The main characteristic of the Vata-dosha is mobility. It is responsible for our senses (closely linked to the nervous system), our ability to orient ourselves, our adaptability and our perception.
The characteristics of people with a Vata body type:
they can be tall or short, but their body weights are low and they have protruding bones. Their thin skin reveals large blood vessels. Their hair is coarse, usually brown to blondish-brown in colour. Their heads are small, elongated and narrow, like their faces. Their necks are thin and long. Chest narrow, arms thin. Their thighs are also lean, their calves small, firm and tight. Their nails are dark in colour, and here too they show a tendency to dryness – they often break off. Vata people are prone to fear and anxiety. They get easily agitated. They are quick to learn, but also quick to forget. They express their feelings easily. They have few friends, although they make friends easily.
The vata (air) can be upset by fasting, lack of sweet taste, light food, eating too much fruit and raw food, excessive stress, windy weather.
If the vata starts to accumulate, it leads to weight loss, shivering, dizziness and weakness, and the body feels cold all the time. They suffer from constipation, bloating and speech problems. With too much Vata, the physical body becomes exhausted and weakened.
People with Vata dosha may suffer from weight loss or tissue deterioration if the dosha is disturbed. For them, improving the quality and properties of food is a priority. They should try to eat frequently, and eat foods that are soothing, nourishing, and that strengthen the connection with the earth, and that are heavy, warm, fortifying and moisturising. Choose sweet, sour and salty flavours. Meals should be frequent, regular, and small portions. Cooked, hot food is best. Avoid eating when stressed, anxious or fearful. They have the most irregular and unstable eating habits, so it is most important for them to follow the dietary rules. They tend to skip meals.
|Recommended||Should be avoided|
As most fruits have a pleasant, harmonising effect, they are good for Vata dosha. Dried fruit is an exception to this rule.
|grapefruit, banana, orange, papaya, pineapple, mango, fig, apple (as compote), plum, apricot, cherry, date, lemon, lime, peach, pear, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberry||raw apples, dried fruit, melon, cranberries|
Cooked, most vegetables are good, but they can’t live on this alone because it makes them too light. Eating vegetables with spices, oils and grains is best for them. Eat raw salad in moderation with lots of dressing, oil.
|avocado, beetroot, carrot, fresh corn, green beans, okra, parsley, fresh green peas, radish, summer squash, sweet potato, horseradish, black olives||artichokes, asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, Swiss chard, aubergines, kohlrabi, green olives|
Most grains are nutritious and heavy, so they are good for those with a sturdy build. A prolonged whole-grain diet can prevent many wasting diseases.
|basmati rice, brown rice, couscous, oats, wheat, amaranth, quinoa||muesli and dried cereals, barley, buckwheat, maize, millet, rye, tapioca|
Most legumes have a bloating effect, and therefore can severely aggravate the vata.
|mung bean, tofu||chickpeas, soya, yellow peas, urad dal (black lentils), lima beans, kidney beans|
|Seeds, nuts||almonds, tomatoes, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut, pumpkin seeds||none|
Most dairy products are heavy, nutritious and moisturising, so they soothe the diaphragm. Fermented dairy products are generally more suitable for those with a wattage problem, as they have already started the pre-digestion process.
|butter, cottage cheese, paneer, ghee, kefir, milk, sour cream, yoghurt, buttermilk, cheese, rice milk, goat milk||ice cream, soya milk, milk powder|
Most oils are good for Vata dosha. The warmth and moistness of the oil make it the most recommended food in the category of wax reducers, as its characteristic properties are an excellent counterbalance to the cold and dry nature of Vata dosha.
|almond oil, avocado oil, butter, ghee, olive oil, sesame oil, peanut butter, coconut oil, linseed oil||margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, rapeseed oil|
Most sweeteners or sweets are good for Vata type, as they need more sugars to strengthen their tissues than other body types.
|fructose, raw cane sugar, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar, honey||refined (white) sugar|
The spices regulate the appetite of people with Vata dosha and relieve the symptoms of flatulence. They are mainly used to accompany sweet and heavy foods to aid proper digestion.
|asafoetida, basil, bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, saffron, oregano, nutmeg, sage, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dill, horseradish, mint, mustard, red pepper, rosemary, soy sauce, turmeric|
People with Vata dosha should make sure that they drink enough fluids. Not only water, which is not nutritious enough for them, but also dairy products, herbal teas, acidic juices, lemon or lime water.
Vitamins & minerals
People with Vata dosha need oil-soluble vitamins (e.g. A, D, E) and vitamin C. The most important minerals are zinc and calcium.
The key word is consistency.
They need to relax, to reduce stress.
Running is suitable exercise for them.
For a restful sleep, use sweet or soothing herbs such as fennel, liquorice, lemongrass.
Keep warm in winter and summer.
Use sweet, warm spices: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg.
They can benefit from saunas, steam baths and massage with sesame oil.
Eat five meals a day, always small portions. Eat heavy, oily foods, sweet, salty and sour flavours. Use spicy, bitter and sour flavours in moderation.
Fasting is not recommended for them.