According to Ayurvedic teachings, a person is healthy when he or she is in physical and mental equilibrium. A sick person is therefore in imbalance. The aim of Ayurveda is to bring balance into body and mind and thus to enable a long, fulfilling life. Diet plays an important role in this process. The Ayurvedic diet is mainly a lacto-vegetarian diet, but contains small amounts of meat and fish. Spices play an important role and serve as natural remedies. They are used in a variety of ways in Ayurvedic cuisine. Spices and herbs such as cardamom, ginger, turmeric, saffron, cumin, cinnamon and coriander are frequently used.
The Philosophy of the Doshas
The Ayurvedic nutrition theory is based on the philosophy of the "Doshas." By choosing the right food, people should stay healthy and alleviate many ailments, provided they eat according to their individual constitution. The constitution type results from the three Doshas, known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. They represent dynamic forces in the universe and have an elementary influence on our constitution. Each person consists of the three Doshas, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, but the characteristics are individually different.
Properties of the different Dosha types
|Vata Types||Pitta Types||Kapha Types|
|Lightweight physique||Moderately heavy physique||Stable, heavy physique|
|Aversion to cold and windy weather||Aversion to heat||High endurance|
|Forgets quickly||Purposeful||Good long-term memory|
|Irregular digestion||Good digestion||Slow digestion|
|Tendency to constipation||Prefers cold food and drinks||Tendency to obesity|
|Tendency to sleep disorders||TendTiefer und guter Schlafency to impatience and anger||Deep and good sleep|
|Short-lived outbursts of emotion and enthusiasm||Claim to leadership||Tolerance|
Source: C. Leitzmann / M. Keller / A. Hahn (2005): Alternative diets.
2nd revised edition Hippokrates.
Selection of foods according to the constitution type
In Ayurveda everything consists of the five elements - earth, water, fire, air, space - as well as food and doshas. Vata is shaped by air and space, Pitta by fire and water and Kapha by earth and water. There is suitable and unsuitable food for every type of constitution. Raw food is rarely recommended in Ayurvedic dietetics. Warm and cooked dishes are considered easier to digest.
Food selection according to constitution type
|Carrots, cucumbers, beetroot, asparagus, green beans, mild radishes, onions, garlic (not raw)||Sweet, bitter and tart vegetables such as cucumbers, zucchini, peas, celery, green peppers, potatoes, chicory, leaf salads||All leafy vegetables, spicy, bitter and tart vegetables: chicory, onions, garlic, paprika, potatoes, all cabbages, radishes|
|Basmati rice, wheat||Basmati rice, wheat, oat, gesture||Barley, buckwheat, maize, millet, rye, spelt, little rice|
|All dairy products||Milk, butter, ghee (clarified butter), cottage cheese||Warm skim milk, goat milk, ghee|
|Soy products, green and red lentils, mung beans, chickpeas||Soy products, all legumes except lentils||All legumes except soy products and white or black beans|
|All oils and fats in small quantities||Olive and sunflower oil, soy and coconut oil||Almond, maize germ, sunflower, sesame and olive oil in small quantities|
|Sweet and ripe fruit: Bananas, mangos, melons, pineapples, plums, oranges, berries, cherries, peaches, grapes, lemons, etc.||All sweet fruits: Bananas, mangos, melons, figs, pears, cherries, pineapples, plums, oranges, apples, grapes, raisins, avocados, etc.||apples, pears, berries, cherries, apricots, mangoes, peaches, dried and dried fruit|
|All nuts and seeds in small quantities||Coconuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds||Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in small quantities|
|All natural sweeteners||All sweeteners except honey and molasses||Honey|
|Ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, mustard seeds, mustard seed||Rather few spices, but: coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, saffron, turmeric, ginger, fresh herbs, little salt||Hot spices like ginger, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, a little salt|
Quelle: C. Leitzmann / M. Keller / A. Hahn (2005): Alternative Ernährungsformen.
2. überarbeitete Auflage Hippokrates.