Vata Dosha constitution


The Sanskrit term Vata is related to the verb Vah, meaning vehicle, to carry or to move. So Vata Dosha represents the principle of mobility that regulates all activity in the body, from how many thoughts one might have during a given period to how efficiently food moves through the intestines. Vata is responsible for initiating all process of life, for all the natural urges such as sneezing or yawning, for breathing, talking, creativity, enthusiasm, sense organs perception, the nervous system, the feeling of joy and happiness, and interaction with the world.

Space and Air elements give Vata the universal attributes of Dry, Light, Cold, Rough, Subtle, Mobile and Clear. It is associated with brownish and blackish colors.

Times of increased Vata:

  1. Between 2:00 – 6:00 A.M.
  2. Between 14:00 – 18:00 P.M.
  3. Time of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during sleep.
  4. Autumn.
  5. Old age.

Primary seats of Vata in the body:

  1. Large intestine – Influences all the body’s level of moisture. If it is dry, all the body will suffer of dryness and if it is lubricated well, all the body will be sufficiently moist.
  2. Ears – ringing in the ears is a sign of excess dryness
  3. Skin
  4. Brain and nervous system – are sites of intense movement. The normal function of the nervous system requires abundant fat tissue for nerve isolation. If it is dry, hyperactive thinking or mental noise or short circuit phenomena will arise.
  5. Diaphragm
  6. Bones – tend to dry up with age and cause osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
  7. Joints – need lubrication for smooth function. Dryness may create clicks and joint pain.
  8. Hips

Exaggerated Physical attributes ofVata characters:

Vata persons have light flexible bodies, slim structure, occasionally very tall or very short. They have small, recessed, dry eyes, visible veins and joints and protruding bones.

Exaggerated mental attributes of Vata characters:

Vata people have many different fields of interest;they are creative, artistic, curious, easily enthusiastic and euphoric. They are fast thinkers, fast to perceive, have flexible minds, have a short memory so they do not hold a grudge, are spontaneous, communicative and love knowledge. When Vata overpowers, the result is swinging moods, insecurity, restlessness, over thinking, anxiety, concentration issues, confusion and tendency towards disarray.

Sense organ:

  1. Hearing – related to Space element. when noise is unbearable this is a sign of excess Vata.
  2. Touch – related to Air element. Helps to balance and relax excess Vata.

How taste influences Vata Dosha:

  1. Increase Vata: Bitter, Astringent, Pungent.
  2. Decrease Vata: Salty, Sour, and Sweet. Small doses of the pungent taste can decrease the cold quality of Vata.

Life habits to decrease and balance excess Vata:

Keeping a stable routine, moderation, light physical exercise, keeping warm, exposure to the sun, avoiding wind and cold, early sleep, sufficient sleeping hours, avoiding excess work, avoiding excess stimulation of the senses, avoiding long and intensive traveling, avoiding stress, moderate sexual activity, persistence, relaxation, indulge oneself.

Routine is Vata’s best lifestyle remedy. The minimum routine for healthy, happy, and successful living is:

1) Eating your meals at the same time daily and

2) Getting into and out of bed at the same time daily

Changes in these two areas disrupt your bio-rhythms, upset digestion and the liver, and have the potential to undermine Vata’s delicate health. Vata individuals must take caution not to get too excited or distracted. Excitement will ultimately lead to exhaustion and knock Vata off their routine. Instead, Vata must learn to channel their energy and focus in order to nurture their creative projects long enough to bear fruit.

Vata individuals can create more stability in their lives by making their home nurturing, affectionate, warm, soft, and comfortable. Slippers, comfortable sweaters, throw blankets, and plenty of pillows are helpful for Vata. Keep your home tidy, as a sure sign of Vata imbalance is disorganization or lack of cleanliness.

Traveling – excessive traveling, especially flying, will increase Vata. Rest, warmth, letting loose and relaxation will restore the balance.

Stimulation – constant stimulation (especially at night), long exposure to screens, neon lights, loud noise, drugs, sugar, and alcohol will increase Vata. Relaxing music, breaks, early sleep and late awakening, deep breath and oil massage will restore balance.

Temperature and surroundings – exposure to cold and dry weather or cold and dry food will increase Vata. Keeping warm and oiled will restore the balance. Vata people need warmth at all levels, from the surroundings, family, friends and food. Cold causes Vata to contract, tighten and block the natural flow of Vata. Vata people need rest, warmth, quiet, meditation, a feeling of security and of a home.They should dress up well, sit on soft chairs and mattresses and feel loved and hugged.

Birth or surgery – exposing the lower abdomen and the intestine area to cold increases Vata. After birth offer the mother a warm and oily porridge.

