Vata diet involves intake of timely, nutritious, and unctuous meals. Vata Dosha diet also includes a generous use of spices and herbs. This ensures good assimilation of food nutrients.
Vata pacifying foods are nourishing in nature, builds tissues, and gives strength and vitality. Irrespective of the body constitution, a Vata Dosha Diet is helpful for anyone who is suffering from Vata Imbalance and poor circulation.
Along with suitable lifestyle changes, Vata balancing Dietary habits are one of the best tools to pacify Vata increase. Vata foods and diet help to balance the dry, cold, excessively mobile, and hard qualities of Vata Dosha.
When should one follow a Vata Diet?
One should follow a vata dosha diet to balance an aggravated Vata Dosha or to prevent Vata aggravation. This may happen in following cases:
- When you are suffering from Vata Imbalance
- Certain lifestyle factors such as excessive mobility (travel), stress, and life stages (specifically for women) make one prone to Vata Imbalance. Hence, follow a Vata Diet to prevent Vata disorders.
- In dry, windy, and cold weather
- During late fall and winter
- Vata can easily get aggravated when you live in or travel to a regions such as high-altitude mountains and deserts.
- During Old Age, specifically when you start facing symptoms of irregular Vata type of digestion
- During menstruation, pregnancy, after delivery, and during menopause for women
- When you are sick or suffering from any Vata Imbalance health disorders
Vata Dietary Habits and General Rules to Follow
Vata diet involves selection of food items and practicing dietary habits that can help to balance the aggravated Vata Dosha.
- Timely meals at fixed time everyday should be taken. This is the foremost principles to balance Vata.
- Eat in a calm and settled environment.
- Prefer smaller meals during the day. Do not hold hunger. One can snack in between the meals, if they suffer from excessive hunger. Keep gap of 2 hours or more between meals and snacks.
- Warm and unctuous foods such as porridge, curry, gruel, and soup should be taken.
- Remove highly spicy, hot, and sugary foods. Both chili and sugar lead to over stimulation and create excessive Vata imbalance.
Which foods should be preferred for Vata Dosha Diet?
Fruits, grains, and vegetables that have salty, sour, and naturally sweet tastes should be preferred to balance aggravated Vata Dosha.
- Sweet taste in Ayurveda refers to dense, strength building, and nourishing foods.
- Some examples are whole grains, nuts, seeds, root vegetables, and animal products.
- Sugar on the other hand is extremely harmful for Vata imbalance. Sugary foods lead to excessive stimulation of the delicate Vata body, hence aggravating the health symptoms.
- Consume dried fruits, nuts, and seeds should be in moderation.
- Prefer sweet herbs such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari, and Licorice.
- Salty taste stimulates the appetite and improves digestion.
- Salt helps to retain moisture, hence provides required hydration to dry Vata Dosha.
- It also supports proper elimination as it supports intestinal movement. Prefer natural salts such as rock salt and pure sea salt.
- Other foods are Seaweeds and seafood.
- Sour taste stimulates the digestive juices and enzymes, and eliminates excess wind.
- Some foods are lemons, tamarind, fermented foods, vinegar, and sour-sweet fruits like orange, pineapple, and kiwi.
- Sour taste along with the sweet taste is pacifying for Vata Dosha.
- Sweet, Sour, and Juicy fruits such mango, grapes, lemon, oranges, melon, papaya, ripe banana, coconut, watermelon, plums, peaches, pineapple, Avocado, and Berries.
Healthy Fats and Oils
- Add pure oils such as Sesame, Ghee, Coconut Oil, Peanut Oil, or Flaxseeds oil in your meals.
- It provides the required unctuousness and softness to dry and hard Vata.
Digestive and Heating Herbs
- Include heating and pungent spices and herbs to maintain healthy digestive fire and to get the micro nutrients.
- Prefer herbs such as saffron, carom seeds, celery seeds, fennel, cumin, ginger, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and lemon grass.
Hydration and Nourishment
- Vata tends toward dryness, which is often the first sign of Vata imbalance. Stay hydrated with warm herbal teas or simply warm water.
- Prefer natural hydrating sources such as room temperature plain water, unsweetened and fresh juices, milk, and coconut water.
Which foods should be removed or avoided for Vata Balancing Diet?
Vata Dosha is increased by consumption of pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Hence, one should either avoid them or consume them in moderation.
- Pungent taste is light in nature, hence it overstimulates Vata, leading to more irregularities.
- One should avoid pungent herbs and spices such as chilli flakes and cayenne pepper.
- Bitter taste is cooling, rough, drying, light, and reducing in nature.
- It is one of the most aggravating tastes for Vata Dosha.
- Avoid bitter herbs such as Aloevera or Bhui Amla as they aggravate Vata Dosha.
- Avoid bitter nuts and seeds such as bitter almonds and dark chocolate.
- Astringent taste is dry, cold, heavy and rough in nature.
- It aggravates Vata Dosha.
- Reduce and remove astringent fruits such as pears, berries, unripe bananas, starfruit, and jack fruit.
- Some astringent grains are Millets, brown rice, corn, barley, buckwheat, and oat bran.
- Avoid raw green leafy vegetables and raw cruciferous vegetables.
- Consume cooked leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables in moderation. Some examples are cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli, and cauliflower
- Consume beans and legumes in moderation such as chickpeas, aduki beans, white beans, and black beans.
Cold and Stale Foods and Beverages
- Remove stale, frozen, and processed foods.
- Remove cold temperature foods and drinks.
- Limit or stop raw foods such as salads.
- Avoid heavy to digest dairy foods such as old cheese, sheep’s milk cheese, and buffalo mozzarella.
- Avoid cold fruit and vegetable juices in cold weather.
Light and Drying Foods
- Reduce and remove light and drying foods such as puffed cereals, crackers, cereal flakes, rice flakes, puffed rice or corn cakes, and popcorn.
- Remove carbonated beverages and fizzy drinks.
- Avoid or moderate consumption of chewing gum as it aggravates Vata.
- Stop Alcohol and smoking as both of them are highly dehydrating in nature.
- Avoid fasting and skipping meals.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, black tea, and green tea as they are dehydrating and constipating in nature.
- Remove spicy and fried foods such as chips, crackers, and crunchy snacks etc.
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