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Body Type Diet, A Body Type Diet Quiz + The Rules For Each Type

A body type diet is essential in Ayurveda. Ayurveda identifies your body type based on three factors, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Do you know which of these types you are, and the body type diet you should be following?

Let’s first take a look at where this body type comes from, so you can begin to understand Ayurveda on your own. We’ll then take a look at the body type diet and give you ten rules for each type. It’s actually a pretty simple and effective system. Keep reading.

Here’s a rundown of what you’ll learn in this article, beginning with some Ayurveda basics.

Ayurvedic Body Types
Your Ayurvedic Body Type Diet
The Six Different Tastes And Your Body Type Diet
Vata Dosha
Pitta Dosha
Kapha Dosha
Dosha Imbalance And Your Ayurvedic Body Type Diet
Rules For The Vata Diet (How To Balance Vata Dosha)
Rules For The Pitta Diet (How To Balance Pitta Dosha)
Rules For The Kapha Diet (How To Balance Kapha Dosha)

If you don’t know your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, take the free body type diet quiz.

Ayurvedic Body Types

Ayurveda states that the human being is a non-separable manifestation of the universe. The basic constitutions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, of which the human body is composed, is also a manifestation of the five basic elements of which the entire universe is made up of.

The Vata constitution is composed of — Akash (Ether or Space) + Vayu (Air).

The Pitta constitution is composed of — Agni (Fire) + Jala (Water).

The Kapha constitution is composed of — Prithvi (Earth) + Jala (Water).

The ancient seers have understood that, as wind, light and water control nature, similarly Vata, Pitta and Kapha control the human body. They called these three the Tridosha. As good wind, good light and good water maintain the health of nature, similarly the health of the human body is maintained with a balanced state of the Tridosha.

READ MORE: Vata Diet: Everything You Need To Know, Pitta Diet: Everything You Need To Know, Kapha Diet: Everything You Need To Know

Your Ayurvedic Body Type Diet

When deciding what to eat, you should know your constitution or body type and understand its relationship to various kinds of food. You should understand the effects that food will have on your unique doshic balance.

No matter what type of doshas your body are composed of, you can always balance your doshas with the help of diet and lifestyle guidelines given by Ayurveda.

Your diet should be composed of six rasas or tastes, which in turn have an impact on the Tridoshas.

As you’ve seen, the Tridosha are a combination of the five basic elements or the Pancha mahabhutas. Similarly the six rasas or tastes are also a manifestation of the five basic elements of nature, or the Pancha mahabhutas, earth, water, fire, air and space.

Let’s look at the six tastes, their predominant elements and the effects they have on the respective doshas.

If you don’t know your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, take the free body type diet quiz.

The Six Different Tastes And Your Body Type Diet

Madhura is the sweet taste. It is composed of the elements of Earth and Water. The sweet taste pacifies Vata and Pitta dosha and aggravates Kapha.

Amla is the sour taste. It is composed of the elements of Earth and Fire. It pacifies Vata and aggravates Pitta and Kapha dosha.

Lavana is the salty taste. It is composed of the elements of Fire and Water. It pacifies Vata and aggravates Pitta and Kapha dosha.

Katu is the pungent taste. It is composed of the elements of Fire and Air. It pacifies Kapha and aggravates Vata and Pitta dosha.

Tikta is the bitter taste. It is composed of the elements of Air and Space or ether. It pacifies Pitta and Kapha and aggravates Vata dosha.

Kashaya is the astringent taste. It is composed of the elements of Air and Earth. It pacifies Pitta and Kapha and aggravates Vata dosha.1

READ MORE: How To Include Bitter Foods In Your Diet, How To Include Astringent Foods In Your Diet

This basic understanding of the six different tastes and their effect on the dosha will help you to make the right dietary choices.

As you see, each dosha is a combination of two out of the five basic elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth). So each lacks the other three basic elements. If you want to balance the dosha, you need to eat food which consists of the remaining three basic elements.

When you plan your diet according to your body type (body type diet) and its effect on each particular dosha, you can easily balance the dosha and maintain your Prakruti (basic body type).

