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How The Elements Found in Food Affect Our Dosha: Tips for Ayurvedic Lifestyles

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By Lauren Stinespring & Elizabeth Halliday-Reynolds

When we talk about body types in Ayurveda we begin to understand that we are all made up of all of the elements: Fire, water, earth, air and ether. As individuals, we are born with a individual constitution with more of some elements and less of others.

Vata: A person with a high Vata dosha will have earth, water, fire in their make up but much more ether and air.
Pitta: A person with a high Pitta dosha will have ether, air and earth, but much more fire and water.
Kapha: A person with a high Kapha in their dosha will have fire, ether and air, but much more earth and water.

The nature of the universe was patterned from the five elements and their six original tastes. Each body type is nurtured by three of these tastes: the three that are not of its own nature. –Maya Tiwari

Each dosha does well to eat what they have less prominent in their make up. The principle of like increases like is inherent in Ayurveda.

Some Examples:
So if you are high Pitta you begin to look at foods that are like you (fire and water) and stay away from those tastes that would match your nature (hot, pungent, sour). Pitta is nourished by sweet, bitter, astringent with a focus on foods that have a cooling effect or energy.
Because Kapha are naturally cool and sweet (think earth and watery), they do well with the pungent, bitter, astringent tastes and also choose foods and spices that are warming and drying in nature. They would avoid the sticky, sweet stuff and the watery soups and the earthy dairy and moistening grains.
Vata would avoid foods that mimic their nature such as arid, cold, bitter and instead support that nature with moist, smooth, warm, sweet, salty and sour.

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