Ayurveda believes that earth and man are made of five elements known as Panchamahabhuta. They are named as akasha (aky), vayu (air), agni (fire), ap (water) and prithvi (earth). The combination of these five elements together forms vata, pitta, and kapha. These three are the energies are named as doshas of the body. All mahabhutas are present in each dosha but one or the other is dominant and the rest of the four are less dominant.
Ayurveda says all are unique on the basis of their “Prakriti.” Prakriti basically means your ‘natural form.’ At the time of conception, three doshas (energies) combine together to form our “body type” that is known as “Prakriti.” The percentage of these doshas (energies) present in our body decides our body type. It remains the same throughout the entire life. Diet, lifestyle, and treatment varies from person to person due to different body constitutions.
You can choose the appropriate type of diet according to your body type. Yes, for each individual according to their body type some type of foods are suitable and some are not. For e.g., “Kapha person” is advised to avoid food that is sweet, sour & salty in taste. These three tastes have similar qualities to kapha dosha. In case, kapha person takes food items with these tastes, they will end up acquiring kapha disorders like weight gain, chest congestion, feeling of heaviness and others.
- The sweet, sour, and salty tastes aggravate kapha dosha.
- Food with cold potency and heavy in nature imbalances kapha.
Three main tastes that balance kapha dosha:
Pungent taste (katu rasa)
- Pungent taste improves digestion.
- It clears the blocked sinuses.
Natural sources of pungent taste (katu rasa)
- Vegetables – radish,raw spinach,onion
- Spices – chilly, black pepper, ginger
- Grain – buckwheat (kuttu atta)
Bitter Taste (tikta rasa)
- A bitter taste is a natural detoxifier.
- It arouses diminished hunger.
- This taste acts as a blood purifier.
Natural sources of bitter taste (tikta rasa)
- Vegetables – eggplant, green leafy vegetables, bitter gourd
- Spices – turmeric, fenugreek
- Other – dark chocolate
Astringent Taste (kshaya rasa)
- Astringent taste cleans extra mucus from the body.
- It improves the absorption of nutrients.
Natural sources of astringent taste (kshaya rasa)
- Vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, potatoes
- Fruits – apples
- Spices – basil, carom seeds, coriander