The various tastes can either alleviate or aggravate doshas.  For example. Diet and herbs of sweet, sour and salty taste alleviate or reduces Vata. Those having an astringent, bitter and pungent taste would aggravate Vata. Similarly, Pitta is aggravated by a pungent, sour and salty taste and Kapha by a sweet sour and salty taste.2

Here’s an example. If you want to balance Vata dosha, you have to see that Vata dosha is a combination of the space and air element. These elements are predominant in foods tasting bitter, astringent and pungent. So if you indulge more in bitter, astringent and pungent food, it will aggravate the Vata dosha. To balance Vata, you need to eat foods consisting of the remaining three elements, earth, water and fire. These are foods which are sweet, sour and salty in taste.

Along with the taste of the food, other properties of the food like whether it is heavy or light, oily or dry, liquid or solid are also taken into account. The potency of the food, whether it is heating or cooling, and the post digestive effect of the food is also considered.

Here are some general guidelines for balancing the doshas, derived from Vasant Lad’s wonderful book, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.

If you don’t know your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, take the free body type diet quiz.

Vata Dosha

50% Whole Grains

Whole grains, cooked cereals, some breads and crackers.

20% Protein

Eggs, high quality dairy products, poultry, fish, seafood, tofu, black and red lentils.

20%-30% Fresh Vegetables + Optional 10% Fresh Fruits

Pitta Dosha

50% Whole Grains

Whole wheat bread, cereals and cooked grains.

20% Proteins

Beans (except lentils), tofu, cottage cheese, raw milk, white meat only, shrimp.

20%- 30% Vegetables + Optional 10% Fresh Fruit

Kapha Dosha

30%-40% Whole Grains

Rye crackers, dry cereals, cooked grains.

20% Proteins

Chicken, turkey, bled and poached eggs, goat milk, most beans.

40%-50% Fresh Vegetables + Optional 10% Fresh Or Dried Fruit

A daily salad is good.

Here are some tips to understand Dosha imbalance and their remedy.

If you don’t know your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, take the free body type diet quiz.

Dosha Imbalance And Your Ayurvedic Body Type Diet

Signs Of Vata Imbalance

  • Constipation, gas, bloating, dry, hard stool.

  • Dehydration.

  • Craving warmth, dislike towards cold temperature and wind.

  • Frequent viral infection.

  • Weight loss.

  • Disturbed sleep.

  • Dry or chapped skin.

  • Difficulty tolerating loud noises.

READ MORE: Ashwagandha Anxiety Relief Remedy That Works, Dehydration: 5 Replenishing Beverages + Ayurvedic Summer Health Tips, Ashwagandha Insomnia Remedy From Ancient Indian Wellness

Major Causes Of Vata Imbalance

  • Eating vata-aggravating food.

  • Irregular schedule of daily activities like eating and sleeping.

  • Eating old, leftover, dry and cold food.

  • Not eating enough food.

  • Eating too rapidly.

  • Eating while anxious or depressed.

  • Drinking alcohol, coffee or black tea.

  • Suppression of bodily urges, such as sneezing, passing gas or elimination of waste material like stool and urine.

  • Staying up late.

  • Over-exertion.

  • Excessive worry, fear, or loneliness.

If you don’t know your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, take the free body type diet quiz.

Rules For The Vata Diet (How To Balance Vata Dosha)

  • Include sweet, salty, and sour tasting foods in your diet.

  • Avoid bitter, astringent and pungent tasting foods.

  • Eat warm, oily or heavy foods.

  • Avoid cold foods.

  • Best oils to be used are almond, ghee and sesame.

  • Avoid ice cream and frozen yogurt.

  • Eat boiled or steamed starchy vegetables.

  • Eat ripe fruits.

  • Use mild spices like cumin, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, coriander, salt, cloves, mustard and black pepper.

  • Herbal teas of chamomile, fennel, ginger and lemon are good.

  • Raw honey, jaggery (raw sugar), maple syrup and molasses are good sweeteners.

  • Avoid using brown sugar and white sugar.

READ MORE: Vata And Kapha Balancing Broccoli SaladVata And Pitta Pacifying Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Signs Of Pitta Imbalance

  • The appearance of red, inflamed rash or acne on the skin.

