Ayurvedic Diet

exotic fruitsSaid to be the Hindu system of health care due to its origins in the oral advice from the living metaphysics, Ayurveda is the most ancient of the six recognized Indian systems of medicine.

It is a compound of the word āyus which means "life", "life principle" or longevity; and the word veda, which refers to a system of "knowledge" or "wisdom". Roughly, it translates to "wisdom for living".

The Ayurvedic diet considers a person’s age, gender, constitution ("dosha") and the season.*

Eating for your ayurvedic type

In Ayurveda, as with other ancient knowledge about our universe, everything is made up of the five elements: space, air, earth, fire and water. These five elements come to gether to form three different "doshas": Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Vata – air and space were the predominant energies when you were born.

Kapha – water and earth were predominant.

Pitta – fire and water were predominant.

Some people may have a combination of two doshas. To find out your dosha accurately, visit an ayurvedic doctor. Knowing your dosha helps you understand what foods, lifestyle and activities nurture your health and what doesn’t.

To have an idea of your dosha take a short quiz on this page:

http://altmedicine.about.com/library/quiz/bl_quiz_ayurveda.htm

Once you know your dosha, you can balance it by learning what foods nurture you. Your ayurvedic physician can help you with a plan that is more tailored to your dosha, but in the meantime, you can get started with the following guidelines:

VATA: Balancing Foods

Fruits – Apricots, Avocado, Bananas, Berries, Dates, Fresh Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Lemons, Mango, Melon, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pineapple, Plums, Strawberries. Sweet fruits are balancing. No dried fruits.

Vegetables – Artichoke, Asparagus, Beets, Carrots, Cucumber, Green Beans, Leeks, Mustard Greens, Okra, Olives, Onion, Parsnip, Potato, Squash, Watercress, Zucchini. Cooked vegetables are most balancing. Avoid raw vegetables.

Grains – Amaranth, Oats, Rice, Wheat, Wild Rice.

Legumes and Nuts
– Adzuki beans, Almonds, Black lentils, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Flax, Hazelnuts, Mung beans, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Pumpkin, Red lentils, Sesame, Soy cheese, Soy milk, Sunflower, Tofu, Walnuts

Meat – Beef (occasionally), Chicken or Turkey (white meat), Duck, Eggs, Freshwater Fish, Seafood, Shrimp

Herbs, Spices, Condiments – Brown Rice Syrup, Honey, Maple Syrup, Molasses, other sweeteners than White Sugar, Allspice, Almond Extract, Anise, Basil, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Cayenne, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Coconut, Cottage Cheese, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ghee, Ginger, Mustard, Nutmeg, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Spirulina, Tamarind, Tarragon, Thyme, Pickles, Salt, Seaweed, Soy Sauce, Turmeric, Vanilla

Dairy – buttermilk, cow’s Milk, cheese, goat’s milk, goat cheese, yogurt. All is moderation.

PITTA: Balancing Foods

Fruits – apples, avocado, berries, dates, figs, grapes, mango, melons, pears, pineapples, plums, pomegranate, prunes, Raisins, Watermelon. Sweet fruits are balancing. Sour fruits are aggravating.

Vegetables – artichoke, asparagus, bell pepper, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, green beans, leafy greens, mushrooms, okra, parsley, parsnip, peas, potatoes, squash, sprouts, zucchini. Sweet and bitter vegetables are balancing.

Grains – Barley, Cooked Oats, Basmati Rice, White Rice, Wheat, Wheat Bran, Wheat Granola are balancing. Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Oat granola, Quinoa, Brown Rice and Rye are aggravating. Legumes and Nuts – All beans except black and red lentils are balancing, such as adzuki beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, soy beans, split peas and tofu. Coconut, psyllium, pumpkin and sunflower are balancing. Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Chia, Filberts, Flax, Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios and Sesame are aggravating.

Meat – Chicken white meat, turkey white meat, egg white, freshwater fish, shrimp (in moderation) are balancing. Beef, egg yolk, duck, lamb, pork, venison and seafood other than shrimp are imbalancing.

Herbs, Spices and Condiments – Maple Syrup, Fruit Juice Concentrate, Barley Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, and other sweeteners except for honey and molasses, Coconut, Coriander, Cumin, Dill Fennel, Ghee, Mint, Orange Peel, Peppermint, Saffron, Seaweed, Spearmint, Sprouts, Turmeric, Wintergreen are balancing. Chili peppers, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish, Ketchup, Mustard, Lemon, Mayonnaise, Onions, Pickles, Salt, Sesame Seeds, Soy Sauce and Tamari are aggravating.

Dairy – Butter (unsalted), Cottage Cheese, Mild Soft Cheeses, Ghee, Cow’s Milk, Goats Milk are balancing. Salted butter, Buttermilk, Hard Cheese, Feta Cheese, Sour Cream and Yogurt are aggravating.

KAPHA: Balancing Foods

Fruits – Apples, Apricots, Berries, Cherries, Cranberries, Dried Figs, Mango, Peaches, Pears, Pomegranate, Prunes, Raisins. Sweet fruits such as bananas and dates are aggravating, as are sour fruits such as lemons, sour oranges and grapefruit.

Vegetables – Asparagus, Beets, Beet Greens, Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans, Horseradish, Leafy Greens, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Spinach, Sprouts, Turnips, Watercress. Raw, pungent and bitter vegetables are balancing. Sweet, juicy vegetables are aggravating.

Grains – Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Granola, Millet, Oats, Oat Bran, Quinoa, Basmati Rice, Rice Cakes, Rye and Wheat Bran are balancing. Cooked Oats, Brown or White Rice, and Wheat are imbalancing.

Legumes and Nuts – Adzuki beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Chickpeas, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Lima Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Red Lentils, Split Peas, White Beans are balancing. Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashew, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Psyllium, Sesame, Black lentils, Mung Beans, KIdney Beans, Lentils, Soy Beans, Tempeh, Walnuts and Tofu are unbalancing.

Meat – Chicken dark meat, Turkey dark meat, eggs are balancing. Beef, Duck, Freshwater Fish, Lamb, Pork, Seafood, Shrimp, and Venison are aggravating.

Herbs, Spices and Condiments – allspice, Anise, Basil, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish, Mint, Mustard Seeds, Nutmeg, Onion, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Peppermint, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Star Anise, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric, Wintergreen are balancing.

Dairy – Ghee, Goats Milk and Diluted Yogurt (diluted 1:4 yogurt: water) are balancing. Butter, Cheese, Buttermilk, Cow’s Milk, Ice Cream, Sour Cream and Yogurt are aggravating.

Sources:

wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda
altmedicine.about.com/od/ayurvedicdiet/Ayurvedic_Diet