Before we talk about ayurvedic diet, let’s introduce you to the concept behind it. Ayurveda is one of the oldest traditional medicine systems. Its age-old holistic healing teachings have survived and thrived over the years.

According to Ayurveda, the entire universe is composed of 5 elements also referred to as “Pancha Mahabhoota”, that is:

  1. Vayu (Air)
  2. Jala (Water)
  3. Aakash (Space or ether)
  4. Prithvi (Earth) 
  5. Teja (Fire) 

These Pancha Mahabhoota are believed to form the following 3 doshas of the human body in different combinations:

  1. Vata dosha: Vatta is represented by space and air. Vata is responsible for controlling muscle, joint movement, breathing, and heartbeat. Vata regulates anxiety, fear, pain, and other nervous system functions.
  1. Pitta Dosha: Pitta is associated with fire and water. Bodily functions like digestion, metabolism, cognitive function, and skin color are controlled by this dosha. Pitta is also believed to govern the emotions of anger, hate, and jealousy.
  1. Kapha Dosha: Kapha is symbolized by earth and water. The natural immunity and the physical structure of the body are linked to Kapha. The emotions of calmness, forgiveness, and love are associated with Kapha.

Collectively known as “Tridoshas”. Ayurveda is all about balancing the imbalance in three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. So if you are too calm and forgiving, probably your Kapha dosha is good and higher. If you are anxious, your Vata dosha may be the issue. If you have poor digestion, Pitta dosha could be responsible. 

What is Ayurvedic Diet?

Nowadays, whenever we come across the word ‘diet’ oftentimes we end up assuming that it is going to be an unhealthy way to achieve long-term goals in a short time. As per Ayurvedic perspective, the concept of diet is completely different from what you might have heard till now.

Ayurvedic Diet To Appease Your Dominant Dosha and Elevate your Life

Ayurvedic diets have a more fulfilling and holistic approach. It focuses more on identifying your dominant dosha and appeasing it, to elevate your health. A balance between all three doshas is crucial for the maintenance of optimal health. Any imbalance between the three doshas gives rise to a state of illness.

Ayurvedic Diet Plans and Doshas

The purpose of Ayurvedic diet plans is to promote health and well-being for individuals by providing the right balance of nutrients for their unique doshas and aid in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

To begin, you must identify your dominant dosha type and tailor your diet accordingly. For instance, it is recommended that you eat light, simple foods that are easily digestible if you are primarily Kapha. If you are primarily Pitta, you should eat cool and grounding food, and if you are Vata, you will need to eat warm, nourishing foods that counterbalance excess cold and wind.

Eating for Your Dosha

The best way to balance your dosha is to first identify your dominant doshas and embrace a diet according to it.

Vata Balancing Diet

Vata Qualities:

  • Cold
  • Light
  • Dry
  • Irregular
  • Rough
  • Moving
  • Quick

Characteristics of Imbalance:

  • A thin and light body frame
  • Sudden bouts of fatigue & tiredness
  • Energetic
  • Having dry skin and hair
  • Gastrointestinal sensitivities
  • Feeling cold in your hands and feet

Dietary Recommendation for People with Vata Dominant Constitution

1) A fat-free diet won’t balance Vata. You can season your dishes with a small amount of ghee or olive oil. Don’t forget to heat the ghee moderately before using it.

2) Hot-cooked foods are great for balancing Vata. One can incorporate the following foods to pacify aggravated Vata:

  • Nut milk or warm milk
  • Rice pudding
  • Pureed Soups
  • Cooked Fruits
  • Hot nourishing beverages such as ginger tea, green tea
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tender leafy greens

3) Ayurvedic tastes that balance Vata: sweet, sour, and salty.

Citrus FruitsAlfalfa sproutsLemon/lemon juice
Root vegetablesBlue Cheese
Sunflower seedsAnchovyMiso soup
Fresh yogurtOystersPineapples

4) Nuts are great for pacifying Vata. It is better to soak ten almonds overnight and consume them in the morning for best results. You can also include cashews, hazelnuts, and walnuts as per your preference. 

5) Foods to avoid:

  • A Vata diet excludes alcohol and stimulants such as energy drinks and caffeine because they exacerbate Vata’s characteristics like dryness, restlessness, and irregularities.
  • Don’t consume too many light, airy foods, such as carbonated drinks or fried chips.
  • Consuming ice-cold drinks, frozen desserts, ice creams, and raw salad can dampen your digestive fire and contribute to Vata imbalances.
  • Processed foods, tinned/canned foods, and deep-fried foods should be avoided.