  • An occurrence of acute inflammation or swelling in the body or joints.

  • Acidity, gastric or peptic ulcers, heartburn.

  • Feeling nausea or discomfort upon missing meals.

  • Getting diarrhea.

  • An uncomfortable feeling of heat in the body.

  • Feeling frustrated, angry, irritable.

Major Causes Of Pitta Imbalance

  • Eating Pitta-aggravating food

  • Eating while angry.

  • Smoking cigarettes.

  • Drinking coffee, black tea or alcohol.

  • Over-working.

  • Being overly aggressive and competitive.

If you don’t know your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, take the free body type diet quiz.

Rules For The Pitta Diet (How To Balance Pitta)

  • Include sweet, bitter and astringent tastes in your diet.

  • Avoid pungent (hot), sour and salty food.

  • Eat boiled, steamed and raw vegetables.

  • Reduce the intake of hot and spicy foods.

  • Eating sweet foods will reduce Pitta.

  • Drink warm milk with a small amount of cardamom and ginger in it.

  • Avoid buttermilk, salted cheeses, sour cream and yogurt.

  • Ghee and olive oil is best to use.

  • Use mild, cooling spices like coriander, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, cumin, curry leaves, mint.

  • Avoid jaggery (raw sugar) and molasses if your Pitta is aggravated and use honey instead.

Signs Of Kapha Imbalance

  • The body gains weight or becomes obese, which is a result of slow and sluggish digestion of food.

  • An occurrence of water retention and swelling in the body.

  • Increased frequency of cold, congestion or a cough.

  • The increased sugar level in the body which results in diabetes.

  • Increased cholesterol and triglycerides level in the body.

  • Feeling lethargic is a very common sign of Kapha because of the heavy, slow and dull qualities of Kapha.

Major Causes Of Kapha Imbalance

  • Eating Kapha-aggravating food.

  • Eating excessively sweet, salty, oily or fatty foods.

  • Eating heavy meals or overeating.

  • Not doing any exercise or physical activity.

  • Having excessive sleep.

If you don’t know your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, take the free body type diet quiz.

READ MORE: 10 Rules For The Kapha Diet

Rules For The Kapha Diet (How To Balance Kapha)

  • Include pungent, bitter, astringent tasting foods into your diet.

  • Avoid sweet, sour and salty foods.

  • Eat more boiled, steamed and raw vegetables.

  • Eating ripe foods will be good to balance Kapha except for banana. Minimize the intake of heavy foods, salt and dairy products.

  • Use raw honey instead of other sweeteners like sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup.

  • Use oils in small amounts only. Even the best oil if overused will aggravate Kapha.

  • Strong spices like pepper, paprika, garlic, basil, cloves, fennel, mustard, turmeric, cumin, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper will stimulate digestion, improve appetite, clear sinuses, stimulate blood circulation which is very helpful for balancing Kapha.

Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area to know your body type. This will help you know the dietary and lifestyle changes you need to make to balance your dosha. Along with diet and lifestyle changes, you can also incorporate some herbs into your regular diet to balance your dosha or body type.

If you don’t know your dosha or Ayurvedic body type, take the free body type diet quiz.

READ MORE: Vata Diet: Everything You Need To Know, Pitta Diet: Everything You Need To Know, Kapha Diet: Everything You Need To Know

References
1. K.R Srikantha Murthy, Astanga Hridaya, with English translations, Vol 1 Sutra Sthana, Chowkhambha Sanskrit Series, (2016)Chapter 10, verse-1.
2. R.K. Sharma, Bhagwan Dash, Charaka Samhita, Vol 1 with English translation, Chowkhambha Sanskrit Series, Varanasi (2016), verse 66, pp. 46-47.

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Ditimoni Goswami, BAMS is an Ayurvedic Practitioner since 2001. She served as Medical Officer (Ayur) for the government of the state of Assam, India from 2005 to 2012. She is certified in Panchakarma Therapy under Guru Shishya Parampara. Her specialization (D.Pch.) is in Panchabhautik Chikitsha. Additionally she is a Pranic healing practitioner, presently working as Ayurvedic Consultant for Transformative Learning Solutions, New Delhi India and TheAyurvedaExperience.com.

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