Vata Pacifying

Ayurveda, an ancient holistic science of healing, offers a logical and scientific approach for determining correct diet based upon an individual’s constitution.

Vata, pitta and Kapha; the tri-dosha, are the elements which comprise individual constitution. This approach is quite different from the “traditional” view of a balanced diet; viz., eating daily from the basic food groups; According to Ayurveda, every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya) and post-digestive effect (vipak).

Thus, according to Ayurveda, one should eat according to one’s constitution and take fruits, starches, proteins and fats separately at different times of the day. Combining foods improperly can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation. This condition, if prolonged, can lead to toxemia and disease complex.

A vata pacifying diet favours warm, cooked foods and hot beverages. Soft and oily foods, such as pasta, cooked cereals and soups should be favoured over dry and crunchy foods. Raw vegetables should be avoided, except in small amounts. Avoid cold drinks and frozen desserts such as: ice cream, popsicles, frozen yogurt, etc.

Vatas are the pickiest eaters of the three mind-body types. This is probably because their digestion is very delicate. Vata governs the colon, and when out of balance, Vatas are prone to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Since Vata is composed of air and space, it is easy for Vatas to get gas. So, naturally, with all these things going on, Vatas need to watch what they eat.

The Vata appetite, like everything else about this dosha, is variable. Many of those tall, thin super-models (who say that they can eat everything in sight and not gain an ounce) are Vata types. They may gorge themselves at an all-you-can-eat pasta bar, or be content with a breadstick and soda water.

To keep Vata in balance, this couple needs to keep a regular routine when it comes to meals. Even if one of them doesn’t feel like eating a lot, they should each eat something at regular intervals. Vatas tend to like to snack, but then they don’t get the nourishment that they really need from their food. It’s best to establish good eating habits to promote proper, healthy digestion.

Basic rules for the Vata diet

Food should be warm, and cooked, rather than raw.

Favour tastes that are sweet, sour and salty.

Avoid eating cold, dry foods, like chips or crackers. Try adding a warm dipping sauce to accompany these foods.

Avoid caffeine. Caffeine aggravates Vata and causes imbalance.

A Vata breakfast might be oatmeal, rather than cold cereal, sweetened with some brown sugar and soy milk. Many Vatas are lactose intolerant, so soy milk is a nice alternative. Caffeine is particularly aggravating to Vata. So, instead of regular coffee, serve up some herb tea or decaffeinated coffee. Coffee substitutes are often better than coffee because of coffee’s acid content, which may disturb Vata’s digestion.

Because Vatas have such a dilemma with their diets, and because they are such creative people, many Vatas love to cook their own meals. The only problem is that sometimes they’ll taste their way through the recipe so much that they’re not hungry once the meal is prepared!

items to favour and avoid

Fruits
  • All ripe sweet fruits, Prunes, Apple, Pear, sweet grapes, Banana, plums, prunes. apricot, mango, papaya, pomegranate, sweet pineapples, raisins, prunes, sweet oranges, dates and figs, avocado Dried fruit is better boiled or soaked in water prior to eating

  • Plums, cherries, kiwi, peach, grape fruit, only if sweet and juicy

  • And remember, fruits and fruit juices are best enjoyed alone – 30 minutes before, and ideally at least 1 hour after, any other food.

  • All citrus Fruits, Berries Apricots, Oranges, rhubarbs, Lemons

Vegetables
  • Artichoke, Asparagus. Beet, Bell Pepper, Bitter Melon, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chilies, Cilantro, Greens leafy vegetables Daikon Radish, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans, Horseradish, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Spinach, Sprouts. Squash, Winter, Tomatoes (cooked), Watercress, Wheat Grass

  • All should be cooked well so they are soft. Cooked vegetables are generally easier to digest than raw ones, so it’s best to have raw veggies, salads, vegetables in small quantities and at mid-day.

  • Artichokes, beet greens, bitter melon broccoli Carrots, Garlic Chilies, raw Tomatoes, Beet roots, Eggplant, Kale, Leafy Greens, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Cabbage, Cauliflower Peas, corn kale spinach, turnip sprout

Grains
  • Amaranth, Cooked oats, Pancakes, Quinoa, Rice, wheat

  • Buckwheat, Cereal (unsweetened, cold, dry), Corn, Couscous, Crackers

  • Durham Flour, Granola

  • Millet, Muesli, Oat Bran

  • Oats (dry), Polenta

  • Quinoa, Rice basmati or navara), Rye

  • Tapioca, Wheat Bran

  • Barley, beard, Buckwheat, Cold cereals, Couscous, Crackers, Millet, Oat bran, Pasta, polenta, Rye, Sago, Tapioca

Lentils
  • Well cooked with ghee or oil and Asafetida

  • Mung beans, Soya beans

  • should generally be well-cooked and well-spiced to make them more digestible. Legumes are generally astringent

  • Adzuki Beans, Black Beans, Black-Eyed Peas

  • (Chickpeas), Kidney beans,  Lentils Lima Beans

  • Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, Soy Milk, Soy Meats, Tempeh, Tofu (served hot)

  • Tur Dal, Urad daal, White Beans

Non-Vegetarian food
  • Beef, Buffalo, Chicken (dark), Duck, Fish (saltwater), Lamb, Pork, Salmon, Sardines, Seafood, Tuna Fish, Turkey (dark)

  • Eating less meat all around is generally beneficial

  • Chicken (white), Eggs, Fish (freshwater) Rabbit, Venison, Turkey

Dairy
  • Butter, buttermilk, cream, chesse, Cittage chesse, Ghee, Milk, paneer, Sour cream

  • Most Dairy is good for Vata

  • Hard Chesse, Frozen yogurt, Ice cream

Spices
  • Allspice, Ajwan, Anise,Basil, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Hing (Asafetida), Mint, Mustard seed, Nutmeg, Oregano, paprika, parsley, Peppermint, Poppy seeds, Pippali, Rosemary, Saffron, Thyme, Trikatu, Turmeric

  • Most spices are wonderful for so feel free to experiment with a wide variety of new and exotic spices

  • Avoid too much salt

Nuts /seeds
  • Almonds (soaked and peeled), Charole Nuts, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Popcorn (without salt or butter), Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

  • Nuts and seeds tend to be heavy, dense, and oily

  • Cashew nuts, peanuts, pine nuts

  • Eat in moderation
Oils
  • Butter, Ghee, olive, Sunflower

  • Oils are good to pacify Vata

  • Oils are rich in fats and best to minimise

Sweeteners
  • Warm deserts are good

  • Mostly all sweeteners Pacify Vata