Balance Your Dosha With Ayurveda - Australian School of Meditation & Yoga | ASMY

Balance Your Dosha With Ayurveda

 

The great thing about Ayurveda is that when it comes to nutrition, you generally receive information regarding which individual foods and spices are best for your dosha type, as opposed to a strict or rigid diet. This allows us the freedom to choose meals that appeal to our taste preferences, and we also have the ability to select foods that suit our ethnic and spiritual preferences.

Taste is your ‘Key’ to Nutrition

Did you know that taste has a significant purpose other than making our food enjoyable? Mother Nature has cleverly designed food in such a way that we can all tell a food’s nutritive value via its taste.

There are six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent.
We can also use the 6 tastes as a guide for selecting foods that balance our doshas.

The 6 Tastes and Their Effects

Taste – Sweet
Actions on the Body

– Builds tissues
– Calms nerves
– Is perceived as satisfying by the body
Examples
Grains, starches, bread
Sweet Fruits
Natural Sugars
Milk and dairy
Beans and lentils
Carbohydrates, proteins and fats
Effect on the Doshas
VATA: Balancing
PITTA: Balancing
KAPHA: Aggravating in excess

Taste – Sour
Actions on the Body
– Cleanses the tissues
– Stimulates appetite
– Assists in the digestion process; helps elimination
– Maintains acidity
– Assists in extracting minerals from food
Examples
Citrus/sour fruits
Yoghurt; curdled dairy/cheese
Fermented foods: alcohol, vinegar, pickles, salad dressings
Ascorbic acid (found in Vit.C)
Natural acids
Effect on the Doshas
VATA: Balancing
PITTA: Aggravating in excess
KAPHA: Aggravating in excess

Taste – Salty
Actions on the Body
– Enhances the flavour of the other tastes
– Enhances appetite
– Lubricates the tissues
– Stimulates digestion; aids elimination
– Retains moisture in the body (which is great for the skin)
– Maintains mineral balance
Examples
Natural Salts
Seaweeds and other sea vegetables
Soy Sauce/Tamari
Mineral Salts
Effect on the Doshas
VATA: Balancing
PITTA: Aggravating in excess
KAPHA: Aggravating in excess

Taste – Pungent
Actions on the Body
– Stimulates digestion and metabolism
– Promotes sweating; detoxifies the body
– Clears the sinuses
– Improves metabolism
– dispels gas
Examples
Hot spices, peppers, chilies
Ginger
Onion
Garlic
Cloves
Mustard
Coffee
Herbs & Spices
Effect on the Doshas
VATA: Aggravating in excess
PITTA: Aggravating in excess
KAPHA: Balancing

Taste – Bitter
Actions on the Body

– Detoxifies the tissues
– Reducing on the tissues (useful for weight loss)
– Enhances the flavours of other tastes
– Antibiotic, ant parasitic, antiseptic qualities
– Reduces inflammations and nausea
Examples
Leafy Greens
Green & Yellow vegetables
Sprouts
Beets, Rhubarb
Dandelion
Alkalising foods
Effect on the Doshas
VATA: Aggravating in excess
PITTA: Balancing
KAPHA: Balancing

Taste – Astringent
Actions on the Body
– Constricts/tightens the tissues
– Absorbs water and dries out fatsody
Examples
Legumes
Raw fruit and vegetables
Fruit skins
Alfalfa
Tea & Coffee
Creates a puckering sensation in the mouth
Effect on the Doshas
VATA: Aggravating in excess
PITTA: Balancing
KAPHA: Balancing

So, with this knowledge, we can then use the qualities of each taste to determine which tastes will be nourishing for our doshas, or on the contrary, create imbalance.

Overview of the 6 Tastes and Their effects on the Doshas

Dosha – Vata
Most Balancing
Sweet
Salty
Sour
Most Aggravating
Bitter
Pungent
Astingent

Dosha – Pitta
Most Balancing
Sweet
Bitter
Astringent
Most Aggravating
Sour 
Salty
Pungent

Dosha – Kapha
Most Balancing
Pungent
Bitter
Astringent
Most Aggravating
Sweet
Sour
Salty

It may seem like a lot of random information listed above, but if you read over the information provided and reflect on ways that taste corresponds, you’ll start to see how it all relates.

For example, to balance Vata (typically light, dry and chanegeable), you’d add heavy grains to ground the Vata. And for kapha, which is typically damp and mucous forming, dry and light foods tend to have a balancing effect.

So you can see, like increases like, but if we want to decrease a certain quality, all we need to do is the polar opposite. It’s a very simple concept, and the wonderful thing is – it can be applied to anything!