3 Doshas in Ayurveda And Recommended Foods

The ancient Indian science of Ayurveda, which studies bodily functions as a careful coexistence with nature's clock, has identified three doshas in the human body that manifest as individual personalities and bodily tendencies. These doshas are derived from the five elements—space, air, fire, water, and earth—where every prakriti leads to a different way of functioning. These dynamic energies, according to Ayurveda, contribute to a person's thoughts, emotions, and decision-making.

Yet, the three doshas cannot be generalised, and one individual might have one dominant dosha along with another in subdued proportions. Some people might be a mix of two doshas, while others might exhibit all three tendencies. Over aeons of study, the science of Ayurveda has evolved to develop certain food groups suited to each dosha. Read on below for a glance at the three doshas in Ayurveda and what foods are good for each one:

Vata (Air And Space)

It is said that those with dominant proportions of the energies of air and space, which constitute the vata dosha, are energetic and creative individuals, quickly affected by changing weather patterns. This dosha governs aspects of physical movement, so those with more vata are often energetic and agile. Vata dosha also means they are prone to dry skin and hair, colds, joint pain, high levels of stress, and digestive issues.

Recommended Foods: For those with dominant vata, it is recommended to increase kapha qualities of heaviness and smoothness to achieve balance. A good number of fruits like bananas, avocados, and coconuts, along with probiotics in the form of buttermilk, curd, and tea, are essential for reducing bloating and flatulence. Those with vata dosha can also have ghee, coconut oil, and sesame oil, which enhance lubrication.

Pitta Dosha (Fire And Water)

Where vata dosha governs movement, pitta dosha governs metabolism in the body. In many Indian households, when individuals suffer from severe headaches or splotches on the skin due to an upset metabolism, it is often said that they have increased 'pitta.' Since pitta is fire dominant, it has great control over the digestive fire in the stomach. So, those with more pitta dosha have good digestion, fair skin, lots of energy, and a healthy appetite.

Recommended Foods: Balancing the pitta in the body is critical and requires a carefully monitored diet. Grains like wheat, barley, and oats help with good digestion. Vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower, and cucumbers are also good for balancing pitta. If the fire in the belly increases too much, soothing spices like cardomom and saffron infused in milk or tea are good alternatives.

Kapha Dosha (Earth And Water)

The kapha dosha is associated with structure, just like the element earth, and primarily epitomises qualities of compassion, patience, tolerance, and excellent stamina. Kapha dosha is also characterised many times by oily skin and water retention, which can cause mucous buildup. More kapha also increases the risk of heart disease and slows the metabolism, which can cause sluggishness.

Recommended Foods: It is important to balance the kapha dosha to reduce the amount of water retention in the body. Some common foods for kapha dosha include light fruits and vegetables like berries, apples, and pears. Spices are also a good way to generate heat and reduce the excessive cooling tendencies of the kapha dosha. Having soothing tea with cardamom, honey, and cinnamon, along with grains like barley, is good for the kapha dosha. Avoid consuming fruits and vegetables with high water content or products like cheese or buttermilk. Roughage can be introduced into the body using vegetables like spinach and broccoli, as well as legumes and lentils.