Pitta Balancing Diet

Pitta Qualities

  • Sharp
  • Acidic
  • Intense
  • Penetrating
  • Pungent
  • Light
  • Hot

Characteristics of Kapha Imbalance

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Inflammation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn/Acid indigestion
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Migraine
  • Sour, acidic, or metallic taste in the mouth
  • Arthritis
  • Hot flashes
  • Ulceration
  • Eczema
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Inflammation
  • Constipation

Dietary recommendation for people with pitta dominant constitution: 

  1. Ghee is beneficial as it cools both the mind and the body.
  2. Cooling foods are excellent for balancing Pitta dosha. Incorporate the following foods into your diet:
  • Coconut/Coconut Juice
  • Sweet rice pudding
  • Milkshakes- Mangoes/ Almonds/ Dates
  • Pears
  • Milk
  • Dry cereals
  • Asparagus
  • Bitter leafy greens
  • Fennel
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green beans and 
  • Bitter gourd 

3) Ayurvedic tastes that balance Pitta: sweet, bitter and astringent

MelonsDark chocolatesCranberries
FigsBitter melonBroccoli
AvocadoesCumin seedsChickpeas
PlumsNeem leavesPinto beans

4) Consuming dry cereal, crackers, granola bars, and rice cakes balances Pitta dosha’s liquid nature and can be eaten anytime hunger pangs strike.

5) Foods to avoid:

  • Cashews
  • Turnip
  • Millet
  • Brown rice
  • White sugar
  • Sesame oil
  • Salted butter
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Tamarind
  • Corn

Kapha Balancing Diet

Kapha Qualities

  • Heavy
  • Slow
  • Steady
  • Solid
  • Cold
  • Soft
  • Oily

Characteristics of Kapha Imbalance

  • Overweight
  • Lethargic
  • Dull
  • Excess bodily fluids
  • Thick white coating on the tongue
  • Emotional eating
  • Sluggish bowel movements

Dietary recommendation for people with Kapha dominant constitution: 

1) Warm, light foods are beneficial for balancing Kapha.

  • Vegetable soups with beans and diced vegetables
  • Dhal soup
  • Bean casseroles
  • Okra 
  • Daikon radish
  • Sprouts
  • Cilantro
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Apricot

2) Ayurvedic taste that balances Kapha: Pungent, and bitter

GarlicCollard greensDell
GingerBurdock rootsLettuce
Black PepperKaleAdzuki beans
SpearmintDark chocolateBlack-eyed beans

4) It is good to snack on dry cereals, salt-free crackers, and rice cakes to balance Kapha dosha’s liquid nature.

5) Foods to avoid:

  • Olives
  • Coconut
  • Figs
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Plums
  • Kiwi
  • Rhubarb

Exercise tips for different types of doshas

  1. For Vata Body Type:
  • An individual with a lot of Vata needs a consistent routine. The regularity will promote stability in the body and mind.
  • To feel grounded, Vata needs exercises that utilize qualities opposite to those inherent to their nature. Low-impact, warming, grounding, steady, and strength-building workouts would be ideal.
  • A Vata person does not need to exercise intensively to reap the rewards. The best thing they can do is move gently and fluidly every day.
  • The most effective exercises are those that involve rhythm, such as dancing, tai chi, rowing, yoga, swimming, and walking.
  1. For Kapha Body Type:
  • Those with Pitta do well with cooling, heavy, slow, and dense activities like:
  1. Hiking
  2. Swimming
  3. weight lifting
  4. yin yoga
  5. Pilates
  6. Winter sports
  • Avoid overly competitive sports since Pitta is prone to taking things too far. Although pittas are attracted to competitive sports, these are not the most balancing for their constitutions. Playing team sports requires knowing your limits and practicing healthy competition. A healthy relationship with competition indicates a well-balanced pitta.
  • Sun exposure should be avoided when exercising.
  1. For Kapha Body Take: 
  • Those with Kapha should move in a light, sharp, hot, rough, mobile manner, for example:
  1. Vigorous hiking
  2. Cycling
  3. Aerobics
  4. Cardio dance
  5. Kickboxing
  • Kapha may prefer more sedentary physical activities, but these are not the most balancing for them.
  • If you are a Kapha, you should avoid eating two hours before exercising. Due to kapha predominance’s tendency toward mandagni, or slow digestion, we want to pay more attention to exercising without a full belly.

Daily exercise for 30-60 minutes is recommended for all doshas. Keep in mind that exercising is an opportunity to connect with and care for your body as you begin this new physical activity routine. The goal is not to control or lose weight but to practice working with your body for a better weight management regime by finding a form of movement you wholeheartedly enjoy.


According to the Ayurvedic diet, you should consume certain foods based on your dosha. There is no confusion over what to eat or when to eat it. The plan is straightforward and provides little room for deviation for those who desire rigidity. The transition may take some time, but it is a healthy lifestyle change that will benefit you for life.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice by a healthcare professional. Readers should consult their physician or a certified Ayurvedic practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.