Eat to suit your constitution
Our body type, moods, traits and qualities are determined by what Ayurveda calls, our prakruti.
According to Ayurveda, our basic constitution, called prakruti, is determined at the time of conception and remains constant over our lifetime.
Prakruti is governed by the three life forces called doshas namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha which control the activities of the body.
It is important to understand that though our body contains all the doshas, it is the one that is predominant that decides our prakruti. A person’s chances of developing certain types of diseases are related to the way doshas are imbalanced.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has spoken about the importance of knowing one’s dosha and said, “The subtlest in us is space element, of which the mind is made of, and the grossest is the earth element, which makes our bones, marrow, skin and the structure. This is further divided into the three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.”
The five elements of the universe – Earth, Fire, Air, Space and Water, are the components of the three doshas.
VATA (Space and Air combine)
Traits: Thin body frame, vibrant, enthusiastic, hyperactive, imaginative, sensitive, extroverted, variable grasping power and memory.
Must Haves: All sweet fruits, fresh dates, banana, mangoes, raisins, lentils, moong-beans, soya, oils like sesame, olive, sunflower, peanut, milk, fresh cheese, butter and ghee.
Avoid: Dry fruits, junk food, cold and frozen fruit, kidney beans, gram and peas.
PITTA (Fire and Water combine)
Traits: Moderate body type, active, short-tempered, creative, caring, like challenges, good managerial skills and leadership qualities, good digestion and concentration, courageous, intellectual, fast thinkers.
Must Haves: All sweet fruits like apple, figs, dates, pomegranate, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, radish, sprouts, buttermilk, milk, ghee, curd, coconut, nuts which are soaked in water.
Avoid: Too much heat or sun exposure, hot spicy junk food, deep fried, sour and fermented food.
KAPHA (Water and Earth combine)
Traits: Heavy body type, cool, lazy, sensitive, calm and relaxed, emotionally stable, good memory, extrovert, methodical, natural resistance to illnesses.
Must Haves: All fruits can be taken in less amount, all green leafy vegetables, sprouts, carrot, radish, barley, ragi, corn, buttermilk, soya and goat milk, olive oil, nuts (2-3), sunflower and flax seeds.
Avoid: Sweets, milk products (except buttermilk and milk), cakes, chocolates, pastries and aerated drinks.
Appropriate knowledge of one’s prakruti helps in prevention and treatment of diseases. This can be determined with the ancient technique of ‘Nadi Parikshana’ – literally meaning – checking the patient’s pulse.