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Vata Dosha

How is a balanced Vata person?

A typical Vata person has a thin body, and a shifting appetite and thirst. A Vata person thinks, works and moves very quickly. A balanced Vata person is full of life and very creative, imaginative and talkative.

How is an unbalanced Vata person?

A Vata person who is not in balance becomes restless, worried, and fearful, and has low self esteem. An unbalanced Vata person tends to lose a lot of weight and has difficulty sleeping. Cold hands and feet are also common symptoms of Vata imbalance. Typical health problems are also anxiety, trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, gas, hard feces, ache from tension and chronic fatigue.

General Guidelines for Balancing Vata

If you experience symptoms of Vata imbalance, the general guidelines below will help balancing your Vata. Find out the changes that you need to make in order to stay healthy.

Vata

  • You need daily ROUTINES!
  • Make sure to eat at a certain time
  • Go to bed before 10 pm and get up at 6 am
  • Relax your muscles
  • Avoid alcohol and coffee late at night
  • Take time to be by yourself
  • Warmth is good for you
  • Warm food and drink is good for you
  • Good food choices: Vegetables, all kind of oils, sour cream, rice, wheat, salt
  • Exercise: You need a calmer form of training because your energy level shifts a lot and you don’t have much endurance
  • Good exercise choices: Yoga, qigong, dancing, workout with light weights, long walks, running, badminton, tennis

 

Dietary Guidelines for VATA

If you are a Vata person, and have Vata-related problems like worrying too much, feeling restless, experiencing low self esteem, ache, fatigue, gas, hard feces, or suffering from high blood pressure, you need to balance your Vata. Pay attention to your diet and follow the Ayurveda recommendations:

  • Include: sweet, sour, salty foods
  • Include: oily, heavy, warm foods

If you need to balance your Vata, eat foods like cooked beets, carrots, asparagus, sweet potatoes and cucumbers. Remember, don’t eat them raw. Rice and wheat are also good for balancing Vata, according to the Ayurvedic Diet. Sweet and sour fruits such as oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, melons, fresh figs, sweet pineapple and mangoes all have the sweet taste that Vata needs. Brown and raw sugar, molasses and honey is good if consumed in reasonable amounts. Sea food, chicken, turkey is acceptable. All nuts are good. All dairy products are good for Vata. To ease your digestion you could boil milk and drink it warm.

  • Avoid: pungent, bitter, astringent foods
  • Avoid: dry, cold, light foods

Reduce intake of beans (except green beans), oats, corn, millet, barley, and corn. Minimize use of chilies and red pepper. Dry, light or astringent fruits such as apples, pears, and dried fruits need to be taken less. Rabbit and red meat are to be avoided. Also, avoid drinking milk with meals, because milk mixes only well with the sweet taste like cereal and toast.

Tastes decreasing VATA

Food / herbs to eat

Tastes increasing VATA

Food / herbs to avoid

Sweet

Peaches, sweet plums, grapes, melons, oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, milk, butter, rice, wheat bread, basil, licorice root, red cloves, peppermint, slippery elm, fennel  Avoid highly processed sweets such as candy bars and sugar

Pungent

Onion, radish, chili, ginger, garlic, asafoetida, cayenne pepper, black pepper, mustard

Sour

Yogurt, vinegar, cheese, sour cream, green grapes, citrus fruits, hibiscus, rose hips, tamarind, pickles, miso, caraway, coriander, and cloves

Bitter

Dandelion root, holy thistle, yellow dock, rhubarb, bitter melon, greens such as romaine lettuce, spinach, and chard fresh turmeric root, fenugreek, gentian root

Salty

Table salt, sea salt, rock salt, kelp, sea weeds

Astringent

Unripe banana, cranberries, pomegranate, myrrh, goldenseal, turmeric, okra, beans, mace, parsley, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, saffron, basil, alum

 

Below you will learn how to balance your Vata, especially if you have problems with weight loss or PMS.

 

Balancing Vata – Weight Loss

If you are a Vata person, you probably have a thin body structure and don’t have to lose weight. But if you are unbalance you could get weight problems. Sometimes in life, especially during stressful periods, the body’s metabolism can change and cause overweight problems. Vata people experience stress more often than any of the other two Doshas. This is why Vata people should avoid having a job that is mentally stressful.

Vata – Reduce your mental stress

A Vata person has a tendency to “overuse” its mind. Many times a Vata person can be too stressed to even remember eating properly. When you forget to eat, your metabolism may get disturbed and this can cause you to gain weight. This is why people with Vata need to reduce their mental stress and give their body food that is easy to digest. 20 minutes of meditation twice a day is recommended to reduce mental stress. A hot oil massage is also beneficial. It’s good for the dry skin that Vata people often have. Hot oil massage has also a calming effect on the body and emotions.

Vata – Get daily routines

To balance your body, mind and spirit, it is essential to have some routines in your daily life. Vata people are very flexible and always on the run. They dislike having routines, but it’s very important in order to stay healthy. You should go to bed early, before 10 pm and get up at 6 am. A good routine is also to eat three meals a day at the same hours. Vata’s digestion is irregular and that is why it’s very important to eat at the same hours. This way the metabolism will function much better.

The more relaxed you are and the more routines you have in your life, the better you will cope with the daily stress in your life. You will also get control over your weight as well as other Vata-related problems such as low self esteem, anxiety, high blood pressure, ache and fatigue.

Vata – Eat hot and nourishing food

When it comes to your diet, you should eat light and nourishing food. Avoid spicy foods (chili, cayenne) and cold foods like ice cream, cold drinks and desserts. Stay away from food that is hard to digest, such as cheese and meat. For breakfast you could try cooked apples or pears, and for dinner eat soup with vegetables and leguminous plants. Zucchini, squash and quinoa are also good for you. Remember that when you prepare your food, use nourishing oils like ghee and olive oil and also herbs like cumin, fennel, turmeric and coriander.

Vata – Choose calmer form of exercise

A Vata person’s energy level shifts a lot. Vata people don’t have much endurance as Pitta and Kapha. This is why a calmer form of exercise is recommended. Yoga, Qigong, workouts with lighter weights, long walks, badminton, tennis and running are good choices for a Vata person. Vata people often like to dance, and dancing is an excellent choice of exercise since the music will inspire them to a higher level and help them clear their minds.

Balancing Vata – PMS

Excess Vata causes the following premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms: headaches, insomnia, anxiety or mood swing. If you have these PMS symptoms, avoid foods with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes, according to Ayurvedic diet.

PMS symptoms: headaches, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings
Avoid: pungent, bitter and astringent foods

If you are a Vata person don’t eat foods like onion, pepper and chili that have a pungent taste, to avoid PMS symptoms. You should also avoid food with bitter and astringent tastes. According to Ayurvedic Diet, these tastes make your PMS symptoms worse. Furthermore, avoid cold and raw food.

Vata Diet for PMS – Include: warm, sweet, sour, salty foods

A Vata person should eat warm foods. Soups and vegetable purees are highly recommended. Eat sweet, sour and salty foods, see examples below:

  • Sweet foods: peaches, plums, grapes, melons, oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, butter, rice, wheat bread, basil, peppermint, fennel
  • Sour foods: yogurt, cheese, sour cream, green grapes, citrus fruits hibiscus, rose hips, tamarind, pickles, vinegar, coriander
  • Salty foods: seaweeds, kelp