Nutrition Advantage NewsTHE ON-LINE NUTRITION CLINIC - The Latest News
- Coming Soon: Plan-It Lean!
- CD & DVD Sale! August 2009 Nutrition Segments
- Fall Special! $65 for 30 minutes w/ Deborah & Shawna!
- To Your Health
- Nutrition for Children - Pregnancy April 8th
- Nutrition for Mom and Baby - Pregnancy April 8th
- Written in Infinity Foundation - "Increase Immunity and Reverse Aging" - Thursday, March 5, 2009
|Discovering Your Dosha: A Journey to Balance, Detoxification and Rejuvenation|
By Deborah Arneson
Such a lifestyle results in the balancing of the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. The maintenance of balance is accomplished by consuming live foods that are, for the most part, ayurvedically balanced and including the six flavors in all meals: salty, sweet, bitter, astringent, pungent and sour. There are virtually no fast foods available, and in restaurants all meals are prepared fresh upon request. (This can be an exercise in patience for fast-moving Westerners.) The experience of smelling food that is flavorful and light, while sitting, relaxing and salivating encourages good strong digestive functions.
According to ayurvedic medicine, everyone's body consists of five elements:
Brahma, or the creative principle, combines the five elements into three forces known as "doshas." When the three doshas are in balance, we are in equilibrium. When they are out of balance, we are in decay. The three doshas are as follows: vata, or air, which is created when space and air conjoin, which creates water; pitta, or fire, which is created when fire and air are conjoined; and kapha, or earth, which is created when water solidifies into earth.
Each dosha correlates to certain seasons and increases certain functions, or metabolic actions, both physically and psychologically. Therefore, an imbalance of too much or too little of one or more doshas can induce the onset of disease and perpetuate chronic disease. Certain foods can bring balance or imbalance to one's dosha.
Vata governs movement. It is quick, light, dry, rough and clear, and it leads to the other two doshas. Vata is concerned with all movements and affects elimination, expression, central nervous system function, mobility and flexibility. When vata is imbalanced, catabolism, fear and forgetfulness result. Balanced vata increases creativity and energy and moves one to action. Autumn/winter is the season of vata. It is during these seasons that vata types should increase their intake of oily and astringent foods. Vatas in general do better with warm, moist, cooked foods, soft or easy-to-digest food, sweet foods such as rice or sweet fruits, as well as cucumber and zucchini. Also salty (for example, seaweed) and sour tastes, such as lemon and tamarind, can be taken in moderate amounts.
Pitta governs metabolism and digestion and other actions of heat, as well as perception. Too much pitta creates a weakness in the metabolic processes. Hot tempers, sharp tongues and a jealous nature are common in imbalanced pitta types. They tend to have beautiful and slightly oily skin and may be quick to anger. Balanced pitta types have excellent metabolisms, positive memories, strong desires and a joy for life. The season for pitta is summer, at which time pitta types should increase cool and light foods and decrease spicy, fiery foods. Foods best for pittas are salads, light fruits, astringent foods (like gooseberry) foods cooked with ghee, and freshly prepared vegetable juices.
Kapha governs strength and proper body structure. Imbalanced kapha is denoted by too much solidity. Kapha types tend toward heaviness and oiliness, love cold foods and cold weather and prefer sweet and sticky foods. Kapha types may become soft with age, as they tend to lose mobility and flexibility. Kapha governs all activities of life. When kapha is balanced, anabolism occurs, which means the body is in a state of growth and repair and has a strong immunity. Balanced kapha is also associated with peace, courage, friendship, generosity and tolerance. The season for kapha is spring-a time for kapha types to decrease the intake of oily and fatty foods. Kaphas stay in balance best by consuming cruciferous veggies, bitter foods, pure honey and highly spiced and hot foods. For kaphas sweating, dry massage and consistent exercise such as yoga are absolutely essential to maintain a balanced dosha state.
If vata is balanced, one experiences mental alertness, good musculature, normal elimination, sound sleep and sense of exhilaration. If vata is imbalanced, one may experience a restless mind, dry or rough skin, insomnia, constipation, general fatigue, tension headache, cold intolerance, low weight, gas and bloating and shakiness or worry.
If pitta is balanced, one may experience normal heat and thirst mechanisms, strong digestion, good complexion, sharp intellect, discipline and courage. If pitta is in a state of imbalance, one experiences rashes, inflammation or skin disorders, peptic ulcer, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, visual difficulties, excessive body heat, baldness or irritability.
If kapha is in balance, one may experience muscle strength, vitality, stamina, strong immunity, stable joints, affection, courage, generosity, dignity and mental tranquility. If kapha is imbalanced, one experiences obesity, slow digestion, migraine, sinus problems, nasal allergies, asthma, prolonged sleep, greed and attachment.
When all three doshas are in perfect equilibrium one finds:
Americans tend to be result-oriented, not process-oriented. However, the illness process is often so gradual that we do not realize we are ill until it is too late. Ayurveda embraces a balanced way of being, as well as the process of rebalance known as panchakarma, an ancient modality of treatment that balances ones body, mind and spirit.
Tip of the Day
|Smile more often, it will induce happiness.|