Ayurvedic cuisine: the best foods according to your dosha

January 31, 2017


Ayurveda is probably the oldest healing system in the world. It was born in India more than 5.000 years ago, in the Vedic era, and has a strong relationship with yogic philosophy. Ayurveda has influenced many systems of medicine throughout history, from ancient Greece to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

According to Ayurveda, we are all made of types of energy that  They are classified into three doshas. The doshas refer to our physical and mental constitution and influence our well-being. Each person has a dominant dosha or a combination. The doshas are different combinations of the primary energies: earth, air, water, fire and ether. When our doshas are in balance we are healthy, but when they are not, our body manifests diseases of the skin, digestion, anxiety, insomnia, etc. 

Assuming that food is energy, the Ayurvedic diet is based on favoring and balancing the person's doshas through specific foods or types of food. Once you know your dominant dosha, practicing an Ayurvedic diet that favors it will help you to be in your ideal state of well-being.

Vata dosha (air and ether)

Vata is cold, dry, irregular, rough, ever changing. Vata is movement and governs the nervous system and the elimination process. They usually have dry skin and cold hands. When in balance, they are enthusiastic and flexible, creative-minded and energetic. When in imbalance, they present episodes of fatigue, anxiety, they will sleep badly and their digestion will be sensitive. 

Favorable foods: being a cold dosha, it suits hot foods with heavy textures. Adding butter or fat is good for stabilizing Vata. Salty, sour and sweet flavors. Hot milk, cream, butter, hot soups, stews, hot cereal, freshly baked bread, raw nuts, sweet and overripe fruit. Herbal and hot teas with a late afternoon snack.


Foods to avoid: cold foods such as salads, raw vegetables, cold drinks, caffeine and overly green fruits as they are astringent.

Dosha: Pitta (fire and a little water)

Pitta is hot and has good appetite and digestion. They are adventurous, aggressive, intelligent and sharp. Pittas get into trouble by overindulging in salt and pepper or eating too much. Pitta is intense, light, acid. It controls digestion, metabolism and energy production. When out of balance they are impatient and emotional and can suffer from skin allergies, ulcers, heartburn or indigestion. 

Favorable foods: rather cold or lukewarm foods, not very hot. Bitter, sweet and astringent flavors are ideal. Refreshing foods in hot weather such as salads, milk and ice cream. Herbal teas especially peppermint or licorice root. A vegetarian diet is best for you as red meat warms the body. Pittas should consume plenty of milk, grains, and vegetables.


Foods to avoid: Do not use butter or added fats. Avoid vinegar, cheeses, alcohols and fermented foods. Reduce coffee, nuts, hot drinks, spicy foods, honey and egg yolk. Avoid oily, hot, fried and very salty foods. 

Dosha: Kapha (earth and water)

Kaphas have heavier bodies and retain fluids and fat easily. They are calm, slow, anchored, oily, soft, solid, cold. Kapha's function is cell union and tissue formation, it is immunity and protection.

Kaphas are loving, patient, strong, and radiant-skinned. When out of balance, they are overly attached, stubborn, and resistant to change.

Favorable foods: hot, light and dry food. Best undercooked and even raw foods. Preferably dry cooking (baking, roasting, grilling). Spicy foods, romaine lettuce or endives, tonic water. Cumin, sesame, turmeric and fenugreek species are good for Kapha.


Foods to avoid: be careful with sugar, salt, fat and fried food as they easily retain. The main meal should be in the middle of the day and eat something very light and dry at night. Avoid dairy, oils and cold food.

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