Vata: almond extract, anise, asafoetida, basil, bay leaf, black cumin, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, chilli pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill leaves or seed, fennel, garam masala, ginger (dried or fresh), kudzu, mango powder, mustard seeds, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, peppermint, pippali, rosemary, saffron, sage savory, spearmint, tamarind, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, vanilla.
Vata/Pitta: basil (fresh), black cumin, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, garam masala, kudzu, mint, orange peel, peppermint, saffron, sandalwood chips, spearmint, tamarind, turmeric, vanilla, wintergreen.
Vata/Kapha: allspice, anise, asafoetida, basil, bay leaf, black cumin, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill leaves, eucalyptus, fennel, garam masala, garlic (cooked), ginger (dried), mace, marjoram, mint, mustard seeds, nutmeg, onion (dried), orange peel oregano, paprika, parsley, peppermint, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, spearmint, star anise, tamarind, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, vanilla.
Tridosha (VPK=): black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, coconut, coriander, cilantro, cumin, dill (leaves or seeds), fennel, garlic (cooked), ghee, ginger (cooked), ginger (fresh), lemon, mint leaves, mustard, nutmeg, orange peel, parsley, rose water, saffron, sea salt, tamarind, tarragon, turmeric, vanilla, wintergreen.
Foods for Reducing Vata—Air Element
When calming Vata, EMPHASIZE sweet, sour and salty tastes, AVOID bitter, astringent and pungent
Note: Fruits and fruit juices are best consumed by themselves for all doshas.
Soak all dried fruits except in cases where Kapha is very high.
Adding spices to fruits or stewing them in a little water helps their digestibility during the colder seasons or times of illness.
Sweet fruits, fresh
Dried fruits, unsoaked
Frozen fruits or fruits with added sugar
Note: For proper digestion and nutrient absorption, combine low starch vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, etc.) with either grains or high protein (tofu, dairy, nuts, or flesh foods).
Combine high starch vegetables (potatoes, squash, etc.) with grains, but not with high protein.
Cooked, fresh vegetables
Green beans, well cooked
Mung sprouts, cooked
Olives, black and green
Frozen, dried, canned or microwaved vegetables
Raw vegetables in excess
Pac choy (bok choy)
Note: Grains combine well with high and low starch vegetables, as most legumes, such as split mung beans.
They do not combine with high protein (tofu, dairy, nuts, and flesh foods).
Cook grains with warming spices (i.e. cumin and mustard seeds):
White basmati rice
Cold, dry, puffed cereals
Refined, frozen or microwaved products
Oat bran** (with ghee)
Note: If you still eat animal foods, be sure to combine them with low starch vegetables only.
Avoid combining animal foods with dairy, oils, or high starch vegetables or grains (i.e. potatoes, rice, breads, pastas)
A portion no larger than the size and width of the palm of your hand:
Chicken, white meat
Turkey, white meat
Eggs, coddled is best
Freshwater fish, wild caught
Seafood (esp. shellfish)
Note: Legumes combine with low and high starch vegetables.
When combined with grains (in the same meal or in the same day), they form a complete protein. Soy beans and tofu are high protein, and so they combine with low starch vegetables only.
Tofu is best steamed, baked or scrambled/stir-fried.
Well-soaked and well-cooked:
Mung beans, whole
Split mung beans (available at the Herb and Spice on Bank St.)
Urud dal (split black lentils)
Garbanzos (chick peas)
Soy milk, cheese, yogurt
Note: Avoid combining nuts with other protein foods. Eat only a small portion at a time.
Buy small quantities from the health foods store and keep in the refrigerator to prevent oils from turning rancid.
Almonds, soaked overnight and skins removed
Homemade almond milk
All other nuts, especially peanuts and pistachios
Note: Avoid combining seeds with other protein foods.
Sunflower seed butter
Note: Avoid if candida is high, and avoid/reduce if healing from illness.
Brown rice syrup
Fruit juice concentrates, esp. apricot juice and peach nectar
Sugar can juice*
All other sweeteners
Black sesame seeds
Mayonnaise, from health food store
Mustard, from health store
Pickled vegetables, from health store
Sea salt, sparingly
Soy sauce,* wheat-free
Note: Choose only fresh dairy products.
Avoid dairy during times of congestion, mucus, water retention, and lethargy.
Fresh goat’s milk**
Fresh, organic cow’s milk**
Freshly made (i.e. homemade soft cheese or paneer*
Freshly made yogurt
Ghee (clarified, unsalted butter)
All dairy that is not fresh
Cow/goat powdered milk Butter, esp. salted
Note: Only cook with ghee for high temperatures, and sesame, sunflower or olive oil for low temperatures.
Do not cook other oils. Keep all oils in the fridge, except for olive oil and ghee.
Cold-pressed, from a health food store:
Ghee (make at home)
Sesame, especially good
Deep fried foods and rancid oils
Note: It is best to drink between meals (up to 30 min prior and 2 hours after eating), so as not to dilute digestive and enzymatic juices.
Beverages are the most energizing when freshly made, rather than from bottled/frozen juices and drinks. When fresh is not possible, unsweetened and bottled is preferable to frozen.
Consume all beverages warm or at room temperature. Cold drinks will weaken digestion and create more coldness in the body.
Aloe vera juice*
Carrot juice and combos
Hot spiced Goat milk*
Sour juices and teas
Hot Herbal Teas:
Bansha, with sweetener and milk/substitute
Cold dairy drinks
Soy milk, esp. cold
Spirulina and other blue-green algae*
*These foods are OK in moderation
**These foods are OK occasionally
Avoid/Reduce means: when balanced, decrease consumption and eat occasionally. When imbalanced, avoid completely. See your Ayurvedic practitioner if you are unsure as to your constitution or current state of balance/imbalance.