Key word for balance: routine, preserving a fixed routine will prevent the natural tendency for excess motion and will keep Vata from storming.

Life habits that increase Vata and create imbalance:

  1. Suppression of natural urges (defecation, urination, hunger, thirst, sleep…)
  2. Worry, fear, sadness
  3. Not enough food or fasting
  4. Staying awake at night, night shifts, shortage of sleeping hours
  5. Talking loudly for an extended period of time
  6. Eating “on the way”, dry food, cold food, leftovers
  7. No routine
  8. Excess physical or sexual activity
  9. Frequent traveling
  10. Never oiling the skin
  11. Shortage of a warm, moist and relaxed environment
  12. Using drugs
  13. Abdominal operations
  14. Suppression of emotions
  15. The end of the day, end of the night, old age

Signs of increased (excess) Vata Dosha:

Burn out, fatigue, dark colors, yearning for heat, trembling, distension, constipation, lack of strength, tiredness, inability to fall asleep or sleep throughout the night, impairment function of the senses, excess talking, dizziness, sensitivity to noise, general sensitivity.

Signs of decreased (deficient) Vata Dosha:

Dysfunction of the body, decrease in activity and talking, loss of sensitivity, loss of consciousness.

Foods that Increase Vata:

Cold or frozen foods, dry food, uncooked vegetables, vegetables of the Brassicaceae family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, kohlrabi, kale), vegetables of the Solanaceae family (Potato, sweet pepper), mushrooms, sprouts, fresh apples, dry fruit, legumes, yeast bread, dark chocolate, coffee, black tea.

Foods and eating habits that decrease and balance excess Vata:

Keeping a routine schedule for meals, cooked food, warm, oily, food with sauce, long cooked animal protein and fat, cooked grains and pasta, root and pumpkin/squash family vegetables, boiled milk (before sleep), yogurt, salty cheese, sea weed, sesame seed oil, olive oil, clarified butter (ghee), nuts and almonds, pan bread (chapatti), sourdough bread, sweet ripe fruit, cooked dry fruit, sweet foods, fermented foods (miso, umebushi, pickles, vinegar).

Vata individuals tend towards lightness and need more nurturing foods rich in sweet taste, oil, and salt. Other body types may be jealous of the delicious food recommended for a Vata diet. Sweet taste does not mean sugar, which is actually over stimulating for Vata. In Ayur Veda, sweet refers to nourishing foods like root vegetables, animal products, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Foods should be warm, moist, and heavy, yet easy to digest – something like a root vegetable soup, or grandma’s chicken soup, for example.

Vata tends toward dryness, which is often the first sign of Vata imbalance. If you are Vata, hydrate your body before sitting down to eat. Stomach acid, enzymes, and bile all come in liquid form. If you are not adequately hydrated a half an hour in advance of a meal, you’ll lack the 2/3rd liter of fluid necessary to digest your meal, and may experience fullness after only a few morsels. Dryness often causes gas, bloating, and constipation. Aside from hydrating with water, sour and salty tastes are the juicy flavors to favor. Add good quality oils like ghee to your diet and regularly massage your skin with oil.

Vata tends to be cold and deficient. The blood of a Vata person may be anemic and lacking volume. This lack of volume also weakens digestion since the digestive organs are fueled by blood. Blood builders like red meat, raisins, eggs, and nuts may be helpful.

A Vata person’s metabolism may be low due to exhaustion. As a result, their food doesn’t get broken down fully. This begins a chain reaction where nutrients don’t get absorbed, further weakening the blood. Bad bacteria grow in the unabsorbed food, causing gas and bloating.

Vata individuals should avoid foods that are cold and difficult to digest, such as legumes, raw food, brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Add warmth by adding mild spices and serve food hot. Dry ginger and black pepper support healthy Vata digestion. Vata’s need to be sure to chew food well and be present and still while eating.

Remedies for the following imbalanced qualities:

Dry – with salt, oil, sour taste, or protein

Light – with carbohydrates, fats, and proteins

Cold – with spices and cooked food served hot

Rough – with gooey foods like oatmeal

Subtle – with grounding root vegetables or animal protein

Clear – with grounding root vegetables

Cereal grains:

Cereals are a very good food group for balancing this condition. Grains are nutritious and grounding and relatively easy to digest. Most appropriate are the polished grains, which are more soothing and gentle on the digestive tract. Whole grains are rich in fiber and have a dehydrating effect and are more difficult to digest, but they can be consumed for this condition when an excess of mucus is present and needs to be cleaned from the system.

