Guidelines for Reducing Vata
Because Vata is drying, cooling, and light, you should favor foods that are oily, warming, and heavy. The best tastes for pacifying or balancing Vata are sweet, sour, and salty. De-emphasize foods that are pungent, bitter, and astringent.
- To balance the lightness of Vata eat larger quantities, but do not overeat.
- Dairy products pacify Vata. Heat milk before drinking it and take it warm. Do not drink milk at a full meal with mixed tastes
- All sweeteners pacify Vata and may be taken in moderation.
- Fats and oils reduce Vata
- Rice and wheat are the best grains. Use less barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye, and oats
- Favor sweet, heavy fruits such as avocados, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, mangoes, sweet oranges, papayas, peaches, pineapples, plums. Reduce dry or light fruits such as apples, cranberries, pears, and pomegranates.
- Cooked vegetables are best. Raw vegetables should be minimized. Favor asparagus, beets, and carrots. Other vegetables such as peas, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and potatoes should be sautéed or steamed. Sprouts and cabbage tend to produce gas and should be minimized.
- Spices known to pacify Vata are cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, and black pepper.
- All varieties of nuts are recommended.
- Except for tofu and mung dahl, reduce the intake of beans.
- For non-vegetarians chicken, turkey, and seafood are best, beef should be minimized.
Lighter Vata Balancing Diet
People with Vata aggravated minds who are overweight or those with high cholesterol levels who have been instructed to reduce their intake of fats and oils can use this diet.
1. Rice wheat and oats are the favored grains, prepared with reduced amounts of oil or sweeteners.
2. All sweeteners may be taken in reduced amounts
3. Favor low-fat milk and lassi. Reduce your quantities of cheeses and cream.
4. All oils except for coconut can be used in small quantities. Small amounts of ghee may be taken
5. Green or yellow mung beans and red lentils are preferable. They are usually prepared by mixing one part dried beans with two parts water and boiling to te consistency of soup.
6. Vegetables should be well cooked and are best taken in soups, casseroles, and stews. Almost all vegetables are acceptable, with carrots, zucchini, asparagus, spinach, tomato, and artichoke the most desirable.
7. Favor sweet, ripe fruits in season. Figs, pineapples, grapes, apricots, sweet oranges, papayas, and small amounts of raisins are acceptable.
8. The warmer and sweeter spices are useful, including ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, cloves, hing, and anise. Salt, lemon juice, and tamarind are useful in small amounts.
- 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 tsp coriander, ground
- 1 1/2 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup dates, pitted, chopped
- 3/8 cup orange juice
- 2 Tbl fresh ginger root, minced
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/8 tsp salt
Combine in food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. (May dry roast spices ahead of time. May soak raisins and dates ahead of time if they are particularly dry.)
Is very pacifying to vata, somewhat pacifying for pitta.
- 2 tbl. whole fennel seeds
- 1 tbl. whole coriander seeds
- 1 tbl. whole cumin seeds
- 1 tbl. ground turmeric
- 1 tbl. dried basil
- 2 tsp. powdered ginger
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. asafetida (hing)
1. Put all ingredients in an electric grinder or spice mill and grind them.
2. Store in airtight container such as a glass jar.
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ tsp Coriander Seeds
- ½ tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
- 1 Squeeze Lemon Juice
- Raw Organic Sugar, Turbinado Sugar, or Sucanat to taste
Place in 4 cups of boiled water and steep 2-5 minutes.
- 1 part Licorice
- 1 part Cardamom
- ½ part Ginger
- 1/8 part Cinnamon
All dry powders mixed and taken as ½ tsp per cup of water