Foods to soothe and ground
As Vata is light, cold and dry, food which soothe vata are grounding, warm and unctuous. Earthy, nutrient-dense, moist, hot, freshly-cooked foods such
as soups, stews and meats with root vegetables are vatas best friends. Cold, raw foods are unsuitable as, being astringent and cold,
they are hard to digest and increase vata. Sadly yes, that means salads are not a good health choice for you guys I am afraid!
Reverence in eating
Being naturally energetic, vata types typically spend most of their days rushing around, getting involved in various activities, which can often mean that meal times either are with non-existent (if they are caught in the moment) or are just a quick, cold, dry bite to eat. Possibly even stuff in while still moving. Eating this way more than occasionally can take a huge toll on the digestive system and make vata types feel burnt out.
When given the proper reverence, however, meal times can be the therapeutic slow down that every vata prakriti person needs. Sitting downs in relaxed a quiet space and enjoying foods slowly and consciously, savouring tastes and textures, is the perfect way to harmonise erratic vata energy, allow for the batteries to recharge and assure good digestion. Eating meals as part of a regular routine, at the same time every day, is key to regulating appetite and digestion for improved energy.
Savour the Sweet, Sour and Salt, leave Pungent, Bitter and Astringent
If you are vata predominant, the tastes you will want to include most on your plate are sweet, sour and salty. Being naturally heavier, sweet foods such as grains, root vegetables, fish, meats and oily foods (such as dairy) are great choices to balance and support your high energy nature and need for brmhana (anabolic) sustenance to keep to going through busy days. Water drawing sour and salty tasting ingredients increase the moisture of the naturally dry vata body and will help to you maintain fluid balance and hydration. Vata aggravating tastes (Pungent, Bitter and Astringent) found in lentils, green foods, chilli etc should be kept to a minimum.
Let's going oily!
As vata types are so prone to dryness, Ayurveda encourages that you use of more oily food in your diet. We hasten to add that this does not mean deep fried foods swimming in cheap vegetable oils (put down the KFC) but instead suggest soft, warm liquid foods which have had nutritious oils and fats added. Excellent choices of fat for vata types include organic ghee, butter, sesame oil, small amounts of coconut oil (coconut is quite cold), sweet nut oils or olive oil. These will lubricate and soothe digestion and prevent constipation, which every vata knows is just around the corner.
Flavour and spices and all things nice (for digestion)
Sadly, constipation is not the only enemy you will face when it comes to digestion (as we are sure you know!). Like the rest of vata dosha, vata agni is vishama meaning 'variable or fluctuating in strength' and there a tendency for bloating, gas and pain, especially in in cold dry climates. Good news though, symptoms can be easily managed and prevented though with regularly use vata pacifying herbs spices such as garlic, hing (asafoetida), cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cardamamon, ginger, mint, thyme, rosemary and basil in your diet. Not only do these add flavour but they dispel painful and irritating digestive symptoms, encourage smooth digestion and increased the absorption of nutrients which will, in turn, give you more energy.
Food should always be taken with small sips of warm/hot water or herbal tea (ginger and fennel are good!). NEVER have cold water with your meal as it will weaken agni and digestion and increase the likelihood of constipation.
Diet & Recipes for VATA
Clean Beets N Greens Kitchari
Beets 'n' Greens keep you fresh and clean! Struggling with Acne? Skin rashes? Volcanic eruptions of emotions? Or excess weight and digestive issues! It sounds like you could do with a gut and liver cleanse! What better (and more delicious) way to promote natural cleansing than with Faith's Beet n Greens Kitchari. Perfect all year round but is absolutely QUEEN come Spring Cleanse season.
Creamy and Fragrant Rice Porridge
In Ayurveda, rice is considered a nectar. It's simple, sweet, nourishing yet easy to digest! This is such a simple and delicious meal (or snack) that can be eaten on its own or with a side at any time of day. As it's such a speedy meal, we highly recommend enjoying for breakfast as an alternative to porridge!
All-Seasons Simple Tridoshic Kitchari
Ayurveda's ultimate healing food - kitchari - also known as a hug in a bowl is a soothing combination of soft mung dhal and rice mixed with digestive spices, vegetables and healthy fats. Kitchari is delicious, easy to digest, suitable for for all dosha, low in calorie, high in fibre, Agni strengthening and gut cleansing.
Kheer - Sweet Rice Porridge
Kheer (meaning milk in Persian), or Indian rice pudding, is a popular yet simple dessert made of milk, rice, cardamom and sweet ingredients such as dates or raisins. Kheer can be enjoyed as a healthy alternative to contemporary desserts or can even be enjoyed as breakfast in Autumn to nourish and soothe Vata, aid sleep and soothe dry skin.