Vata Balancing Diet

Ayurveda revolves around 3 energy forces termed as doshas, they are also known as tridosha.

Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the three energy forces responsible for the functioning of the body.

Each person has all three doshas. However, one is more prominent in all. Ever so often it could be a combination of two doshas as well.

Dosha is associated right from birth, it is a combination of mental, physical, and emotional combination. An imbalance of doshas is caused when there are changes caused within this diameter. Imbalance can also be caused by external or internal factors. These could include changes in diet, emotional state, stress, family relationships, and various other factors.

Once the factors for the imbalance are understood, necessary actions and precautions can be taken to rectify the imbalance and maintain a healthy state of the body. Basically, Vata Dosha is made of air and space. This dosha is associated with movements of the cell membrane, muscle, and breathing.

The stability of Vata is affected when there are changes in the weather conditions, sleep pattern, or overexertion.

Vata is primarily seen in the brain, ears, joints, colon in the body. Individuals with Vata are more prone to air-born diseases. Other common Vata disorders include dry skin, hair, flatulence, mental confusion. The manifestation of Vata is breath, circulation, speech, and digestion.

Vata individuals need to take extra care during the time of autumn and early winter. During this time diet and lifestyle should be paid extra attention to. It is important to maintain a routine for these individuals to effectively delegate the moving energy.

This dosha people often like sharp and astringent food like vegetables, raw fruits, and salads.

Vata Dosha Diet

Ayurveda truly goes by “Prevention is better than Cure” It is a science that is centred around consuming the right food according to your dosha. It also confirms the taste bud which can be aligned with each and every dosha.

Diet and lifestyle changes play a huge role in balancing any Doshas. The same applies to Vata Dosha as well.

Vata Body Type

Vata body types are usually restless and have no fixed eating pattern. They may forget to eat and frequently change eating patterns that affect their digestion. Being restless and unsystematic leads them to have a sleep disorder. If Vata remains unbalanced for an extended time it leads to anxiety and nervousness.

If Vata is overriding, then fasting should be avoided. Doing extraneous physical exertion should be avoided as well. Oil baths, relaxing massages, meditation are recommended for the Vata Body type. Moreover, ayurvedic diet for vata dosha individuals should include more sweet, sour, salty, warm food in their diet.

Avoid sharp, raw, and processed food. Unlike other dosha, Vata individuals can consume nuts such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts but in moderation. Spices such as black pepper, turmeric, saffron, fennel, etc are considered good.

Symptoms To Identify The Type of Vata Dosha

Vata dosha again comprises various Vata doshas. Let’s find the symptoms related to each of them.

Apana Vata: Lower back pain, gastric problems, diarrhoea, intestinal pain, menstruation issues.

Samana Vata: Slow or very fast digestion,  gastric problems, weak tissues.

Vyana Vata: Dry skin, stress, shiver, anxiety, low blood flow.

Udana Vata: Fatigue, sore throat, dry coughs.

Prana Vata: Breathing Issues, overthinking, sleep problems.

Fruits For Vata Dosha

To balance the Vata in the body, individuals must avoid all sour fruits, apples, pears, pomegranates, dried fruit and instead opt for sweet fruits over them.

Below is the list of fruits that Vata Dosha Individuals must consume

  • Apples (cooked)
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Coconut
  • Fresh Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberry
  • Tamarind
  • Soaked Raisins

Foods to Avoid for Vata Dosha:- Fruits

Vata Dosha Individuals should avoid dry fruits along with sour fruits

Try to Avoid 

  • Apples (raw)
  • Dates (dry)
  • Figs (dry)
  • Pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Raisins (dry)
  • Watermelon

Vata Diet Food List:- Vegetables

Vegetables should always be cooked and consumed warm, avoid eating them raw as it is difficult to digest.

Best Vegetables For Vata Dosha

Below are the vegetables which would work amazingly for Vata Dosha to maintain their health.

  • Beets
  • Cabbage* (cooked)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower*
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel (Anise)
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Green chilies
  • Leafy greens*
  • Okra
  • Olives, black
  • Onions (cooked)
  • Peas (cooked)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes (cooked)
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts

Vata Dosha Foods to Avoid:- Vegetables

Try to stay away from these vegetables as they would aggravate the Vata in your body. To start with, try to reduce the quantity of consumption and then gradually cut it out from your diet.

  • Beet greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage (raw)
  • Cauliflower (raw)
  • Wheatgrass
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives, green
  • Onions (raw)
  • Peas (raw)
  • Peppers, sweet & hot
  • Potatoes
  • Prickly pear (fruit & leaves)
  • Radish (raw)
  • Tomatoes

Foods To Balance Vata Dosha:- Grains

  • Amaranth*
  • Oats (cooked)
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (all kinds)
  • Seitan (wheat meat)
  • Sprouted wheat bread (Essene)
  • Wheat

Vata Increasing Foods- Grains

If Vata has increased in your body, below grains would help in getting it back in control.

