If you're a Vata dosha type, you might be wondering what foods you should eat to keep your energies balanced. Use the guidelines below to learn the specific Vata foods you should emphasize and limit in your diet.
Vata Foods List
In general, a Vata diet contains foods that have warming, moist and heavy qualities and sweet, sour and salty tastes. The types of foods that should be limited are cooling, dry, and light and have pungent, astringent and bitter tastes. Below are lists of the best Vata foods by food group:
Fruit for VataMost fruits are good for Vata because they are sweet, moist, and nourishing. Vata types should keep in mind that cooked or stewed fruits are better than raw because they are easier to digest and have more warmth, moisture, and sweetness.
- Best: Apples (cooked), Apricots, Bananas (ripe), Berries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Coconut, Dates (fresh, cooked or soaked), Figs (fresh, cooked or soaked), Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Mango, Melons, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pineapple, Plums, Prunes (cooked or soaked), Raisins (cooked or soaked), Tamarind
- Limit: Apples (raw), Bananas (green), Cranberries, Dates (dry), Dried Fruit, in general, Figs (dry), Pears, Persimmons, Pomegranate, Prunes (dry), Raisins (dry), Watermelon
Vegetables for VataThe best types of vegetables for Vata are sweet, heavy, moist, and cooked. In general, root vegetables are particularly beneficial because they have grounding and stabilizing qualities. Since cooked foods are better than raw, Vata types should limit their intake of salads and raw veggies.
- Best: Asparagus, Avocado, Beets, Carrots, Cooked, Chilies (in very small quantities), Cilantro, Cucumber, Garlic, Green Beans, Green Chilies, Leeks, Mustard Greens, Okra, Olives (black), Onion, Cooked, Parsnip, Peas (cooked), Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Spinach (cooked), Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Watercress, Zucchini
- Limit: Artichokes, Beet Greens, Bell Peppers, Bitter Melon, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Burdock Root, Cabbage, Carrots (raw), Cauliflower, Celery, Chilies (in excess), Corn (fresh), Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Olives (green), Onion (raw), Peas (raw), Peppers (hot), White Potatoes, Radishes, Spinach (raw), Sprouts, Tomatoes, Turnips
Grains for VataIn general, grains are good for Vata as long as they are well cooked and well-spiced. Cooked cereals like oatmeal, cream of wheat and warm rice pudding are best, while light, dry, or rough grains should be limited.
- Best: Amaranth, Durham Flour, Oats (cooked), Quinoa, Rice, Seitan, Wheat
- Limit: Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Couscous, Millet, Oats (dry), Rye, Spelt, Tapioca
Legumes for VataBecause legumes often have dry, rough qualities, Vata may have trouble digesting them. Try to stick to the legumes noted as "best" and be sure you eat them well-cooked and well-spiced.
- Best: Lentils (red), Miso, Mung Beans, Mung Dal, Split, Tofu, Toor Dal, Urad Dal
- Limit: Adzuki Beans, Black Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), Kidney Beans, Lentils (brown), Lima Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Soy Beans, Split Peas, Tempeh, White Beans
Nuts and seeds for VataIn moderation, all nuts and most seeds are pacifying to Vata.
- Best: Small amounts of Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts
Meat for VataVata types do well with eggs and a variety of different meats. The best meats to favor are ones that are nourishing, sweet, moist, and relatively easy to digest.
- Best: Beef, Buffalo, Chicken (especially dark), Duck, Eggs, Fish (fresh and salt water), Salmon, Sardines, Seafood, Shrimp, Tuna Fish, Turkey (dark)
- Limit: Lamb, Pork, Rabbit, Venison, Turkey (white)
Dairy and Dairy Alternatives for VataMilk products are often balancing for Vata as long as they are served warm and heavily spiced.
- Best: Almond milk, Butter, Cashew milk, Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Cow’s milk, Ghee, Goat’s Milk, Hemp milk, Ice Cream (in moderation), Oat milk, Rice milk, Sour Cream (in moderation), Soy milk, Yogurt (fresh)
- Limit: Frozen Yogurt
Fats for VataOf all of the Vata foods, Ghee is revered as one of the best because it is sweet, nourishing and builds ojas. In general, most high quality oils are Vata pacifying.
- Best: Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Ghee, Olive Oil, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Sunflower Oil
- Limit: Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Soy Oil
Spices for VataMany kitchen spices are great for balancing Vata because they offer warmth while aiding digestion.
- Best: Ajwan, Allspice, Anise, Basil, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger (fresh or dried), Hing (Asafoetida), Mace, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard Seeds, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Peppermint, Pippali, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary, Saffron, Salt, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric, Vanilla
- Limit: Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Fenugreek, Horseradish, Neem Leaves
Sweeteners for VataMost high quality sweeteners are good for Vata in moderation.
- Best: Barley Malt, Date Sugar, Fruit Juice Concentrates, Honey (raw), Jaggary, Maple Syrup (in moderation), Molasses, Rice Syrup, Sucanat, Turbinado
- Limit: Artificial Sweeteners, White Sugar, Honey (heated or cooked)