The most suitable grains for this condition are:

  1. Wheat in the form of bulgur, semolina and couscous.
  2. Pressed Oatmeal or spelt (cooked – not muesli or granola)
  3. Sticky Rice (sushi rice) and Basmati Rice.
  4. Flour products (wheat, spelt, oatmeal flour) should be with little or none fiber: Indian bread (chapatti), Sourdough bread, pasta or noodles from durum flour.

Less appropriate Cereals for this condition are quinoa, barley, rye, buckwheat, cornmeal, whole grain rice, millet, granola, crackers, and rice cakes.


Most legumes are very fibrous, hard to digest, dry and dehydrating, create constipation and gas. Legumes are not appropriate for this condition. When digestion is stronger and overall relative balance is stable, legumes could be introduced into the diet in small portions. To digest them without harm to the system, the preparation of legumes is critical and they should be cooked well. The most suitable legumes for this condition are green mung beans lentils, and tofu.

Legumes such as Adzuki beans and chickpeas may interfere with the delicate irregular digestive system. Other beans are unlikely be tolerated at all.

Cooked vegetables:

People with irregular digestion often cannot live exclusively on a multi-vegetable diet, but can reasonably digest a reasonable variety of cooked vegetables. To make the vegetables more suitable, they should be peeled to decrease fiber content. Preparation of vegetables with oil, salt and spices and eating them in the presence of cereals improves their digestion.

Most appropriate for this condition are onions and leeks, sweet potato, pumpkin, chestnut squash, squash, zucchini.

Second best are fennel, carrots, beets, parsley root, and celery root

Less appropriate for this condition are the green variety and the more bulky and rough vegetables. Consume with care when digestion is in good shape: celery stalks, green peas, green beans, potato, tomato, eggplant, artichoke hearts, okra, asparagus, spinach, chard.

Best avoided for most of the time is Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi, radish, turnips, mushrooms, peppers. For these vegetables, it is recommended to add a generous amount of oil, salt and spices to allow proper digestion.

Uncooked raw vegetables:

Less raw vegetables are recommended for this condition, but fresh vegetables and salads can be eaten moderately, in the appropriate season, with a typical sauce of olive oil, lemon and salt. When digestion is strong, you can eat tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, parsley, coriander, dill, chives. To be on the safe side from a digestive point of view, it is better to eat only one or two raw vegetables at once, rather than a diversified salad. Example: add several cherry tomatoes to your lunch. If you are set on eating a salad, best preparation would be a pressed salad or a finely chopped salad.

It is best to avoid raw kohlrabi, onion, rocket, mustard leaves, baby leaves, radish, and cabbage.


The most suitable are kombo and Arame. For less frequent use try hjiki and wakma. The least suitable is the Nori seaweed (commonly used in sushi).

Animal food: (quality is very significant)

Meat (lamb, beef, chicken, and turkey), fish and eggs can be very effective for balancing this condition when cooked very well and in very small portions. Eggs and fish usually do the job and are the best. Well cooked chicken will also digest successfully. Heavier for digestion are beef and lamb, which can be eaten in small quantities, preferably as meat soup, or as minced meat and cooked well.

Also important for this condition is the consumption of internal organs (liver, heart and others), bone marrow, bones and cartilage. Meat stocks made by boiling beef or chicken bones (be sure to use free-range meats).

Milk and dairy products: (quality is very significant)

Most dairy products are good for balancing this condition because of their nutritious and moist quality, but because of their heavy and cool qualities, they should be eaten only in accordance with the strength of the digestive capacity. Avoid dairy if you know you do not digest dairy well.

The best of them is ghee, and in addition, boiled milk, natural yogurt, sour cream and butter. When digestion is stronger use also cottage cheese, cream cheese, labane cheese or salty sponge like cheese such as feta cheese / Bulgarian / Safed cheese. It is best to avoid ice cream.


Fresh fruits in the season have a pleasant quality, cleansing and increasing body fluids, but fruits are too light and cold for this condition. Therefore, fruit should be consumed in moderation, according to season, and should be eaten on their own (rather than mixed with other foods). Excess fruit in the diet will lead to instability, lack of concentration and lack of willpower.

Fruits that are more suitable are lemon, lime, grapefruit, plum, cherry, grape, strawberry, raspberry, orange, tangerine, pineapple, papaya, mango, banana, dates and figs.

Second priorities are pomelo, pear, apple (cooked), peach, apricot, and pomegranate.

Better to avoid raw apples, persimmon, guava, melon, watermelon, blueberries and dried fruits. Dried fruits that have been soaked in water and/or cooked, are appropriate, especially raisins.

Nuts and seeds:

Most nuts and seeds are good for this condition, especially if they are gently roasted and gently salted.

