Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian healing medicine that has been around for over 5,000 years. According to Ayurvedic medicine, every individual has a primary psychophysical type called a dosha.
The three doshas are:
Many people can share the characteristics of two or more dosha types.
Eating according to your dosha can help prevent disease and optimize health and energy. According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, Ayurvedic doctor and author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, imbalances in the doshas is the first sign that the mind and body are not perfectly coordinated. Dr. Chopra believes that once people identify and understand their dosha, they can take the necessary steps, through diet, lifestyle and environment, to restore dosha balance and prevent disease.
To find your primary dosha and the right food for your body, take the following quiz.
Please choose the statement that best describes you:
a) My skin is always dry
b) My skin is normal/sensitive
c) My skin is oily
a) I am always cold
b) I often feel too hot
c) My body temperature is normal.
a) My body weight is on the low side
b) I have a medium to muscular build
c) I gain weight easily
a) I am a very light sleeper
b) I am a moderate sleeper
c) I am a very deep sleeper.
a) My mind is active, restless and curious
b) My mind is intelligent and aggressive
c) My mind is calm, slow and receptive
a) My beliefs tend to be radical and ever changing
b) My beliefs are as a leader and are very goal oriented
c) My beliefs make me very loyal and constant in my thought process.
a) My nature is very sensitive
b) I can be intense and demanding
c) I am usually loyal, forgiving and lovable.
a) I love hot summer days
b) My favorite season is the winter
c) I am happy in all weather conditions.
If you answered mostly A, your dosha type is vata
If you answered mostly B, your dosha type is pitta
If you answered mostly C, your dosha type is kapha
Body type: Small body frames
Personality: Imaginative, creative and quick witted
Vata out of balance: Anxiety, worry and mood swings
Sleep patterns: A quiet sleep environment is best.
Healing techniques for Vata: Mediation, tai chi and yoga
Foods to eat:
Warm foods, such as soups, stews and warm cereals
Breakfast is highly recommended
Enjoy an assortment of herbal teas
Avoid caffeine as it upsets balance and health
Use spicy foods such as Mexican or Indian
Drink warm or hot drinks instead of cold drinks
Spices to use are cinnamon, ginger, cumin and cloves in moderation
Avoid red meat; eat more chicken, turkey, omega-3 eggs and soy
Avoid eating raw vegetables
Body type: Medium, proportionate, athletic
Personality: Ambitious, intelligent leaders, good business people, confident
Pitta out of balance: Angry, frustrated and irritable
Skin: Slightly oily
Sleep patterns: Little, but sound
Healing techniques for Pitta: It is important for Pittas to balance work and play. Helpful relaxation techniques are massage, swimming and 30 minutes of quiet time or meditation per day.
Foods to eat:
Due to Pitta’s fiery nature, it is best for them to favor cool or warm foods and avoid hot, spicy foods
Avoid coffee, switch to herbal iced teas
Increase consumption of water
Increase consumption of raw vegetables (i.e. salads)
Include vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber and sweet potatoes into your diet
Drinking a morning shake can also help to cool down Pittas
Oats and amaranth are Pitta-balancing grains
Do not skip meals and do not fast
Body type: Larger proportions, robust frame
Personality: Serene, calm, easygoing and very supportive and loyal in relationships
Kapha out of balance: Tired, sluggish and withdrawn
Skin: Tends to be oily
Sleep patterns: Long, heavy sleepers
Healing techniques for Kapha: Aerobic activity such as jogging, speed walking and racquet sports. Set aside 30 minutes each day for meditation and quiet time.
Foods to eat:
Kaphas already tend toward oiliness, so it is best to avoid cooking with too many oils. Try using ghee (clarified butter) in small quantities to sauté vegetables, spices or other foods. Ghee can be heated to high temperatures without affecting its nourishing and healing qualities.
Avoid refined flour, sugary products and deep-fried foods
Favor light meals, especially dinner
Enjoy spicy foods such as Mexican and Indian cuisine
To jump start your morning, drink hot water, lemon juice and ginger
Eat raw fruits, vegetables and salad
Eat limited dairy products
Kaphas have a sweet tooth—substitute healthier sweet options
Enjoy clear vegetable broths with vegetables, beans and tofu
Dr. Joey Shulman D.C., RNCP is the founder of The Shulman Weight Loss Clinic and a bestselling author. For more information, visit www.shulmanweightloss.com.
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