Doshas form the basis of Ayurveda, as these relate to the energies of the human body and they also make up the individual constitution and needs of a person. There are three types of doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha; and each dosha is also related to the elements, namely fire, water, earth, ether (or space) and air. Ayurveda believes that every individual has these doshas in different strengths that account for his/her specific physiological functions and emotional responses.
It is common for every individual to have ONE dominating dosha and there can be additional influence of a second dosha that could be quite strong as well. Ayurveda believes that for the body to be in balance, the three doshas should be in the right balance for the body and mind to be well. An imbalance will result in illness and other issues. An increased dosha can lead to an over-excited or aggravated state, while a decreased one can lead to a depressed or depleted state. It is therefore essential for every individual to figure out his or her unique dosha combination, so that they can take steps to keep them balanced.
Based on your individual constitution, you will react differently to summer and your needs for the season will also be different. Here is a general guide for each dosha, on how the pitta season affects the body and what foods are best to keep the doshas balanced. Summer Diet for Vata Dosha Ayurveda says that ‘like increases like’ and ‘opposites attract’.
This Dosha is associated with Air and Ether This dosha is associated with movement of various body parts and muscles as well as the movement of air, blood etc through the body. It is also related to the movement of thoughts across our mind.
Summer Diet for Vata Dosha
Going by this, summer is generally peaceful for Vata people, who stay balanced in the heat. This dosha is supposed to have a weak digestive system, so it becomes essential to eat small, regular meals. Vata people have a tendency towards dryness, so proper hydration during summer is essential, although extremely cold drinks are best avoided, to avoid killing the digestive fire and further weakening the system. It is better to go the opposite route and opt for warmer foods and drinks. Sweet is advised over pungent and spicy foods.
Avoid: Cold, hard, dry foods like salads, iced drinks, red meat, raw foods
Prefer: Warm, soft, moist foods like oatmeal, soup, cooked grains, dairy products, stewed fruit, dry fruit soaked in water
Pitta Dosha – associated with Fire and Water Though it seems contradictory, this dosha is associated with the aspects of both fire and water. It is associated with the ‘liquid’ parts of the body – blood, sweat, urine, saliva etc. It is also associated with the fire within the body – appetite, digestion as well as fire within the mind – passion.
Summer Diet for Pitta Dosha
Since summer is pitta season and like increases like, people with the pitta dosha find it becomes aggravated in summers. This condition is made worse by drinking coffee, soft drinks and other caffeinated beverages. Since the fire element is more prominent during summer, it is good to encourage the water element at this time. All kinds of acidic foods including citrus fruits also aggravate pitta, so they are better replaced with apples, grapes or papaya. Avoid: Steaming food, salt, oil, spices, fermented foods, red meat Prefer: Cool or warm foods, salads, milk, herbal tea
Kapha Dosha – associated with Water and Earth This dosha corresponds to the basic foundation of the human body – the bones, muscles and skin. The water element here refers to the medium used to hold the entire body together and act as a lubricant.
Summer Diet for Kapha Dosha
Kapha people have a tendency towards water retention, so watching their salt becomes very important, especially in summer. Also, this dosha is associated with heaviness, cold and oiliness, so light, dry and warm foods are the best to balance it. It is also advised to have the largest meal of the day at lunch and the smallest at dinner. Avoid: Sugary foods and drinks, salt, cooling foods, deep fried foods, and dairy Prefer: Lightly cooked meals, beans, vegetables, honey, heating spices
A dosha-friendly diet is imperative in maintaining the well-being of your mind and body. Whatever your dosha is, be mindful of the food you are eating and the effect it is having on your body. Since every individual’s constitution is different, no one plan will suit everyone and you’ll have to work it out your own. Do you follow a diet too? Let us know and we will share your tips in our social medias.
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