Translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life” and it represents one of the oldest wholistic healing systems in the world. It has a rich history of more than 3,000 years. Although it originated in India, Ayurveda has since become widespread, and it’s now practiced in many countries across the globe.
According to this wholistic healing system, taking care of your digestive system is the most important step towards improving your overall health. The ideal steps you need to take to heal your gut will depend on your Ayurvedic body type.
What are Ayurvedic body types?
People who practice Ayurveda believe that each individual is made up of five basic elements: water, fire, earth, air and space. These five elements are combined in your body to create three different life-forces, known as doshas. The three doshas are referred to as the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas.
Although you have a unique mix of all three doshas in your body, everyone has a dominant life-force, which is also referred to as an Ayurvedic body type.
You can boost your digestive system and improve your overall health by cleansing your body of certain foods that can lead to illness. Depending on your primary dosha, there are a variety of easy steps you can take to heal your gut and restore balance in your body.
How to balance Vata dosha
The Vata dosha is made up of space and air, and it provides the necessary motion for all the processes in your body.
Vata is most prominent in the fall and during times of seasonal change. In other words, these are the times when you need to be extra careful about your lifestyle and dietary choices. In order to heal your gut and balance Vata dosha, you’ll have to start consuming more nuts, seeds, legumes, grains and cooked vegetables. Adding herbs and spices to your meals can also be helpful, but you should stay away from sugar.
Since Vata is a combination of air and space, it can make your digestive system cold and dry. If your dosha isn’t balanced, you may experience constipation, bloating and colon disorders. That’s why you should eat heavy, lubricating foods that will counteract the effects of your dosha, and avoid going on a raw food or low-fat diet. It’s also important to make sure you stay hydrated!
How to balance Pitta dosha
Pitta is a mix of fire and water. That fire makes you a passionate and hard-working person, and it also governs your body temperature, digestion and absorption. However, when your primary life-force isn’t balanced, you may experience problems like loose stools and diarrhea. This can further complicate things within your body, because these problems can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Your Pitta fire can also cause heartburn and inflammation.
In order to balance Pitta dosha, you should cut down on your intake of red meat and spicy foods as much as possible, and consume softer, cooler foods instead. While it’s a good idea to eat fruit on a regular basis, try to avoid foods that will increase your “fire,” such as grapefruit and bananas. Meanwhile, try to increase your intake of both raw and cooked vegetables—especially dark, leafy greens.
How to balance Kapha dosha
Water and earth make up the Kapha dosha. As a Kapha, when your primary life-force is unbalanced, you can gain weight rapidly. Some of the main gut-related problems you may experience include acid reflux, nausea and constipation.
To balance your dosha, you’ll need to:
- Avoid foods that are high in fat.
- Refrain from using excess oil while cooking.
- Stop eating meat completely.
On the other hand, you should increase your intake of spices, legumes, dry grains, vegetables and fruits, but steer clear of heavy and starchy veggies.
You can heal your gut by simply altering your diet, so regardless of your dosha, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat on a daily basis and cut back on foods that may cause you to develop health problems. Regularly reviewing the guidelines above will help you remember which foods to choose and which ones to avoid, no matter which Ayurvedic body type you fall under.
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