Prakriti Food Plans Traditional Ayurvedic Life Health
Analysis VAyu Doshas Your constitution is predominantly air. An excess of air element creates cold, light, and dryness in the body, colon, skin, and bones. When balanced, you are energetic, adaptable, and cheerful. An excess of air causes dry skin, gas, constipation, anxiety, nervousness, and worry. The aim of Ayurveda is to create a balance between the elements of air, fire, and water. To bring air into balance VAyu doshas need to * Consume more steamed, heavy and moist foods. * Ingest herbs to help digest the heavy foods. * Eat smaller meals, no more than 3 to 4 hours apart. * Eat sour, sweet, and salty substances that reduce excessive air. Pungent herbs, such as ginger, are good if combined with sweet, sour, and salty foods and herbs. * Its better not to eat alone. Have your food cooked for you if possible. * Avoid nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, chilies) as they may cause allergic reactions. * Dont combine milk with yeasted grains. * Eat in a calm to celestial frame of mind.
HERBOLOGY DIGESTION Cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, rock salt are among the major herbs to use.
ELIMINATION Licorice, soaked prunes, psyllium seeds, flax seeds, bran and triphalA before sleep.
ENERGY Ginseng, comfrey root, marshmallow, ashwagandhA, balA, and shatAvari.
MIND Calamus, ashwagandhA, basil, chamomile, brAhmi.
ANTI-RHEUMATICS Angelica, myrrh, yogaraj guggul.
OIL and MASSAGE Sesame oil and almond oil are heavy and warm, and therefore good for VAyu dosha. Oil massage the feet, head, back, and lower abdomen to reduce air. Essential oils include sandalwood, cinnamon, and frankincense.
FRUIT Most fruit is purifying, though not grounding. Dry fruit, melons, uncooked apples and pears, and cranberries increase air; they are not advised (baked apples and pears, or soaked dry fruits are alright). The best fruits for VAyu doshas are, lemons, limes, grapefruit, cherries, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, pineapples, papayas, mangos, soaked-prunes, raisins, dates, and figs; other berries, kiwi, sweet melons, and rhubarb. Second best are oranges, cooked pears, cooked apples, peaches, plums, apricots, pomegranates, and persimmons. Fruit is best eaten between meals.
VEGETABLES also are too light for air constitutions to live on. However, if steamed and prepared with oils and spiced, eating them with whole grains is fine. The cabbage family causes gas (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts). Other air-increasing vegetables are cucumbers, sprouts, celery, asparagus, spinach, and chard. The best vegetables for VAyu doshas are sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, cilantro, parsley, seaweed, and small amounts of avocado. Second best are fresh corn, green beans (well-cooked), fresh peas, zucchini, squash, artichoke, kira, mustard greens, watercress, bell peppers, and okra. Some practitioners recommend moderate amounts of fenugreek greens, cooked leeks, black and green olives, parsnip, pumpkin, rutabaga, and watercress.
GRAINS Cooked whole grains are best. Bread is fine if toasted (but the yeast in bread is still heavy and hard to digest). The best grains for VAyu doshas are wheat, then other moist grains like basmati rice, oats, and cous cous. Whole grain pasta is good. Dry grains like granola and chips aggravate the air element.
BEANS Most beans cause gas, are drying, and promote constipation. The best bean is mung. Tofu is also acceptable, but may be hard to digest.
NUTS and SEEDS Raw or lightly roasted nuts are heavy, nourishing and moistening. They are hard to digest and so they are taken in small amounts at any one time. VAyu recommendations include almonds (peel off the skin), walnuts, pecans, pine nuts and sesame seeds (or tahini); these should be soaked overnight.
OILS The best are sesame oil and ghee (one teaspoon per serving). Second best include almond, olive, avocado, and butter. DAIRY is good for air constitutions, though hard to digest. Dairy is taken with spices, and milk should be boiled then left to cool slightly. The best dairy for VAyu doshas include lassi (1/2 cup yogurt to 1/2 cup water, digestive herbs, all mixed and drunk at mealtime to aid digestion). Ghee is also excellent. Other suggestions include yogurt, kefir, cream, sour cream, butter, and cottage cheese. A little cheese may be eaten (especially homemade paneer).
SWEETENERS It is best not to eat sweets during meals. Natural sugars assist air types more than any other constitution in tissue building and body fluid maintenance. The best sweeteners are jaggery (guda Indian), turbinado sugar, or natural sugar cane (sold in stores as Sucanat), maple syrup, and raw sugar. Raw honey and fruit sugar are acceptable but in smaller amounts.
ANIMAL PRODUCTS Generally it is best to avoid animal products except when needed to regain strength following illness. Animal products give strength but are inharmonious on finer levels. (Ghee and lassi are good substitutes). Next best is fish and eggs. White chicken and turkey are also acceptable.
BEVERAGES Air constitutions require fluids. The best liquids are dairy, fruit or vegetable juices, tonic teas (taken with sweetener and milk), water with lime or lemon, and sour fruit juices.
VITAMINS and MINERALS are not generally used, but if needed, the following are best for VAyu doshas: oily A, D and E, sour C, zinc, and calcium. Spices (e.g., ginger, cardamom) are taken with vitamins to aid digestion. Herbal Preparations: The average amount of herbs to take is between 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of an herb or of an herbal mixture 1/2 hour before meals. Ghee, honey, or water may be mixed herbs (until paste) (2 parts to one part herbs). It is also advisable to cook herbs in 1 teaspoon of heated ghee or oil, and then add them to food. Teas can be made with 1 to 2 teaspoons of herbs.
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