The word “Ayurveda” comes from an ancient Indian language called Sanskrit.
The word "Ayurveda" literally means "The Knowledge or Science of Life".
When following an Ayurvedic approach to life, you get taught to listen and address the unique needs of your mind & body through balancing your mental and physical state while deepening your connection with nature.
When learning about Ayurvedic nutrition you might be surprised to see that Macros (carbs, protein and fats) are not featured like they are in the western approach to nutrition.
Instead, Ayurveda teaches that we need to eat foods that balance our natural constitution or “Dosha” by consuming foods that contain the elements (air, ether, fire, water or earth) that we need most at any given time.
Foods are grouped according to the elements that are higher within them. Raw lettuce for example is high in air element and a potato is high in earth element. Everything around us has the 5 elements within it, including us! Each one of us has one or two predominant elements within us referred to as your Dosha.
The Doshas are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata is composed of the elements air and ether
Pitta is composed of the elements fire and water
Kapha is composed of the elements earth and water
Vata predominant people are generally thin and find it hard to gain weight.
Vata's need to get sufficient rest and not overdo things, as they can tire easily.
Pitta types are generally medium-sized and well proportioned.
They also tend to be intelligent, with a sharp wit.
Kapha predominant people tend to have sturdy, heavy frames.
They are prone to gain weight easily. They often tend to have a positive outlook on life.
So, what does this mean, and how does it apply to your eating habits?
Once you know what your predominant dosha is then you can start eating foods that contain your needed elements to support and balance your natural constitution.
Examples of foods suitable to each dosha are:
Vata Sweet fruits, apricots, avocado, bananas, berries, grapes, melons, asparagus, beets, cucumber, garlic, radishes, zucchini.
Pitta Sweet fruits, avocado, coconut, figs, mango, prunes, sweet and bitter vegetables, cabbage, cucumber, potatoes.
Kapha Apples, apricots, berries, cherries, cranberries, mangos, peaches, pungent and bitter vegetables, broccoli, celery, garlic, onion.
Eating according to my constitution has helped me cultivate a loving relationship with my body and what I choose to feed it at any given time.
Learning which foods are higher in which element has also helped me understand why I am naturally attracted to some foods and not others as well as what foods I should eat to create balance within my body as seasons and hormones change.
I find that Ayurveda has simplified nutrition so beautifully!
Why have we not been taught to look at nutrition and the effect it has on each of us as individuals?
This seems like the most obvious approach to nutrition does it not?
Feel free to contact me if you are interested in taking a deep dive into your personal constitution.