There is no correct Ayurvedic diet. Ayurveda recognizes that the healthiest diet is different for each individual. An Ayurvedic expert will make dietary recommendations to a guest so as to restore or maintain balance in their physiology. For example: sometimes these dietary recommendations will be for heavy foods for patients who are very Vata (Vata Dosha, derived from air and space), or for very light foods, hot foods, or cooling foods.
Ayurvedic Diet and The Three Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha)
In Ayurveda each type of food can be categorized as pacifying or aggravating to each of the three doshas. The three doshas Vata, Pitta, and Kapha represent subtle energies within the body and are condensed from the five elements as follows:
Vata Dosha - Air and Space
Pitta Dosha - Fire and Water
Kapha Dosha - Earth and Water
Learning to tune in to your ideal Ayurvedic diet
Once you understand the three doshas and their properties you can learn to recognize their influences. You can then learn to adjust your life style and diet to balance whatever doshic influence you may be experiencing.
For example, if you found yourself worrying a lot, then you would recognize that you had an imbalance of Vata dosha. To balance Vata dosha through diet you could eat sweet, sour and salty tasting foods.
Avoid Old Foods with no Prana
Ayurveda also recognizes the importance of eating fresh foods, as fresh foods contain more life energy (pranah).
Special Foods recommended by Ayurveda
Here are some of the foods that are considered by Ayurveda to be extremely revitalizing to the body.
- Whole Milk*
- Ghee (Clarified Butter*)
- Fresh Oranges, although oranges can be overly heating to people of predominantly Pitta dosha
- Fresh Mangos
- Almonds (Almonds are best eaten in the morning)
- Hot water (Although technically this isn't really a food :-) )
*Should be organic, the cows should be well treated, this is important in the vedic tradition