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Ayurvedic Body Types

What Is Ayurveda and What Are It's Main Principles?

  • Ayurveda is an ancient Indian approach to health: "Ayur" means "health" and "Veda" means "knowledge"
  • Everything is tailored to your Ayurvedic body-type: the daily routine, type of food to be eaten, the type of exercise etc
  • You are born with a certain body-type but this is affected by the times of day, seasons and stage of life etc
  • You can try to determine your own body-type (see below), but to be really sure you are best to have your body type determined by an Ayurvedic consultant who can determine it from from the quality of your pulse (not the beat).
  • Fresh is best (no old, frozen or microwaved food)
  • Each of the six tastes should be included in every meal, otherwise it will not be fully satisfying
  • Don't distract yourself while you are eating (no TV)
  • The largest meal should be lunch and we provide tips on how to do this even if you are commuting and working
  • Dinner should be eaten before 7:30pm to allow time for digestion before bed
Ayurvedic body type life stages
Six Ayurvedic body type corresponding tastes

Which Ayurvedic body type am I?

VATA

Quality:
Movement

Description:
Dry, rough skin
Cold to touch
Light
Subtle
Restless
Can be irritable
Quick-learning
Quick-forgetting

Symptoms
if over-dominant:
Anxiety
Irritability
Insomnia
Diarrhea
Stress

PITTA

Quality:
Metabolism

Description:
Slightly oily
Warm to touch
Muscular
Active
Pungent
Can be angry
Sharp intellect

Symptoms
if over-dominant:
Anger
Skin problems (although some skin problems can also involve other body types)
Ulcers
Vision problems

KAPHA

Quality:
Stability

Description:
Oily skin
Cold to touch
Heavy
Soft skin
Sluggish
Calm
Friendly
Non-active
Slow to learn
Never forgets

Symptoms
if over-dominant:
Sluggishness
Depression
Sinus congestion
Bronchitis
Slow digestion
Obesity
Diabetes

How can I balance my Ayurvedic body type?

VATA

To keep Vata in balance, eat:

More sweet, sour and salty foods.

Grains: Wheat, rice, oats (if cooked).

Legumes: Mung beans, mung dahl, red lentils.

Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, black olives, cabbage, cucumber, fennel, garlic, green beans, okra, parsnip, peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, rutabaga, spaghetti squash, spinach, zucchini. All vegetables need to be cooked.

Fruit: Apricots, avocado, bananas, berries, cherries, dates, figs, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, melon, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapple, plums, prunes, raisins, rhubarb, strawberries. All dried fruits need to be soaked.

Spices: Anise, asafoetida, black pepper (small amounts), cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, fenugreek, fennel, ginger, lemon juice, mustard seeds, salt, tamarind.

Nuts: All nuts except peanuts.

Seeds: All seeds in small amounts.

Oils: All types of oils are good.

Dairy: All dairy products. Cheese should be soft and fresh.

Sweeteners: All sugar cane products, maple syrup, and raw unheated honey.

PITTA

To keep Pitta in balance, eat:

More sweet, astringent, and bitter foods.

Grains: Wheat, rice, barley, millet, corn, oats.

Legumes: Mung beans, mung dahl, green peas, kidney beans, adzuki beans, and soybean products.

Vegetables: Asparagus, black olives, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, kale, leafy greens, lettuce, okra, parsley, parsnips, peas, sweet peppers, potatoes (sweet & white). All vegetables need to be cooked except lettuce.

Fruit: Apples, apricots, avocado, berries, cherries, coconut, dates, fig, grapes (red & purple), mangoes, melons, oranges, pears, pineapple, pomegranates, prunes, raisins, watermelon. All dried fruits need to be soaked and all fruits need to be sweet not tart.

Spices: Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger (small amounts), lemon juice (not on empty stomach), saffron, turmeric.

Nuts: Avoid all nuts except mature coconut.

Seeds: Avoid all seeds except sunflower or pumpkin.

Oils: Coconut, olive and ghee.

Dairy: Ghee, milk, butter, sweet buttermilk, lassi (yoghurt and water drink - not sour), cream.

Sweeteners: Sugar cane products, maple syrup, honey (but not during fever or hot weather).

KAPHA

To keep Kapha in balance, eat:

More astringent, pungent and bitter foods.

Grains: Barley, buckwheat, corn, oats, millet, rye, rice, wheat.

Legumes: All, except tofu and black gram.

Vegetables: Artichoke, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, corn, daikon radish, eggplant, garlic, green beans, green chilies, horseradish, kale, leafy greens, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, okra. All vegetables need to be cooked except lettuce.

Fruit: Apples, apricots, berries, cherries, cranberries, figs (dry), peaches, pears, persimmons, pomegranate, prunes, raisins, strawberries.

Spices: All spices except salt, especially pungent and sharp spices (pepper, ginger, etc.), lemon juice.

Nuts: Avoid all nuts.

Seeds: Avoid all seeds except sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Oils: Ghee (for cooking), mustard, sunflower, corn, olive (all, especially ghee, in small amounts).

Dairy: Lassi (yoghurt and water drink - preferably made thin), buttermilk, low-fat milk; small amount of ghee.

Sweeteners: Honey, old jaggery (caramelized sugar cane syrup).

What's Not Included In The Ayurvedic Meal Kits and Why

Refined Sugar
  • Only small amounts of coconut sugar in desserts (and you can always choose to not include it in your meal if you are trying to lose weight). If you are Kapha Ayurvedic body type, you may like to skip it and just add a little honey to the meal once it has cooled a little (if you have some unheated honey handy).
Mushrooms, Onions or Garlic
  • Ayurveda says they are not ideal for people on a spiritual journey to enlightenment.
  • But if you feel you are susceptible to coming down with a cold or virus, we recommend you add garlic to your meals.
Chilis
  • They don't even originate in India. You can achieve enough pungency with other spices like black pepper.

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