Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that translates to “knowledge of life.” We can use this practice of finding out our Dosha, or the balance of the five elements within each of us: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. You can eat certain foods to balance your Dosha, and fall has plenty of options from pumpkin to squash, turkey, and grains. Read on to find out which fall foods can help nourish your dosha!
Finding your Dosha
The first step in eating to support your Dosha, is finding out what your Dosha is. There are three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. There are any number of quizzes you can take online, including this one. Everyone has qualities of all three Doshas, but usually one will be more dominant than the others.
Foods for Vata
If you are Vata dominant, you are energetic and expressive. You may have cold hands and feet and suffer from restlessness or weakness. To balance Vata, you should focus on warm, cooked foods including vegetables like asparagus, carrots and onions, fruits such as cooked apples, berries, and peaches, spices like basil, garlic and thyme, nuts and seeds, poultry and seafood in small quantities, grains like quinoa and rice, and most kinds of dairy.
- Baked apples with cinnamon and cardamom
- Sweet potatoes with rice and lentils
- A cheese plate with nuts, seeds, carrots, berries, and figs
Foods for Pitta
If you are Pitta dominant, you have a fiery personality. You are smart and ambitious, and may often be warm, and sleep deeply for short periods of time. To balance Pitta, you should focus on cooling foods like fresh fruits like bananas, cherries, and oranges, including sweet and bitter vegetables like broccoli, peas and potatoes, unsalted butter, poultry, fish, and spices like cilantro and coriander.
- Cauliflower rice with raisins and chicken
- Squash with white rice and topped with unsalted butter
- Turkey with mushroom gravy
Foods for Kapha
If you are Kapha dominant, you are grounded and thoughtful. You enjoy routine and sleep soundly. To balance Kapha, you need to eat warming, stimulating, and energizing foods including fresh and dried fruits, astringent and bitter vegetables, grains like barley and buckwheat, goat and soy milk, poultry like chicken and turkey, fish such as shrimp, seeds like pumpkin, and spices like pepper, cinnamon, paprika, and saffron.
- Breakfast barley made with soy milk and topped with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds
- Lentil salad with black and beans and chickpeas
- Chicken with smashed potatoes seasoned with garlic and pepper, with a side of broccoli
Ayurveda can be intimidating when you first start learning about it. If you are interested in learning more, you can read our post on Ayurveda and why it matters, or seek out other resources. Maybe next time you visit friends or family for a holiday meal, you can bring one of the recipes that nourishes your dosha to share!