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., “Vata person” is advised to avoid food that is pungent, bitter, and astringent in taste. These three tastes have similar qualities to vata dosha. In case, vata person takes food items with these tastes, they will end up acquiring Vata disorders like constipation, dry skin, joint pain, and others.
- The astringent, bitter, and pungent taste aggaravates vata dosha.
- Food with cold potency and dry nature imbalances vata.
Three main tastes that balance vata dosha:
Sweet (madhura rasa)
Sour (amla rasa)
Salty (lavana rasa)
Sweet Taste (madhur rasa)
- Sweet taste is nutritive and energizing.
- It improves the immune system.
- It is beneficial for the skin and hairs.
Natural source of sweet taste (madhur rasa)
- Grains – rice, wheat
- Legumes – moong dal (split green gram), urad dal (split black gram), chana dal (split chickpea)
- Vegetables – carrots, sweet potatoes
- Fruits – figs, mangoes
Sour Taste (amla rasa)
- Improves digestion.
- Refines the taste of mouth.
- It is replenishing and energizing in nature.
Natural sources of sour taste (amla rasa)
- Vegetables – tomato
- Fruits – amla (Indian gooseberry), pomegranate, grapes, lemon, tamarind
- Milk products – yogurt
Salty Taste (lavana rasa)
- Good for digestion
- Moistens the body
- Balances the electrolyte imbalance
Natural sources of salty taste (lavana rasa)
- Sea salt
- Rock salt (saindhav lavana)