After learning alllll about the Pitta constitution, here we are, on 2 out of 3 of the Ayurvedic Doshas, Vata. Hands up if you are Vata like me? Hands up if you didn’t do a Dohsa quiz and you have no idea? – that’s OK, if this is the case, go back and read this blog https://elev8lifeholistic.com/an-intro-to-the-oldest-healing-system/ that introduces the Vata, Pitta and Kapha Ayurvedic Dosha.
Vata combines Ether & Air and represents movement – “That which moves things”.
Vata corresponds to breath, circulation, mental activity, passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract and joint function.
The Vata qualities are cold, light, dry, rough, brittle, clear and quick. People with Vata-dominated Prakriti (constitution) tend to be thin and either short or tall. They typically think, talk, and move quickly. They can be very engaging, but moody with short memory and attention span. They generally dislike cold, dry weather. They don’t sweat much. They may find their appetite varies widely and so may have trouble maintaining weight.
When Vata is in balance they experience enthusiasm, mental alertness, regular elimination, good respiration and circulation, normal tissue formation and sound sleep.
When Vata is out of balance they can experience anxiety, restlessness, headaches, fatigue, constipation, asthma, hypertension, dry skin, arthritis, osteoporosis and insomnia.
Vata food qualities are warm, moist, oily, smooth and nourishing
Treat Vata with a warm, moist diet that promotes weight as well as being calming.
The tastes that balance Vata are sweet, sour and salty along with some pungent, hot herbs.
Tastes that increase Vata are bitter, pungent, and astringent.
Suggested Food Choices for the Vata Dosha
Grains: amaranth, oats (cooked), quinoa, rice (white or brown) and wheat.
Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, carrots (but not as a juice), leeks, mustard greens, okra and onions ( cooked), parsnips, shallots, acorn squash, winter squash, sweet potatoes, water chestnuts, garlic, radish and zucchini.
Fruits: Avocado, baked apples, apricots, bananas (ripe), blackberries, cantaloupe, cherries, coconut, cranberry sauce, dates (not dry), figs (fresh), grapefruit, grapes, lemons, mangos, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapple, plums, raspberries, strawberries and tangerines.
Lentils: No legumes except for mung beans, tofu, black and red lentils and small amounts of hummus.
Animal foods: Eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, fresh water fish, seafood
Dairy: Butter, buttermilk, kefir, milk, sour cream, yogurt (fresh) – all organic and non-homogenised of course.
Oils: All healthy oils are good especially almond, ghee, sesame
Herbs and spices: Anise, basil, bay leaf, caraway, cardamom, catnip, cinnamon, clove, cumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger (fresh), marjoram, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, pepper, peppermint, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, sage, spearmint, thyme, turmeric – all spices are good!
Nuts and Seeds: All nuts and seeds are good especially almonds and nut butters (except peanut butter)
Sweeteners: Raw uncooked honey, jaggery (raw sugar), maltose, maple syrup, molasses, rice syrup, sucanat – Moderation is important; overuse of even the best sweeteners will increase vata.
OK, we’ve covered a lot today so if you’re Vata predominate take note and see you can introduce some of the above suggestions to pacify your Vata. If you’re not, share this with someone you know and love – we can all benefits from knowing the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.