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Vata-Balancing Diet

Foods for Vata Constitutions to Favor

General Guidelines:
  • The best Vata-balancing foods are warm, heavy, and oily and have sweet, sour, and salty taste.
  • Vatas can eat larger quantities of food, but don’t eat more than your digestion can handle.
  • To balance Vata throughout the day, eat a substantial warm breakfast, preferably with cooked cereal, milk, toast, etc.
  • Excellent Vata-balancing foods: warm, creamy soups; hot cereals, bread; and pasta with rich sauces as "alfredo" (made with butter and cream).
  • Warm milk is always good for balancing Vata.
  • GRAINS Rice (white or blown) and wheat are most Vata balancing. Oats are acceptable if well-cooked (as in Oatmeal), not dry (as in granola).
  • DAIRY All dairy products are good for balancing Vata. It is best to drink milk warm, and not with a full meal.
  • FRUIT Favor sweet fruit such as apricots, avocados, bananas, berries, coconut, cherries, fresh (not dried) figs, grapes, mangoes, melons, nectarines, papayas, sweet oranges, sweet pineapple, sweet plums.
  • VEGETABLES Vegetables for balancing Vata should be well cooked. Raw salads are not recommended, but if you really like them, using a creamy or oily dressing, or accompanying with a dish of fresh cottage cheese will help balance the effect. Best vegetables for Vata are asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, sweet potato, turnips. The following are also acceptable if used in moderate quantities, especially if you cook them in ghee or oil and use Vata-reducing spices (see below): broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, green leafy vegetables, peas, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini.
  • BEANS Beans are not very good for Vata. Minimise their use except for tofu (made from ground soybeans), chickpeas, and pink lentils, all in moderate amounts. Mung beans are okay, especially as dhal, a light soup made from dried mung beans that is often served with rice in Indian cooking.
  • NUTS All nuts are acceptable. Almonds are especially good.
  • OILS All oils reduce Vata. Sesame oil is especially recommended.
  • SWEETENERS All sweeteners help balance Vata, though refined white sugar is not recommended.
  • MEAT AND FISH Chicken, turkey, and seafood are acceptable in small or moderate portions.
  • SPICES AND HERBS Most spices are good for Vata. Sweet and heating herbs and spices are best, such as black pepper (in small amounts), cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger, and mustard seed. Ginger is especially good for Vata digestion. Salt is okay for Vatas. You can also use allspice, anise, asafoetida, basil, bay leaf, caraway, cilantro, fennel, nutmeg, oregano, safe, tarragon, and thyme.

Eat in small quantities or avoid

General Guidelines:
  • Avoid all cold drinks, and cut down on foods that are cold, dry, and light.
  • MInimise foods with pungent (spicy), bitter and astringent tastes, though Indian and Mexican foods are generally okay (because they tend to be cooked in oil, which is soothing to Vata).
  • Fasting and light diet are not recommended for Vata.
  • GRAINS Reduce you consumption of barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, and rye; avoid dry oats.
  • DIARY All diary foods are okay for Vata.
  • FRUIT Avoid all dried or unripe fruits. MInimise apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, though these are more acceptable if cooked.
  • VEGETABLES Avoid cabbage and bean sprouts. Many others should be MInimised unless well-cooked; see the list of acceptable veggies, above.
  • BEANS Reduce or avoid most beans; see above.
  • MEAT AND FISH Avoid beef, pork, limb.
  • SPICES AND HERBS Though most spices and herbs are okay, Vatas should not use them in large quantities. MInimise use of herbs and spices with better and astringent taste, such as coriander seed, fenugreek, parsley, turmeric.

Pitta-Balancing Diet

Foods for Pitta Constitutions to Favor

General Guidelines:
  • The key to Pitta-balancing foods is: Keep it cool. Favor cool (but not ice-cold) food and drinks, especially in hot weather.
  • The best tastes for balancing Pitta are sweet, bitter, and astringent.
  • Salads are excellent for Pittas, especially in the summer.
  • As much as possible, eat in relaxing, orderly, aesthetically pleasing surroundings.
  • Although Pittas may gravitate toward meat, they thrive on a vegetarian diet better than any other body type.
  • GRAINS Barley, oats, wheat, and white rice (basmati is best).
  • DIARY Milk, butter, and ghee (clarified butter). Ice cream is acceptable, as are egg whites.
  • FRUIT Sweet, ripe fruits. Avocados, cherries, coconut, grapes, mangoes, melons, pomegranates, and sweet (not sour) plums and pineapples. Oranges are okay only if sweet.
  • VEGETABLES Most vegetables are good for the Pitta-balancing diet. Asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, green beans, leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, and chard, mushrooms, okra, peas, potatoes, sprouts, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, zucchini.
  • BEANS Don’t favor beans in the Pitta-balancing diet. Chick-peas, kidney beans, mung beans, tofu and other soybean products are acceptable.
  • NUTS Most nuts don’t belong on the Pitta diet. Coconut is okay, as are pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • OILS Coconut, olive, soy, and sunflower.
  • SWEETENERS All sweeteners are all right except honey and molasses they are heating.
  • MEAT AND FISH Chicken, shrimp, and turkey and acceptable in small amounts, though a vegetarian diet is recommended.
  • SPICES AND HERBS Spicy foods are generally too heating for Pitta, but these are acceptable: caramom, cilantro, cinnamon, coriander, dill, fennel, mint, saffron, turmeric. Black pepper is okay in small amounts.

