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Ayurveda Home | Holistic-online.com Home | Yoga | Meditation | Stress

A Food Plan to Balance Vata Dosha

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:
bulletWarm food, moderately heavy textures, added butter and fat.
bulletSalt, sour, and sweet tastes; Soothing and satisfying foods.
bulletAll 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.
bulletBreakfast is highly recommended. Use hot cereals such as cream of rice or wheat or any other breakfast that is warm, milky, and sweet.
bulletTake a hot or herbal tea with snacks in the late afternoon. Avoid drinks with high caffeine as vata gets disturbed by it.
bulletUse spicy foods such as spicy Mexican or Indian foods that are cooked in oil.
bulletUse warm moist foods such as cooked grains and cereals, bowl of hot oatmeal or cup of steaming vegetable soup.
bulletWarm milk is good. You can add a little sugar or honey to it if you prefer. Avoid eating candies as it disturbs vata.
bulletPrefer salted nuts that are heavy and oily as opposed to dry salty snacks.
bulletAll sweet fruits are Ok for vata. Avoid unripe fruits as they are astringent
bulletTake warm or hot water instead of ice water and drinks.
bulletSummary: 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 | Fruits | Grains | Dairy | Meat | Beans | Oils | Sweeteners | Nuts and Seeds | Herbs and Spices

Vegetables
Favor Reduce or Avoid
cooked vegetables
asparagus
beets
carrots
cucumber
garlic
green beans
onions, cooked
onions, cooked
sweet potato
radishes
turnips
leafy greens in moderation
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

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Fruits
Favor Reduce or Avoid
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
apples
cranberries
pears
pomegranates

The above fruits are OK cooked

Avoid dried fruits, in general and unripe fruit (especially bananas)

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Grains
Favor Reduce or Avoid
oats(as cooked oatmeal cereal, not dry)
cooked rice
wheat
barley
buckwheat
corn
dry oats
millet
rye
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Dairy
Favor Reduce or Avoid
All Dairy is acceptable
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Meat
Favor Reduce or Avoid
chicken
seafood, in general
turkey
All in small quantity
Avoid red meat
Beans
Favor Reduce or Avoid
chickpeas
mung beans
pink lentils
tofu (small amounts)
All, except as noted.
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Oils
Favor Reduce or Avoid
All oils are acceptable
Sesame oil and olive oil are especially good.
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Sweeteners
Favor Reduce or Avoid
All sweeteners are acceptable
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Nuts and Seeds
Favor Reduce or Avoid
All are acceptable in small amounts. Almonds are best.
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Herbs and Spices
Favor Reduce or Avoid
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
Avoid using spices in large quantities. Minimize or avoid all bitter and astringent herbs and spices such as:
coriander seed
fenugreek
parsley
saffron
turmeric
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If your basic constitution is mixed (vata-pitta or vata-kapha), include portions for the second influential dosha.

Vata dosha 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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