Dosha-appropriate nutrition for Vata, Pitta and Kapha
The millennia-old health teachings of Ayurveda recommend a diet appropriate to our type - but what does that mean?
The three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are the decisive factors in determining which foods are beneficial and which are harmful or even pathogenic.
Food that is calming and healing for a Vata person can be stressful and debilitating for a Kapha person.
Therefore, it is important to know one's constitutional type.
Why does Ayurveda distinguish between Vata, Pitta and Kapha?
Agni, the digestive fire, occupies a central place in Ayurvedic health teachings. The digestive fire determines how you feel - exhausted and listless or energetic and full of zest for life. The three Dosha types Vata, Pitta and Kapha have three very different digestive qualities, therefore the food must also be adapted to this digestive system. This is what is meant by type-appropriate nutrition in Ayurveda. Because only food that has been completely metabolised will give you vitality and energy. That is why Ayurveda also says: You are what you digest.
Vata digestion - flickering and irregular
Many Vata-dominated people tend to eat irregularly. Sometimes they eat a lot, sometimes a little, and often enough they even forget a meal when they are completely absorbed in an activity. The digestion of Vata people is equally erratic. People with a high Vata content suffer more often from constipation, flatulence and loss of appetite.
Pitta digestion - strong and blazing
People who have a lot of Pitta usually also have a strong digestive fire, because the element of Pitta is fire! Pitta people who are balanced, have the most powerful digestion of the three dosha types. Since Pitta types pay attention to a regular diet anyway, they also have quite regular digestion and elimination. If Pitta is imbalanced, this becomes noticeable with diarrhoea.
Kapha digestion - sluggish and slow
The hallmark of Kapha is slowness and inertia. Those who have a lot of Kapha in their constitution do not have regular bowel movements every day. While Pitta people can have a bowel movement three times a day, everything is much slower and more sluggish with Kapha people.
The recommendations in Ayurveda are as differentiated as the digestive systems of the three Dosha types. Once you have studied them, you will discover the secret to health and well-being! Nothing is easier than changing your diet. But please do it in small steps! This is also part of Ayurveda: Change your habits only in small things, in small steps, and try them out for a while. Then, when you notice a change in your attitude to life, take the next step.
Vata nutrition - the best tips for a pleasant attitude to life
All three meals of the day should be warm and preferably liquid.
Your meal should be well cooked and easily digestible.
Ghee and cream will give you the stability you need.
Your three main tastes are sweet, salty and sour.
Avoid spicy, bitter and tart food.
Don't drink anything with your meal, preferably warm drinks before and after.
For your delicate digestive system, these spices are beneficial: ginger, cumin, hing (asa foetida), fennel, cinnamon, aniseed, mustard seeds, cardamom, liquorice.
Very little, and if so, then only at lunchtime: raw vegetables, cabbage vegetables, pulses.
Your meals should be restorative, nourishing and easy to digest.
Eat in peace and in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
Fasting is not suitable for Vata people, as fasting increases Vata even more.
Pitta nutrition - the best tips for a relaxed attitude to life
A fiery Pitta person should not eat too much, moderation is good for him.
Enjoy all sour, spicy and salty foods only in small quantities.
Sweet, tart and bitter should be the predominant tastes.
Do not consume food too hot, also do not drink beverages too hot.
Alcohol (= fire water), tomatoes, red meat and anything acidic increase Pitta and should be consumed very little.
Calming spices are turmeric, fennel, garden herbs, ginger, cardamom, coriander, saffron and cinnamon.
Coconut oil and coconut milk are recommended as particularly cooling.
Drinks and food are cooling at least at room temperature - never from the refrigerator!
The fiery Pitta is calmed by heavy, oily and substantial meals, but only in moderate portions.
Salad reduces pitta, but should only be eaten at lunchtime when the digestive fire is strongest.
Avoid dry and light foods.
Make sure you have fixed, regular meal times.
Kapha nutrition - the best tips for an energetic lifestyle
Kapha people can skip breakfast if they are not hungry.
For Kapha-dominant people, spicy, tart and bitter flavours are ideal.
Meals should be warm and consist of well-cooked, easily digestible foods.
Salad and raw vegetables should only be eaten in small quantities and if at all, then at lunchtime.
No snacks between meals!
Hot spices boost the metabolism: Chilli, ginger, cardamom, pepper, horseradish, mustard seeds, turmeric, cinnamon.
Anything sweet, especially white sugar, should be avoided.
Honey is the only sweetener that reduces Kapha, but please do not heat it above 40°C.
Consume fats and oils only in very small quantities.
Cold and raw foods are too difficult to digest.
In the evening, eat at least three hours before going to bed.
Do not eat dairy products in the evening, they cause a lot of slime.
These Ayurvedic tips are good for everyone
When you cook for yourself, enjoy it! The mood of the cook is crucial for the quality of the meal. A lovingly set table and a pleasant atmosphere while eating help your digestive system, to make the best of the meal available to your body. Difficult conversations and topics where things could get heated are better postponed to a later time. You should not drink anything for about half an hour before eating and one hour after eating. Even with a meal, Ayurveda recommends at most half a cup of hot water, but never a cold drink. Cold drinks quench Agni, the digestive fire, and your delicious meal cannot be metabolised well. It is good for all three dosha types to remain seated at the table for five to ten minutes after a meal. This gives your digestion a powerful start to its work.