Get To Know Your Body Type
Discovering your body type is the most important step towards achieving better health because your constitution tells you how nature intends you to eat and live. Just think about it…..Are there some ‘body types’ who are more cancer prone? Not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer. Why do thin people have high cholesterol? Why do some people who eat calorie rich food remain thin and others who barely eat gain weight? It must be something that goes beyond calories, beyond fattening food. Ayurveda tells you that by nature a ‘Vata’ woman will be thin and a ‘Kapha’ woman will be ‘big’ if not heavy.
The Three Body Types: Ayurveda has identified three body types or doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), which we are born with. We inherit our body types, which govern our behavior.
Each of the doshas demonstrate a certain behavioral pattern that is unique to that body type.
Vata: Vata types are usually thin framed but sometimes overweight. They are prone to worry and may suffer from insomnia (lack of sleep). They are usually restless and almost always anxious. All body aches and joint pains, excessive gas are attributed to this dosha. Vata types should get sufficient rest and they should avoid overwork as it gets them out of balance. Vata types when in balance are perhaps the most adjustable in the lot as they are imaginative, sensitive, spontaneous, resilient and exhilarated. They will never miss a chance to flash a huge smile and greet people with joy.
Pitta: Anyone with a radiant complexion, shining hair, and bursting with energy has a good deal of Pitta. Pitta types are warm, loving and have a happy disposition when in balance. They have a good appetite, are in total command of the situation, very intelligent and with good powers of concentration. When Pitta goes out of balance they are typically short tempered, impatient and demanding. They like to argue and have a strong opinion about every topic. When in balance they are confident, enterprising and joyous.
Kapha: They are the ‘coolest’ people you can meet. They have a sturdy frame & tend to put on weight easily. They remain calm collected and relaxed even under stressful situations and therefore enjoy sound health. They are sensitive to others feelings, take a long time to make a decision and seek emotional comfort from eating. They enjoy high carbohydrates meals and love to oversleep. When out of balance they tend to become very complacent, dull and thick headed. When in balance they are loving, forgiving, courageous and sympathetic.
As doshas rule our behaviour, it is very important to make our dohas happy. Things could go haywire if the right balance is not struck and problems such as depression and insomnia will grow into our Prakriti.
Know your imbalances
It is important to know the reasons that cause an imbalance in your doshas so that you can avoid them and stay healthy. Vata gets imbalanced when there is constant stress and mental strain, inadequate sleep, when you skip your meal or when your diet includes a great deal of cold raw foods. All these factors increase Vata. Pitta imbalances are caused when you try to fight stress with anger and frustration. Hot, oily & spicy foods, sour fermented foods, stale foods also lead to Pitta imbalance. Kapha imbalances are caused with gaining excess weight. Consuming too much sugar, salt, fried foods make you feel heavy, lethargic and increase Kapha dosha.
The right diet for your body type: – It is important to eat according to what your body requires rather than what your taste bud demands. Vata types should eat hot meals like warm milk, hot soup, hot rice & dal. Spicy food is more satisfying to the Vata’s taste bud. Ginger is beneficial to improve their digestion. They should avoid raw salad & cold food. Pitta type should eat cold food, juices & salads. Pitta being an hot dohas gets balanced with cold temperatures, natural surroundings, raw fruits & juices. They need to avoid hot, spicy & oily foods. Kapha types do well with pungent food. Kapha types usually have mucous related problems & consuming pungent food helps reduce mucous. They should avoid dairy foods as it makes their system more congested. Raw fruits & vegetables are good for Kapha types & above all they should avoid sweets.
What we have from birth cannot change. However, we can have a life of good health and happiness by controlling the doshas that have a big effect on us. If prevention is better than cure, then balancing your doshas could be the best prevention ever.
ANJALI MUKERJEE, Nutritionist, Founder Director-Health Total, having health centers
in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune -manages obesity & other health related disorders.
Contact numbers: 1800 8918131/+91 86575 61727
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