Vata Balancing Diet

A Food Plan to Balance VataDosha
These guidelines can be used for vata mind-body constitutions, to maintain dosha balance, and to restore balance if necessary, regardless of the basic constitution. Vata influences the movement of thoughts, feelings, prana flows, nerve impulses, and fluids in the body.

Favor:

  • Warm food, moderately heavy textures, added butter and fat.
  • Salt, sour, and sweet tastes; Soothing and satisfying foods.
  • All soothing foods are good for settling disturbed Vata. Use foods such as: warm milk, cream, butter, warm soups, stews, hot cereals, fresh baked bread. Since vata is a cold dry dosha, warm, nourishing foods such as these are good for stabilizing vata. On the other hand cold foods such as cold salads, iced drinks, raw vegetables and greens are not very good for persons with vata imbalance.
  • Breakfast is highly recommended. Use hot cereals such as cream of rice or wheat or any other breakfast that is warm, milky, and sweet.
  • Take a hot or herbal tea with snacks in the late afternoon. Avoid drinks with high caffeine as vata gets disturbed by it.
  • Use spicy foods such as spicy Mexican or Indian foods that are cooked in oil.
  • Use warm moist foods such as cooked grains and cereals, bowl of hot oatmeal or cup of steaming vegetable soup.
  • Warm milk is good. You can add a little sugar or honey to it if you prefer. Avoid eating candies as it disturbs vata.
  • Prefer salted nuts that are heavy and oily as opposed to dry salty snacks.
  • All sweet fruits are Ok for vata. Avoid unripe fruits as they are astringent
  • Take warm or hot water instead of ice water and drinks.
  • Summary: Breakfast is usually desirable. Hot foods and sweet and sour tastes. Reduce dry foods and bitter tastes. Warm or hot water and drinks. Raw nuts and nut butters.
  • Spices: cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, ginger, cloves in moderation.

Food Classified By Group

Vegetables

Favor

  • cooked vegetables
  • asparagus
  • beets
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • garlic
  • green beans
  • onions, cooked
  • onions, cooked
  • sweet potato
  • radishes
  • turnips
  • leafy greens in moderation

Reduce or Avoid

  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • eggplant
  • leafy green vegetables
  • mushrooms
  • peas
  • peppers
  • potatoes
  • sprouts
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini

Note: The above vegetables are OK if cooked with oil except cabbage and sprouts. Avoid raw vegetables, in general.

Fruits

Favor

  • sweet fruits
  • apricots
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • berries
  • cherries
  • coconut
  • fresh figs
  • grapefruit
  • lemons
  • grapes
  • mangos
  • sweet melons
  • sour oranges
  • papaya
  • pineapple
  • peaches
  • plums
  • sour fruits
  • Stewed fruits
  • Sweet, well-ripened fruit in general

Reduce or Avoid

  • apples
  • cranberries
  • pomegranates
  • pears
  • The above fruits are OK cooked Avoid dried fruits, in general and unripe fruit (especially bananas)

Grains

Favor

  • oats(as cooked oatmeal cereal, not dry)
  • cooked rice
  • wheat

Reduce or Avoid

  • barley
  • buckwheat
  • corn
  • dry oats
  • millet
  • rye

Dairy

Favor

  • All Dairy is acceptable

Reduce or Avoid

Meat

Favor

  • chicken
  • seafood, in general
  • turkey
  • All in small quantity

Reduce or Avoid

  • Avoid red meat

Beans

Favor

  • chickpeas
  • mung beans
  • pink lentils
  • tofu (small amounts)

Reduce or Avoid

  • All, except as noted.

Oils

Favor

  • All oils are acceptable
  • Sesame oil and olive oil are especially good

Reduce or Avoid

Sweeteners

Favor

  • All Dairy is acceptable

Reduce or Avoid

Nuts and Seeds

Favor

  • All are acceptable in small amounts. Almonds are best.

Reduce or Avoid

Herbs and Spices

Favor

Almost all, in moderation, with emphasis on sweet and/or heating herbs and spices, such as:

  • allspice
  • anise
  • asafoetida
  • basil
  • bay leaf
  • black pepper (use sparingly)
  • caraway
  • cardamom
  • cilantro (green coriander)
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • cumin
  • fennel
  • ginger
  • juniper berries
  • licorice root
  • mace
  • marjoram
  • mustard
  • nutmeg
  • oregano
  • sage
  • tarragon
  • thyme

Reduce or Avoid

Avoid using spices in large quantities. Minimize or avoid all bitter and astringent herbs and spices such as:

  • coriander seed
  • fenugreek
  • parsley
  • saffron
  • turmeric

If your basic constitution is mixed (vata-pitta or vata-kapha), include portions for the second influential dosha. Vatadosha is aggravated and increased during autumn and early winter. During these seasons all mind-body types can include some of the above foods and decrease others. Mental and emotional peace and constructive lifestyle routines are important to restoring and maintaining balance.

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