People have been following the Ayurvedic lifestyle for thousands of years. The name is a combination of two Sanskrit words that are translated as life (Ayur) and science (Veda). It is a form of holistic medicine that originated in India and is all about supporting healthy digestion with mindful food choices. It places a focus on balancing different types of energy within your body, and is often personalized with foods to eat based on what will work best for your own body. This way of eating can improve your health and your mental wellness!
What are the benefits?
- Improved digestion
- Improved gut health
- Encourages you to eat more whole foods
- Promotes weight management
- Promotes mindfulness
What can you eat?
The Ayurvedic diet has set guidelines for what, how, and when you should eat. These guidelines are based off of your dosha, or your body type. According to Ayurveda, there are three categories that people fall under. Each dosha has its own set of characteristics and suggestions for how to eat and live to receive the most health benefits.
Pitta (fire + water)
People with a dominant Pitta tend to be very athletic, and muscular, leaders. They are very goal-oriented, motivated in all aspects of life, and can be competitive. They are very self-determined in everything they set their minds to, and can master skills easily. They also have a strong appetite and perfect digestion. According to ancient practices, grains like wheat, white rice, barley and oats, and fruits such as grapes, mango, pomegranate, pineapple, oranges, melon, cherries, coconut, avocado and plums are said to be especially beneficial for Pittas.
Vata (air + space)
People with a dominant vata dosha are usually characterized as having a thin, light build. They are naturally energetic, creative, and love constant change. Some of their strengths include thinking outside the box, multi-tasking, and being quick learners. According to Ayurveda, vatas should “follow a regular daily routine, manage stress through meditation and other calming activities, and maintain a warm body temperature by avoiding cold weather and consuming warm foods and drinks.” Hot fluids like soups or stews, avocado, coconut, olives, berries, nuts, and seeds are just some of the best foods for Vatas to consume.
Kapha (earth + water)
People with a dominant Kapha are strong, steady, stable, and methodical. They’re known for being caring, trustworthy, patient, and thick-boned. They are easy-going, and calm, and prefer warm, dry climates. To maintain optimal health, Kaphas should try and stick to a regular exercise routine, and a healthy diet. Kapha should try and eat more vegetables like asparagus, cucumbers, celery, okra, grains like wheat, white rice, barley and oats, and calming spices such as coriander, and cardamom.
How to cook Ayurvedically
Source: Banyan Botanicals
Kendra, Ayurvedic chef and teacher explains that Ayurvedic cooking is all about supporting healthy digestion with mindful food choices and preparation. In her video, she shares her wisdom on how to best cook foods ayurvedically, that will best support your agni (digestive fire)! Kendra shares some helpful tips on how to make sure you are selecting the right herbs and spices, and approaching all of your meals with loving-kindness, as she says.
- 10 Recipes That Follow the Principles of Ayurveda
- Ayurvedic Spinach-Mung Detox Soup
- Ayurvedic Falafel
- Ayurvedic Turmeric Lassi
- Ginger Elixir: An Ayurvedic Digestive Drink
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