If you have been practicing ayurveda you have probably come across the Doshic Diet Sheet. These sheets are written to enable the lay person to follow ayurvedic dietetics without having to learn the reasoning behind it. Unfortunately, by following these lists we often become more confused about what we should eat and why we should eat. I am here to break down and simplify the philosophy so you can understand it and apply it in your own life.
Before We Begin Know This
1. Ayurvedic Dietetics Maximizes Digestive Function
Ayurveda teaches digestion is the epicenter of the immune system. Ayurvedic nutrition optimizes the digestive tendency normally native to the different doshic types.
2. Ayurvedic Dietetics Reduces Food Cravings
Ayurveda encourages eating each of the 6 tastes in order to create deep satiety in the mind and the body. We biologically evolved to enjoy the way certain food items taste. These tastes do more then entertain us, but actually have many benefits in the body/mind.
Gain Freedom From The List
Here are some important things for you to know when it comes to ayurvedic nutrition that will greatly enhance your freedom from having to rely on a list that actually makes little sense to begin with.
1. Implement the 6 tastes in your meals.
There are 6 tastes that are important to include in every meal.
Sweet: includes all sugars, carbohydrates, dietary fats and protein. Sweet builds the bodily tissues, enhances strength and gives energy. Examples: squash, grains, and oils.
Salty: includes salt. Salt is an important electrolyte that helps the body retain water. Example: salt, seaweed, seafood.
Sour: fermented foods and citrus. Sour stimulates the gastric juices in the small intestine. Examples: citrus fruits, wine, yogurt, kim chi.
Bitter: most non-carbohydrate vegetables, many herbs and spices. Bitter is detoxifying. Examples: kale, Brussels sprouts, coffee.
Astringent: most non-carbohydrate vegetables, raw fruits, some proteins and many herbs and spices. Astringent dries the tissues. Examples: pomegranate, red wine, swiss chard.
Pungent: spices, herbs and vegetables that increase the temperature of heat in the mouth. Pungent enhances digestive fire. Examples: raw garlic, onion, peppers.
2. Know The Gunas
The word guna means quality. For the yogis out there who know the maha gunas (great gunas) of sattva, rajas and tamas, this is something different. The word guna just means quality. We use specific qualities (10 pairs of opposites t be exact) to help us identify which foods, herbs and practices are best for us.
The Twenty Gunas
Heavy – Light
Cold – Hot
Oily – Dry
Slimy/Smooth – Rough
Dense – Liquid
Soft – Hard
Static – Mobile
Subtle – Gross
Cloudy – Clear
Ayurveda uses opposites to create balance. Therefore, since kapha is heavy we suggest eating foods that are light. Conversely since vata is light, we suggest favoring foods that are heavy.
The Doshas & Their Native Gunas
Vata is light, sharp, cold, dry, hard, subtle, mobile. Therefore, should favor foods that are heavy, smooth, warm, oily, smooth, gross, and static.
Pitta: light, sharp, hot, oily, slimy, liquid, soft, mobile. Therefore, should favor foods that are heavy, smooth, cold, dry, and static.
Kapha: heavy, slow, cold, oily, slimy, dense, static. Therefore, should favor foods that are mobile, light, sharp, warm, dry, and subtle.
Take my 4-Week Ayurvedic Lifestyle with A 21-Day Guided cleanse starting in September to learn more about the tastes and the gunas, and how to apply them in your life!