  • Barley
  • Bread (with yeast)
  • Cereals (cold, dry or puffed)
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Muesli
  • Oat bran
  • Oats (dry)
  • Pasta
  • Rice cakes**
  • Sago
  • Tapioca
  • Wheat bran

Vata Reducing Diet:- Nuts

Vata individuals can consume all types of nuts. However, moderation is the key like everything else!

Vata Pacifying Foods:- Condiments

Who does not like a pack full of spice in the kitchen and in their meals. Spices are a great way of adding medicinal value to your food. Below spices would work extra wonders for Vata individuals, as all the spices are good to balance the Vata.

  • Black pepper
  • Chutney, mango (sweet or spicy)
  • Chili peppers
  • Coriander leaves
  • Ketchup
  • Kombu
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Lime & Mango pickle
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Sprouts*
  • Tamari
  • Vinegar
  • Avoid Chocolate and Horseradish, as they may increase Vata in the body.

Best Foods For Vata Dosha: Legumes

Add the below legumes in your diet, dedicate the portion of your daily meal to legumes.

  • Lentils (red)*
  • Mung beans
  • Mung dal
  • Soy milk*
  • Soy sauce*
  • Soy sausages*
  • Tofu*
  • Tur dal
  • Urad dal

Foods To Avoid: Legumes

These are the ones that you should avoid, if you see any of your favourite legumes below. Time to bid them bye.

  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils (brown)
  • Peas (dried)
  • Soy beans
  • Soy flour
  • Soy powder
  • Split peas
  • White beans

Vata Reducing Diet: Dairy

Most dairy is good, try to avoid Cow’s milk and Goat’s milk (powdered. Also, avoid Yoghurt (plain, flavoured, with fruits).

  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Cheese (hard)*
  • Cheese (soft)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cow’s milk
  • Ghee
  • Goat’s cheese
  • Goat’s milk
  • Ice cream*
  • Sour cream*
  • Yogurt (diluted & spiced)*

Seeds for Vata Imbalance

  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Tahini Seeds

*Avoid Popcorn and Psyllium

Vata Reducing Foods :- Oils

Some oils are fit for internal purpose and some for external, know both these types below

Internal Use 

  • Sesame
  • Ghee
  • Olive
  • Most other oil

External Use

Coconut and Avocado Oil

*Avoid flaxseed oil completely

Beverages To Balance Vata Dosha

Drink your way to balance the Vata dosha in your body.

  • Alcohol (beer; white wine)*
  • Almond milk
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Apple cider
  • Apricot juice
  • Chai (hot spiced milk)
  • Cherry juice
  • Grape juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Lemonade
  • Mango juice
  • Orange juice
  • Papaya juice
  • Peach nectar
  • Pineapple juice
  • Rice milk
  • Sour juices
  • Soy milk (hot & well-spiced)*

Beverages to Avoid To Balance Vata

Reduce Vata by decreasing the consumption of below beverages.

  • Alcohol (hard; red wine)
  • Apple juice
  • Black tea
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Chocolate milk
  • Coffee
  • Cold dairy drinks
  • Cranberry juice
  • Iced tea
  • Icy cold drinks
  • Pear juice
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Prune juice**
  • Soy milk (cold)
  • Tomato juice**

Vata Diet For Weight Loss

  • Vata individuals should inculcate 3 to 4 small meals in a day.
  • Consume more cooked vegetables rather than eating raw vegetables.
  • Avoid vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers.
  • Eat sweet fruits rather than sharp fruits.
  • Limit the consumption of Legumes
  • Consume nuts and seeds in the form of liquid such as nut milks.
  • Limit the consumption of sugar, tobacco, and alcohol.

Ayurvedic Tips For Weight Loss

Ayurveda advocates on being mindful while eating. Try to eat slowly and chew your food more. When you eat your food calmly, you get the signal from your body once it is full.

Eat your largest meal in the afternoon for lunch, as your metabolism is high in  the afternoon. Start your day with lukewarm lemon water as it aids digestion. Sleep well, as lack of sleep increases stress eventually leading to weight gain.

Conclusion

Ayurveda aims to cleanse the body and remove toxins from the body to balance the doshas within the body. For each dosha the diet and the workout to be maintained are different. Being healthy does not mean fitting into a certain size, or looking good.

It aims at rejuvenation, regeneration and should be about feeling good, healthy, and active. Diet, food and diet should be maintained as per your doshas. The manifestation of Vata is breath, circulation, speech and digestion.