According to Ayurveda, our body is managed mainly by three energies – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata represents space and air, pitta represents fire and water and kapha represents water and earth. A dynamic balance of all these energies governs all the things in life. A perfect balance of these energies helps our bodies to heal and remain healthy. If there is an imbalance in any one of the energies, it will hinder the healing process of the body. Vata imbalance will immediately affect your health and behavior. Here is a detailed Vata dosha diet plan (Ayurveda Diet, Symptoms, Food list, and Tips to Balance Vata Dosha)
Characteristics of Vata Prakruti people
- Vata represents the nervous system, which controls breathing, blinking, and circulation.
- People who have a dominating vata, have moderate weight, dry skin, and fine hair.
- They have extremely cold extremities, sensitive to cold, and have joint issues.
- These people learn fast and are impulsive, they are artistic and inclined toward music.
- They are cheerful, alert, and creative.
Symptoms of Vata Dosha Imbalance?
Physical Symptoms of Vata Dosha Imbalance
- Dry and rough skin
- Sleep irregularities
- Sensitive to cold
Behavioral Symptoms of Vata Dosha Imbalance
- Confused and fearful
- Running away from any difficult situation
- Unnecessary talking
- Unnecessary body movements while sitting or standing
Effects of untreated vata imbalance
- Muscle wasting and weight loss
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Constant headache
- Unexplained phobias
Causes of Vata Dosha Imbalance
- Winters, cold weather, and dry weather increase the vata dosha or makes your vata dominant
- Dry and cold food intake imbalances vata energy in the body
- Stress, and emotional instability imbalances vata
Tips to Balance Vata Dosha
People with vata imbalance are prone to feel sad, fearful, insecure, and depressed. It is best for people with excess vata to indulge in some recreational activities that will help them to overcome anxiety and sorrow. They can get involved with learning music, try their hands on art, or can learn new hobbies. Keeping themselves busy with hobbies will help them live a stress-free life.
Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of yoga in human life. A slow practice of a few asanas will help to reduce your vata dosha. You can perform vajrasan, marjari asana, Surya namaskar, warrior pose, tree pose, crocodile pose, and Shavasana. Breathing exercises help to relax the mind, normalize breathing, and build up confidence and decision-making capacity. Early morning walks under the rising Sun’s rays are very good to balance Vata.
A diet that helps to balance vata, and increase the stillness, heaviness, and smoothness of the body. According to Ayurveda, good gut health reflects a healthy body. People with vata dosha have digestion issues, sensitive gut, variable appetite, and tend to lose weight. These people should consume foods with kapha quality that are warm and easy to digest.
Vata imbalance leads to dryness all over your body, not only on the outer skin but also in your joints and good fat in the body. Massaging your body with sesame oil and sarso oil helps in treating this dryness and thus balancing vata dosha. While you massage yourself with this oil, make sure you perform “Nasya” ( nose oiling / putting drops of oil in nostrils) as well as ” orifice oiling” ( putting oil drops or applying oil with your little finger’s tip in your ear cavity, navel as well as anus). The ancient ayurveda text swears by these processes to permanently balance your vata.
- Oil pulling
Oil pulling process where you take a sip of oil in your mouth and keep rolling it in your mouth not only helps in balancing vata, it also greases the food pipe and whitens your teeth. Oil pulling has many health benefits.
Vata Dosha Diet Plan
Food List to Balance Vata Dosha
Foods that are naturally sweet in taste help to balance the vata. These foods include cereals, starchy fruits, and dried fruits. Sweet foods like sugar, chocolates, desserts, and bakery products do not balance vata but might aggravate the vata dosha.
Citrus flavor helps to neutralize the vata dosha. Consume sour foods like lemon, tamarind, tomatoes, and dry mango powder. sour foods balance the acid production in the stomach and prevent acidity, gas, bloating, and discomfort.
Select foods that are moderately salty but healthy at the same time. However, excess salt intake might worsen vata dosha. If wafers and chips are running through your mind right now, please give up on this idea. Salty foods refer to foods that do not contain any kind of sugar, jaggery, dates, or honey. Use sea salt instead of refined table salt.
Select warm foods
Foods that are warm in nature as well as temperature will manage the vata dosha. Avoid foods that are cool or have a cooling effect. Avoid packed, frozen foods, chilled beverages, raw vegetables and fruits, and frozen leftover foods. It is advisable to consume freshly prepared foods. You can have steamed vegetables and steamed/boiled salads.
Cooked moist food
Consume foods that are moist over dry foods. You can add moistness to the food by adding good-quality ghee or water as per preparation. People with dominant vata need to consume more water and fluids at room temperature to reduce the vata dosha. Consume fruits and vegetables that are juicy like melons, berries, cucumbers, gourd vegetables, and zucchini. Drink buttermilk and whole milk to keep the fluid intake. Consume warm soups in cold weather to balance the vata energy.
Eat heavy meals
Consume foods that are rich in calories. But do not overeat in one meal. Try and consume food at regular intervals to balance your vata. Eat foods that provide sufficient energy in small quantities.
Select soluble fiber over insoluble fiber
People with dominant vata tend to have gut issues like gas, bloating, indigestion, and constipation. Select foods that are rich in soluble fiber to relieve gut problems. Soluble fiber is easy to digest and does not create roughage in the gut. Select foods like isabgol, starchy foods, root vegetables, grains, and oats.
Foods to avoid to balance Vata Dosha
- Pungent foods: Avoid foods like chilies, raw onions and garlic, strong spices, radishes, and turnips.
- Bitter foods: Bitter-tasting foods have body cooling capacity. These foods aggravate vata dosha.
- Astringent foods: It has a dry flavor and nature that worsens vata dosha. Eating astringent foods will make the mouth dry. Avoid big legumes like Rajma. Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and some green leafy vegetables are best avoided. Certain astringent fruits like apples, cranberries, and pomegranates.
- Cold foods: Avoid foods that are cooling in nature like chia seeds, sabja seeds, refrigerated foods, frozen foods, cold drinks and stale foods.
Vata Dosha Diet Plan (Ayurveda Diet )
Sample Diet Plan to Balance Vata Dosha
Empty stomach: 1 cup warm water with lemon juice
Breakfast: 1 cup Milk + 1 cup vegetable Poha/Upma/ Sevaiya
Mid-morning: 1 Fruit (Starchy fruits like banana, mango, chickoo or berries)
Lunch: 1 cup Stir fry vegetables + 1 cup Rice or Jowar or Nachni roti + 1 cup Leafy vegetable + 1 cup Curd
Mid-afternoon: 1 glass of buttermilk with black pepper and jeera powder
Snacks: 1 cup Herbal milk or green tea + ½ cup boiled moong or 2 small Moongdal chillas or ½ cup Poha or Upma
Dinner: 1 cup Vegetable soup + 1 cup Khichdi + 1 cup Kadhi
Bedtime: 1 cup warm milk with nutmeg
It is essential to identify the dominant energy in the body. It is also necessary to know what causes the imbalance and act upon it accordingly. An appropriate selection of food, and lifestyle and behavioral change will help keep the vata dosha at bay and neutralize the body’s energies. Hope this Vata Dosha Diet Plan (Ayurveda Diet, Symptoms, Food list, and Tips to Balance Vata Dosha) proves to be of help to you. To get a personalized diet plan write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.