Ayurvedic diet and meal plan tips for beginners

The Ayurvedic system is a way of dealing with food that has been around for thousands of years. It is based on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine, which originated in India and is still used there.

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The goal of an Ayurvedic diet is to balance the prominent dosha or energy that directs your body. “When the doshas are in balance, they create health and you feel your best,” says Eleva, Tracy Adkins, board-certified nurse, Ayurvedic practitioner and founder of the Ayurvedic-oriented Jivana skincare line. “Your skin glows, digestion is working properly and you don’t feel excessively tired or moody.”

By contrast, she says, if you’re out of balance, you may suffer from illness or disease or even feel generally fine.

Types of shower

We all have elements of three types of doshas, ​​but usually there is one dosha that is more prominent in our bodies. The doshas in Ayurvedic medicine are:


A person with such a dosha is usually thin, bright, creative and energetic, but will quickly get tired. Vatas walk and think fast but also get bored easily. Dry skin, gas, and constipation can be a problem for those who suffer from these prominent doshas. Warm foods such as cooked root vegetables, soups and stews are believed to be beneficial for vata. Adkins says raw or cold foods should be avoided.


With an average athletic build, bettas are innate leaders. However, they can also have a quick temper. Severe indigestion, diarrhea, and dermatitis (such as rosacea or acne) can be common. It is recommended to use sweet and cold foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains for pitas. Spicy foods, alcohol and excess caffeine can be irritating.


Usually strong with good stamina, kavas are nourishing, patient and calm. Heaviness, water retention, and fatigue may be a problem. Lemons, green beans, and leafy green vegetables can be beneficial for kavas, as well as avoiding dairy products, sweets, and grains.

Although there is not a lot of rigorous research to support the Ayurvedic diet, its primary focus on eating fresh foods and mindful eating is popularly supported among nutritionists.

Principles of ayurvedic diet

Here are some of the basic principles behind the Ayurvedic diet:

  • Eat fresh, organic foods that are appropriate for your climate. For example, summer berries grown in your area will be the perfect addition to your summer dishes. When possible, this principle can include growing foods on your own or shopping at local farmers markets.
  • Eat the best foods for your dosha. You can find more details about the foods recommended for each dosha from the Dietary Guidelines of the Institute of Ayurveda.
  • Avoid snacks. If you feel hungry between meals, drink herbal tea or room temperature water. Icy or cold foods or drinks are thought to slow digestion.
  • Mindful eating, without distractions. It’s also recommended to eat slowly and enjoy your food, which helps digestion, says Sheth.
  • Don’t overeat. All enough to feel good.
  • Not eating early between meals. Ideally, you should wait at least three hours before eating again.
  • Incorporating six flavors into each serving: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent. The astringent taste makes the mouth pucker and leaves it rough. Pungent is a word used to describe a spice or heat. By combining these flavors, you’re more likely to feel satisfied with the meals you eat, says Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian based near Los Angeles and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To help incorporate more flavors, Ayurvedic meals often include herbs and spices such as turmeric and ginger.

7 tips to start an ayurvedic diet

1. Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner.

An Ayurvedic practitioner is someone who has received training in Indian holistic techniques about living healthy. The National Association of Ayurvedic Medicine maintains a list of specialists in Ayurvedic medicine, and they may have different titles, such as Ayurvedic Practitioner, Health Consultant or Physician. Everyone can provide guidance on Ayurvedic diet. If you can’t find a local practitioner, there are a variety of online tests to help you determine your douche.

2. Take small first steps in the principles of the Ayurvedic diet.

It can be difficult to try all that is required at once with an Ayurvedic diet. Choose two things to start.

Try these suggestions from Adkins:

  • Drink a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning.
  • Eat the biggest meal at lunch.
  • Eat at the same times every day.

“These are three very doable tasks that don’t involve changes in foods,” she says. “Once you change habits, start changing the foods you eat.”

3. Talk to your doctor about any possible drug interactions with herbs and spices.

This advice comes from Grace DeRocha, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Detroit Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Since the Ayurvedic diet is rich in herbs and spices, there may be medicines you use that may cause unwanted side effects when taking both the medicine and the herbs or spices.

For example, ginger may not be recommended if you use blood-thinning medications, including aspirin. In general, there is a greater risk if you use herbal or spice supplements than if you add a little spice to your food. However, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before starting a new diet.

4. Find an accountability partner.

Find someone to do this diet with you, suggests Isaac Robertson, co-founder of the Indianapolis-based fitness site Total Shape. This could be a friend or family member who is just as excited about trying the Ayurvedic approach as you are. You can all help each other stick to the plan.

5. Consider how you will face the challenges of the diet.

Following an Ayurvedic diet can be particularly challenging in the United States, where there is a heavy reliance on unhealthy and processed foods. DeRocha says eating certain foods may also be restricted. Or others may find the diet confusing.

Robertson has followed an Ayurvedic diet for a little over a year and says he has less mood swings and has better digestion. However, he found it difficult to manage it because his family members did not follow the diet. If you are committed to an Ayurvedic diet, you can plan ahead for how you will face challenges like these. This is where consulting with an Ayurvedic practitioner or talking with someone who follows an Ayurvedic diet can come in handy.

6. Keep in mind that you do not have to completely avoid your favorite foods, even if they do not fall under certain categories of Ayurveda.

“No food or drink is absolutely forbidden, no matter your douche, as long as it’s done carefully,” Adkins says. This applies even to foods that do not fall into your dosha. For example, a garden salad, with raw vegetables, may be hard to digest for vata, but you can add foods like avocado, meat, nuts, cheese or a drizzle of oil to balance it out, she recommends.

7. Aim to try something new and healthy without worrying about perfection.

“Ayurveda is a lifestyle, not a diet,” says Adkins. You don’t need to be perfect to work. Follow what works best for you and make incremental changes.

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