatas are often artistic and do not like set schedules. Their major
health complaints include racing thoughts, insomnia, constipation, bloating, cold
hands and feet and dryness of hair and skin.
Dietary Recommendations for Vata dosha
Vatas should avoid carbonated beverages, crunchy foods and raw vegetables in their
diets. Warm, soups, nuts, cooked vegetables and hot milk suit them the most.
Ghee or clarified butter is rich in antioxidants, is recommended to promote nerve
and brain health in Vatas.