Guest Post by Richelle Jarrell
Ayurveda’s profound understanding of these three body types contributes much to our understanding of our food cravings and what is best for us to eat in order to maintain a balanced body.
Ayurvedic theory teaches that each body type or dosha is partially kept in balance by natural taste cravings for certain foods. Seasonal weather and personal habits also influence our sense of balance within our body, but chief among influences tends to be the food we eat. We all know the adage that “you are what you eat.”
A balanced body type will crave the taste that keeps it in balance. Foods are made up of different tastes, and Ayurveda recognizes six basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. For example, a fire type or Pitta body type, will crave the sweet and bitter flavors to keep the fire in alignment, because these tastes are cooling. A Kapha body type will crave the pungent taste to keep the earth in alignment, because earth tends to stagnate and fire brings stimulation. Vata will crave something salty or sour to help warm up and ground its cooler and lighter nature.
Conversely, an imbalanced body type will actually crave the thing that will perpetuate the imbalance. In general, an imbalance of Pitta will cause cravings for more hot and sour food, imbalanced Kapha will tend to crave more sweet and salty foods, and imbalanced Vata will crave more bitter and astringent foods.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll take a common example that we see in Ayurveda. Most dietary advice will agree that eating your green leafy vegetables is a good thing for health, but if you are a Vata person, or you have a Vata imbalance, and you eat too many raw, cold greens, which are bitter by nature, you will further exacerbate a Vata imbalance in your body. Craving a raw green juice with a Vata imbalance won’t be a healthy choice for you, and can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, fear, coldness, insomnia and ungroundedness/spaciness.
Another classic Vata or air imbalance shows up in many people as a craving for crunchy dry foods such as crackers or popcorn, which by their drying and cold properties will also further a Vata imbalance. Consequently, to help restore and maintain balance for the Vata body type, warm nourishing meals are an important first step.
When learning about food plans and conscious eating, it’s crucial to understand your unique constitution. Ayurveda can teach you which cravings will be healthy for you, and which cravings will lead you into a further imbalance – and can help you discern which pieces of conventional dietary advice may be contrary to your own body type. Knowing which foods will cause you to stay in an imbalanced state for your body type will help you to avoid them in your dietary choices and planning, so that you can experience more harmony and balance in your body. To learn more about Ayurveda or determine your body type, please visit here.
Richelle Jarrell runs a company called Inspired Soul,a global health and relationship mentoring company. She works with women and couples who want to create magical relationships and experience deeper love, vitality and health on a daily basis. Richelle utilizes the wisdom sciences of Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology and Yogic philosophy in her work. She is the co-author and publisher of two books on Reiki, and has taught Reiki throughout the US and Greece. She enjoys cooking Ayurvedic food, reading yogic literature and performing weddings. Learn more about Richelle at inspiredlove.com, inspiredayurveda.comand DateSmarterNow.com .