The Balanced Diet For A Vata Body Type

vata dosha ayurveda elements in lotus flower 387x287

5 Vata Body Types

  • Vyana Vata
  • Udana Vata
  • Prana Vata
  • Samana Vata
  • Apana Vata

Vyana Vata - Governs circulation, heart rhythm, locomotion. Centered in the heart and permeates through the whole body.

Udana Vata - Governs speech, self-expression, effort, enthusiasm, strength, and vitality. Located in the navel, lungs, and throat.

Prana Vata - Governs inhalation, perception through the senses and governs the mind. Located in the brain, head, throat, heart and respiratory organs.

Samana Vata - Governs peristaltic movement of the digestive system. Located in the stomach and small intestines.

Apana Vata - Governs all downward impulses (urination, elimination, menstruation, sexual discharges etc.) Located between the navel and the anus.

ayurveda vata types and location 350x350

The Vata body type is balanced by a diet of freshly cooked, whole Ayurveda foods that are soft or mushy in texture, rich in protein and fat, seasoned with a variety of warming spices, and served warm or hot. These foods calm Vata by lubricating and nourishing the tissues, preserving moisture, and maintaining warmth, all while supporting proper digestion and elimination.

Favor Warm Over Cold, Favor Moist and Oily Over Dry, Favor Grounding, Nourishing, and Stabilizing Over Light, Favor Smooth Over Rough.

Here is a balanced diet for a Vata body type:

Foods To Favor

Sweet

  • Favor naturally sweet foods like fruits, most grains, root vegetables, milk, ghee, fresh yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds, most oils, and Vata-pacifying meats (see our list of foods to favor and avoid).
  • The sweet taste is the foundation of a Vata pacifying diet. It is the predominant taste in most of Vata’s staple foods.
  • Sweet foods tend to be grounding, nourishing, strength building, and satisfying.
  • Emphasizing the sweet taste does NOT require us to eat large amounts of refined sugar or sugary sweet foods. In fact, doing so tends to exacerbate Vata’s tendency to over-exert and then crash.

Sour

  • Favor sour additions like a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a splash of vinegar, a side of kimchi or sauerkraut, a bowl of miso, a slice of cheese, or a dollop of sour cream.
  • Sour fruits like green grapes, oranges, pineapple, and grapefruit are also appropriate when eaten alone, and in moderation.
  • The sour taste is generally not the centerpiece of a meal; instead, it tends to compliment and enliven other flavors.
  • The sour taste awakens the mind and senses, improves digestion, promotes energy, moistens other foods, and eliminates excess wind.

Salty

  • The salty taste is almost singularly derived from salt itself.
  • But favoring the salty taste does not mean that your food should taste as if it’s being cured.
  • In fact, salt is already over-emphasized in the typical western diet. Simply being mindful of including savory flavors and ensuring that your food has some salt in it will likely be sufficient.
  • Salt stimulates the appetite and digestion, helps retain moisture, supports proper elimination, and improves the flavor of many foods.

Foods To Avoid

Pungent

  • Pungent is a spicy, hot flavor like that found in chilies, radishes, turnips, raw onions, and many spices. That said, in moderation, most spices are actually vata pacifying – see our list of foods to favor and avoid.
  • The pungent taste is hot, dry and light; too much of it is extremely drying to the system, exacerbates the rough quality, and therefore disturbs Vata.

Bitter

  • The bitter taste predominates bitter greens (like kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, etc.), and is also found in foods like bitter melon, Jerusalem artichokes, burdock root, eggplant, and chocolate.
  • The bitter taste is cooling, rough, drying, light, and generally reducing – all qualities that tend to aggravate Vata.

Astringent

  • The astringent taste is basically a flavor of dryness – a chalky taste that dries the mouth and may cause it to contract (picture biting into a very green banana).
  • Legumes are classically astringent in taste – adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, soybeans, etc.
  • The astringent taste is also found in some fruits, vegetables, grains, and baked goods – things like apples, cranberries, pomegranate, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, rye, rice cakes and crackers.
  • The astringent taste is dry, cold, heavy and rough in nature and so understandably aggravates Vata.

Meal Planning

Breakfast:

Breakfast is a critical meal when Vata is elevated. After an overnight fast, Vata needs real nourishment and a hearty breakfast is generally very stabilizing.

  • A power-packed meal of eggs and buttered toast is always a winning choice for vata and can be served with sautéed veggies or avocado, if desired.
  • Hot Cereals – things like oatmeal, rice pudding, cream of rice, and cream of wheat – are also excellent choices. For a richer, creamier breakfast, the grains can be cooked in milk (or a substitute), or you can add a bit of hot milk after cooking. To make this meal even more Vata friendly, garnish it with ghee, sliced almonds, and flax seeds, sweeten it with honey or maple syrup, and add warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cardamon.
  • Another delectable breakfast is a date and almond shake, made from soaked dates, soaked and peeled almonds, and boiled milk (or a substitute) – blended together with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Lunch:

Ideally, lunch is the main meal of the day, meaning it’s the largest and the most nourishing of the three. Hearty grains, steamed and sautéed vegetables, appropriate breads, soups and stews are excellent building blocks for lunch. This is also the best time to enjoy a small salad, if you must have one. Try something like:

  • Split mung dal with basmati rice, sauteed okra with shredded coconut, and naan. If you like, garnish this meal with cilantro, cucumbers, and a dash of yogurt.
  • Rice pasta or gnocchi with pesto, black olives, pine nuts, cheese, and a side of marinated beets. If you like, add a small green salad tossed with an oily but stimulating dressing – like lemon-ginger vinaigrette.
  • Potato-leek soup with baked tofu, a hearty bread, and a side salad.

Dinner:

Dinner is ideally a bit smaller and lighter than lunch. But to soothe Vata, it needs to offer adequate nourishment. Soups, stews, or a smaller serving of lunch often fit the bill. Try:

  • Carrot soup with quinoa, asparagus, and a buttered tortilla.
  • Baked and buttered sweet potatoes with French onion soup, and green beans.

TAKE THIS FREE 3-MINUTE TEST TO FIND OUT YOUR BODY TYPE

  • Discover your real personality type- your own unique combination of Doshas that no one else has!
  • Uncover the hidden cause of all your physical and mental discomforts
  • Learn about your ‘Prakruti’ to understand why you face certain problems in your life as well as how to rectify your ‘Vikruti’ or ‘Personal Imbalance’ through natural ways
  • Understand why you and others around you react the way they do and how you can minimize the negative elements in your relationships
  • Also learn how you can use this discovery to look even better, get healthier and live a much happier life!

 

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3 Replies to “The Balanced Diet For A Vata Body Type”

  1. It’s really a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

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