Eat in small quantities or avoid

General Guidelines:
  • Salty, sour, spicy, and oily foods heat up the body and increase Pitta. Eat them only in moderation; avoid if Pitta is aggravated.
  • Watch out for processed foods, which are full of fats and salt.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages, fermented foods, and coffee. These are particularly irritating to Pitta constitutions.
  • GRAINS MInimise brown rice, corn, millet, and rye.
  • DIARY Avoid brick cheeses, cultured buttermilk, egg yolks, sour cream, and yogurt.
  • FRUITS MInimise consumption of sour fruits, such as grapefruit, sour oranges, olives, papayas, and unripe pineapples and plums. Apricots, bananas, cherries, cranberries, peaches should be eaten in moderation.
  • VEGETABLES Avoid pungent vegetables such as onions, garlic, radishes, and hot peppers. MInimise beets, carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, and spinach.
  • SWEETENERS Don’t use honey and molasses.
  • BEANS Avoid most beans, especially lentils.
  • NUTS MInimise all nuts and seeds, especially cashews, peanuts, and sesame seeds.
  • OILS Reduce almond corn, safflower, and sesame oils.
  • MEAT AND FISH Avoid red meat and seafood. Lean toward a vegetarian diet.
  • SPICES AND HERBS Minimise our use of all pungent spices and herbs, including salt. This includes black pepper, celery seed, cloves, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, and mustard seed. Cut down on condiments such as barbecue sauce, strong salad dressings, vinegar, mustard, pickles, catsup. Completely avoid chili peppers and cayenne. Try some fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar on salads.

Kapha-Balancing Diet

Foods for Pitta Constitutions to Favor

General Guidelines:
  • The best Kapha-balancing foods are light, dry, and warm, and have predominantly spicy, bitter, and astringent tastes. Important secret for Kaphas: The bitter and astringent tastes will help curb your appetite.
  • Favor foods that are spicy and stimulating, cooking with a minimum of butter, oil, salt, and sugar.
  • Always favor lightness in the diet, both in quality and quantity smaller portions, lighter foods.
  • Favor hot food over cold at very meal.
  • Choose dry cooking methods (baking, broiling, sauteing) over moist or oily methods such as steaming, boiling, frying.
  • Raw fruits, vegetables and salads are recommended.
  • GRAINS Favor barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, rye. Basmati rice is also okey. Wheat is acceptable in small quantities.
  • DAIRY Only ghee (clarified butter) in small quantities and low fat are non fat milk are acceptable. Hint: To reduce Kapha qualities of milk, you can add one or more pinches of turmeric or ginger and boil it for a few minutes. A small amount of whole milk is acceptable.
  • FRUITS Apples and pears are Kapha-pacifying. Apricots, cranberries, persimmons and pomegranates are also good. Dried fruits (apricots, figs, prunes, raisins) are good for Kaphas.
  • VEGETABLES Almost all vegetables are Kapha balancing, Including asparagus, beats, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, green leafy vegetables, lettuce, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, spinach, sprouts.
  • NUTS Keep nuts and seeds to a minimum. Only sunflower and pumpkin seeds are acceptable in small amounts.
  • OILS Minimise. You can use a little almond, corn, sunflower or safflower oil.
  • SWEETENERS Raw, unheated honey is the only sweetener that doesn’t increase Kapha.
  • BEANS All are Kapha pacifying, except Tofu and Kidney beans.
  • MEAT AND FISH Shrimp and small amounts of chicken and turkey are acceptable.
  • SPICES AND HERBS All spices are good for Kapha except salt. Ginger is recommended to stimulate digestion.

Eat in small quantities or avoid

General Guidelines:
  • Minimise foods with heavy, oily, and cold qualities. The tastes to cut down on are sweet, sour, and salty.
  • Use of dairy products should be moderate.
  • Don’t eat deep-fried foods.
  • Avoid sweet, rich foods as much as possible.
  • GRAINS Only small portions of wheat and rice.
  • DAIRY Keep dairy products to a minimum, especially cheese, butter, and cream.
  • FRUITS Eat fewer sweet, very juicy, and sour fruits such as avocados, bananas, coconuts, dates, figs, grapes, melons, oranges, pineapples. These can be acceptable if cooked.
  • VEGETABLES Although most vegetables are good for Kapha, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and zucchine are not recommended.
  • MEAT AND FISH Avoid pork, red meat, and seafood (except shrimp).
  • SPICES AND HERBS Minimize salt consumption