Ayurveda places a premium on eating as a therapeutic and preventive approach. Normally, Vata imbalances or Vata body types require a Vata diet. However, since vata is the body's most potent dosha in the body, it is imperative for all people to know about Vata balancing foods.
Vata dosha is primarily dry, light and cold. Thus, an ideal vata meal should consist of moisturizing, unctuous, and warm food. However, since Vata people normally have random digestive power, heavy food is not recommended in general.
Here are some specific dietary recommendations for maintaining Vata balance –
- Use warm herbs like ginger and garlic to balance the cool Vata dosha.
- According to Ayurveda, cooked food is lighter and easier to digest, hence better for Vata compared to cooked food.
- Unlike smooth-textured meals like bananas and squash, raw fruits and vegetables create dryness and may aggravate Vata dosha.
- Precooked, frozen and stale foods are low in prana (life force). They are not for all body types, but especially harmful for Vata.
- Instead, fresh, unctuous, moisturizing, and warm foods soothe Vata.
- "Warm food" usually means hot meals. However, Ayurveda also associates heat - producing spices and food with warmth.
- Consume an adequate amount of oil, butter, and ghee. These heavy and moisturizing foods help balance Vata's lightness.
- Also, unctuous grains like rice, wheat are great for Vata body type. However, millets and barley should be cooked in fats for Vata balance. Stay away from dry foods like popcorn.
- However, you should avoid extremely heavy, and oily foods. Examples are fried appetizers, too much cheese, and root vegetables. They might be too heavy to digest for Vata’s delicate digestion.
- Avoid ice-cold beverages, ice creams and other cool things as coolness tends to aggravate Vata dosha.
- Sweet taste brings calmness and security to anxiety- prone Vata dosha. It also nourishes and eliminates Vata dryness. Hence, in a Vata-balancing diet, sweet foods are vital for cooling, anchoring, feeding, strengthening, and fulfilling.
- Salty taste promotes digestion and retains moisture. Excess salty food can create vata imbalance. However, moderate consumption of salt is very beneficial for vata.
- Normally bitter taste aggravates Vata. Curcumin and fenugreek seeds are bitter spices that do not aggravate Vata.
- Excess consumption of aromatic, astringent flavour aggravates Vata. Fruits like jackfruit, beets, and raw bananas are astringent.
- Sometimes, it is not possible to avoid all Vata-inducing meals. Simply sauté them in oil or ghee along with warm herbs. This may help to balance the Vata food.
- It is not advised to consume too much water during meals or chilled water after sunset.