On the other hand, they are hard to digest and therefore should be consumed in small amounts at a time (not more than 15 units a day, maximum 5 units for each meal). Almond is the best (preferably without the skin). Also good are walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews and sesame seeds. Less appropriate are Brazil nut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, nigella and peanuts.

Oils (cold pressed) and Fats:

The qualities of Oils and Fats are mostly warming and unctuous, and therefore most oils are very important and appropriate for this condition.

Best are cold pressed sesame seed oil and Ghee. Also very good are olive oil, sesame spread, almond spread, avocado and salted butter. Coconut oil is colder and heavier in nature and is appropriate only when digestion is stronger.
It is better to avoid corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, canola oil, all refined vegetable oils, and hydrogenated products such as margarine.


In general the sweet taste is beneficial for this condition, the more natural the better. The best is sugar cane, in the form of Jaggery (boiled and condensed sugar cane juice).Other good sweeteners are pure maple syrup, rice malt, molasses, date syrup and fresh honey.

Best avoid white sugar.


Proper use of spices can greatly help balance this condition, strengthen the appetite and decrease gas formation. In particular, it is recommended to season heavy or sweet foods to be better digested. Hot spices can increase dryness and should be used moderately, but are often desirable when suffering from internal cold and weak digestion. Rock salt is good for digestion, but excess salt is harmful.

Cooked or grilled garlic, Asafetida (hing), dry ginger powder, cardamom, nutmeg, fennel, miso paste, Umebushi paste, should be used regularly. Also good are cumin, caraway, dill seed, celery seed, ajuwan, cinnamon, basil, fenugreek, soy sauce, rock salt, pickles, natural vinegar and black pepper.
Lower priority spices are coriander seeds, cloves, turmeric, fresh ginger, mint, peppermint, Mustard seeds, thyme, rosemary, green onions. Herbs that are best avoided are table salt and dried chili.


For this condition enough water is needed, depending on daily activity and thirst, but water alone is often not sufficiently nourishing. Use the following as nourishing beverages: boiled milk before bedtime (cow, organic), cereal milk (almond, oatmeal), tea with milk and sweetener (Indian chai style). It is also recommended to drink small portions of natural sweet and sour fruit juice (orange juice or tangerine, apart from food on an empty stomach) or water mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice and sweetener (lemonade or isotonic beverages). Small amounts of red wine during meals (40 up to 80 ml) may improve digestion.

Infusions of fennel seeds with cinnamon bark are highly recommended.

Optional daily menu for excess Vata condition:

Drink options following awakening:

Hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice

Hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice + table spoon of olive oil + pinch of rock salt

Kuzu Umebushi macrobiotic beverage

7:00 Breakfast:

Pressed oatmeal porridge or semolina porridge or wheat flour porridge. Cook the porridge either with water, oatmeal milk or cow milk diluted with water.

Oatmeal or semolina Pancakes

Toast with Ghee/butter/tahini/gomasio and egg (soft boiled/scrambled/sunny side up, omelet with feta cheese)

10:00 Snack:

If the appetite is mild: a fresh fruit or a few dates and nuts (soak in hot water for 2 minutes).

If appetite is strong: chapatti bread or sourdough bread with a suitable paste (ghee, Labanne, yam paste, olive paste, tahini, salty feta cheese, date spread, etc.)

13:00 Lunch:

Vegetarian meal:

Basmati rice or bulgur or pasta, 50% of the plate

Cooked Vegetable, 30% of the plate

Legumes (if digestion allows) or legumes and yogurt or plain yogurt or sour cream or salty sponge like cheese (feta), 20% of the plate


Non vegetarian meal:

Basmati rice or bulgur or pasta, 50% of the plate

Cooked Vegetable, 30% of the plate

Chicken / fish / meat stew 20% of the plate

16:00 Snack:

If the appetite is mild: a fresh fruit or a few dates and nuts (soak in hot water for 2 minutes).

Fruit compote and almonds.

Semolina cake

If appetite is strong: chapatti bread or sourdough bread with a suitable paste (ghee, Labanne, yam paste, olive paste, tahini, salty feta cheese, date spread, etc.)

19:00 Dinner:

Oatmeal or semolina porridge or wheat flour milk porridge

Oatmeal or semolina Pancakes

Basmati rice or bulgur, cooked vegetables and egg

Vegetable soup or chicken broth soup and grain/pasta

Chapatti or bread with a suitable spread, soft boiled egg or egg slow fried in ghee

Semolina/bulgur and vegetable pie

Noodles or spaghetti with vegetable sauce and cooked tomatoes with cream

Rice pudding

22:00 Bedtime:

A small glass of boiled milk with a little ghee and nutmeg

Indian style Chai tea with boiled milk

A cup of warm and spiced almond milk


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