Ayurveda does so much more than shape your skincare regime. Principles can be called upon every day to ensure complete alignment of your body, mind and energy.
Every person is unique, but thanks to the influence of the five elements – namely ether, air, fire, water, and earth – three basic body types have been defined to ensure we can tune into what our bodies and minds need.
Without this understanding, your body can easily become imbalanced, which can have a major impact on your health as Yoke details:
“The belief is that if the elements in your body are balanced, then you are healthy. However, if they become unbalanced, your natural flow of energy is disrupted and you can become sick and susceptible to various diseases.
Each person has a unique combination of these elements that forms your main life force and determines your body type.”
In Ayurveda, there are three body types – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. By defining your dosha body type, you can carve out healthy habits that help, not hinder, body function, and reap a long list of rewards in the process.
There is after all no ‘one size fits all’ when following an Ayurvedic diet.
Thanks to your dosha, you can pinpoint the foods you should and shouldn’t eat to find balance. Here we take a closer look at how you can eat right for your dosha body type.
Cooling, light and dry, Vatas will find balance through warmer, heavier foods and reveal a varied diet that’s sweet, sour, and salty.
Your fruit bowl should be well-stocked with heavy fruits like melons, avocados and bananas, while top vegetable choices for this dosha include courgettes and cauliflowers. A good portion of the Vata diet should be made up of organic chicken, seafood, and eggs.
Oils are also encouraged, so feel free to add a dollop of ghee or glug of olive or coconut oil to dishes.
Food preparation can be adapted to your Vata body type too. Cooked dishes and warm liquids are much easier to digest for Vata types.
Cold drinks and foods, such as salads; raw vegetables; light or dried fruit; foods that are high in caffeine; and dry and crunchy snacks, like peanuts can destabilise Vatas.
At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find the Pitta dosha. Pittas are known for their fiery tendencies and need a diet that has a cooling effect as a result.
Sweet fruits like melons, plums, kiwis and pomegranates are great for Pittas, whilst fresh asparagus, cucumber, courgette, and okra also work well. Again a good glug of coconut oil or olive oil will go down very well. Wheat, rice, oats, and barley bring balance to Pittas too.
Dishes should be served cool (not cold). Pitta types should steer clear of particularly pungent, spicy, acidic or salty foods that heat the body.
Kaphas may be calm and nurturing by nature, but these great traits have to be balanced to ensure they don’t resonate as weight gain and excessive sleep. One way to do this is by adapting your diet to suit your Kapha body type.
Light, warm and dry foods work wonders for Kaphas. Trade in your daily tea or coffee for a warming ginger tea, and snack on light, dry fruits like cranberries, apples, and pears instead of cooling, coconuts, and bananas.
Kaphas with a sweet tooth should swap sugar for honey, and also switch yogurts, cream, and butter with lassi, buttermilk, and non-fat milk.
There’s no vegetable, legume or spice (apart from salt) that’s out of bounds for Kaphas. Whilst red meat and oil should be kept to a minimum, organic white meat, eggs, seafood, barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, and rye provide more than enough inspiration for Kapha-friendly dishes.
Not sure what your dosha body type is? Take our quiz to reveal your dosha and receive your personalised diet plan.
You’ll also find three dosha-specific recipes to get you started here.