In the previous blogs, we saw the fundamental properties of vata dosha, details of the vata dominant body and mind. Now, you are fully equipped to understand and practice vata dietary and lifestyle recommendations.
Basics of a Vata Diet
The integral properties of vata dosha are dryness, coolness, lightness, sublimity, mobility, and roughness. Ayurveda says that “same increases the same.” According to this logic, anything that is cold, dry, light, or promotes these properties inside the body can increase vata dosha. Vice versa, any substances that produce vata contrasting properties like heat, moisture, heaviness, etc decrease the vata intensity inside the body.
In Ayurveda, balance is the key. And interestingly, there is no specific or standard measure for “balance.”
Like the way, every different object has a different center of gravity, each human body also has its own unique level of balance. Therefore, the diet and lifestyle for each person should also be completely personalized.
For perfect health, your aim should be to maintain the vata balance inside your body and not only to increase or decrease it. This is esp. Crucial if you have a vata dominant body.
We are made of the food we eat. And that’s why food is the basic handle that controls the vata balance inside the body. So, let us explore some foods excellent for maintaining the vata balance inside the body. These foods are great for all Ayurvedic body types. However, they are indispensable for a vata dominant body.
The best food for vata dominant people is fruits. Fruits are an amazing food for a vata dominant person. Vata people normally have a very delicate digestive system. They are prone to a random appetite and digestion. Some days, they may exhibit a great digestive capacity, while on other days, they may face problems like low appetite, bloating, constipation, etc.
However, fruits are easy to digest and absorb. They are brimming with nutrients and fluid. Fruits normally are free from undesirable substances like trans fat, cholesterol, excess sugar, etc. According to Ayurveda, the natural sugar present in fruits is the healthiest.
Fruits not only bring effortless nutrition but also have a detoxifying effect on the digestive tract. They have a bulk of fibers and juices that help to deep cleanse and moisturize the dry vata intestines. This detox is so effective that fruit juicing is one of the protocols for anticancer therapy
Almond deserves a special mention in the case of vata dominant body type. Sanskrit word for almond is vatad, which means - "the one that eats vata." Almond is one of the highly recommended foods for vata balance.
According to Ayurveda, oil is the best vata balancing agent. Dryness is the primary property of vata, and oils help to moisturize the body. In this manner, they cut down the fundamental cause for vata increase.
Besides, most oils are heavy (except essential oils). They help to balance the vata lightness also. The warmth-producing oils are definitely the best since they eliminate the cooling effect of vata dosha.
All oils are great for vata dosha. However, there are some special oils with significant vata balancing benefits. Let us look at the best oils for vata dosha -
The word “tail” (Sanskrit synonym for oil) originates from the “til” (sesame in Sanskrit). Sesame oil is the best oil according to Ayurveda. It is warm, heavy, and helps to balance all dosha.
Mustard oil is another excellent choice as it produces warmth in the body.
Other oils are castor oil (for medicinal and detox purposes), almond oil (eating and skincare), and flaxseed oil.
Vata is dry, cold, and light. Therefore, you need warm, moisturizing, and heavy grains to balance vata dosha.
Rice, being light and cooling grain. But according to Ayurveda, it has a moisturizing effect and helps to balance all dosha, including vata.
Ayurveda says that wheat is warm, unctuous, and heavy. Therefore, it relieves excess vata and helps the vata person to feel grounded.
Barley is dry, light, and heavy. However, it kindles the digestive fire. Therefore, barley processed with warm herbs like black pepper, ginger, garlic, etc might be helpful for vata dominant people.
Millets are not the best grains for the vata dominant people.
One of the ancient Ayurvedic texts - Ashtang Hridya, states that no intelligent person should eat vegetables. And this statement has its base in the Ayurvedic properties of green vegetables. According to Bhav Prakash Nighantu, all vegetables are heavy and create gastric issues like bloating. However, they enhance the quantity of fecal matter with the help of cellulose. Therefore, vegetables help to relieve constipation.
Vata people must avoid all raw vegetable salads. Master Charak prescribes processing all vegetables with ghee (or any other oil), cumin, asafoetida, and other warm herbs. This tempering helps to reduce the vata destabilizing effect of vegetables.
Vata people do not have a very robust digestive system. Hence, they should avoid heavy red meat at all costs. Lean meat like chicken, turkey, fish is great for them. This meat brings the intense moisturizing effect that helps to balance vata dosha.
Vata people normally have thin and weak bodies. These proteins may help them to nourish the body muscles and gain healthy body weight and strength.
Vata people have a delicate digestive system. Hence, they should eat something easy to digest, but also provides all required nutrition. Fruits are the best food for vata people as they bring complete nutrition and help to detox the body. Apart from fruits, vata people must consume oils, grains, vegetables, and proteins that are easy to digest and bring warmth and moisture to the body. Besides, if they must eat something incompatible with their bodies, they can process it according to their requirements. For example, Ayurveda prescribes tempering vegetables with cumin and asafoetida.
I hope that this information brings health, peace, and prosperity to everyone. In the next blog, let us discuss the ideal vata lifestyle.