How to Eat for Each Dosha

Feel balanced and well nourished at the same time.

Curd Rice with pomegranate is a healthy Indian dish.

(Lazhko Svetlana /

A part of self-care means tuning into your body by eating  the foods that make you feel balanced and nourished. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition. Everybody is different, and personalized nutrition starts with understanding your own body. 

Those are the principles behind Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest healing systems from ancient India. When you eat according to your body type, your dosha, you can design a customized nutrition plan to feel your best.

What Are the Doshas?
What is the key to feeling your best? Turn to one of the oldest healing systems Ayurveda for guidance. According to WebMD, people have practiced Ayurveda for over 3,000 years! This ancient traditional medicine teaches that each person has their own unique blend of the five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth. These combine in the body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas.

There are three main doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Vata is made of space and air. Pitta is made of fire and water, and water and earth make up the kapha dosha. Everyone has a mix of all three doshas, but one usually dominates the others. When you know your leading dosha, you can restore balance to your life energy and create a customized nutrition plan that works for your Ayurvedic health and body type.

How to Eat for Vata Dosha
The lively vata dosha consists of air and space. People with a leading vata tend to be sensitive to cold. Chopra suggests balancing vata with warming foods, like soups and stews, or sipping fresh ginger tea throughout the day. Stick to cooked vegetables (rather than raw). Build strength in the body with fats and oils and restore balance with rice and wheat. Invigorating spices like cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon pacify vata.

How to Eat for Pitta Dosha
The pitta dosha features a fiery blend of water and fire. according to mindbodygreen you can balance pitta with “cooling foods”. Avoid invigorating spices, like ginger. Instead, opt for mild herbs like fennel, cumin, and coriander.

People with a leading pitta dosha should eat vegetables like sweet potatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and zucchini. Sweet fruits, like melon, mangoes, and pomegranate, also help calm a pitta dosha. Dairy is okay, in moderation, as well as wheat, rice, oats, and barley.

How to Eat for Kapha Dosha
The cool kapha dosha consists of water and earth. This blend of elements creates a damp, cold nature, so you want to balance kapha with light, airy foods. You should focus on warm versus cold according to The Good Trade.

If you have a leading kapha dosha, most spices will invigorate and bring balance, like chili, ginger, cayenne, and more. Skip heavy foods, like cheeses, and instead go for light, drying fruits, like apples or cranberries. Leafy greens and veggies also help balance kapha.

Remember that everyone is different when it comes to nutrition. Follow the principles of Ayurveda according to your dosha, but don’t forget to listen to your body. Notice how you feel when you eat certain foods. This type of mindful eating will help tailor your diet so you look and feel your best.

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