Ayurvedic Diet

Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion Made Easy

Symptoms | Diet | Diet | Vegetarian
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Vegetarian Ayurvedic Perspectives


Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC

Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarian foods often leave fewer residues than animal products after digestion and for some help increase vitality. A vegetarian lifestyle is more environmentally friendly, and can help a person advance on their spiritual journey. But vegetarians have to be careful. Many vegetarians becomes anemic and protein deficient. Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle needs to be a good fit for the individual. In general, Vata types have the hardest time staying healthy with a vegetarian diet. However there are exceptions! Kapha people, on the other hand, often need less meat than they think.

Some recommendations for vegetarian based proteins sources include sunflower seeds, hemp seed, quinoa, mung beans, and tofu. Beans are an excellent source of protein in general but may provoke Vata. Cheese is a great protein source but is more difficult to digest and Kapha provoking.

Transitioning to a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Suddenly adopting a vegetarian diet can cause irreparable damage to intestines, and may cause nutritional deficiencies depending upon your body type. The transition to a vegetarian diet can take years, even generations. Forgive your body for these shortcomings. Even if your intentions are perfect, your body is still attached to the earth.

Start slow to keep your metabolism stable and cravings at a minimum. For example, trying cutting out red meat gradually (over a year). See how you feel. Try reducing the quantity and frequency of other meats slowly, instead of cutting them out 'cold turkey!' For example having a piece of chicken once a week and then once a month might be a more stable way to transition.

Vegan Diets

Vegans are vegetarians who don't eat dairy products or eggs. This diet is especially challenging to Vata individuals, and often healing for Kaphas. Taurine levels were found to be significantly lower in vegans, and may reduce bile acid pool.

Aggravated Doshas & Qualities

Imbalance Accumulates

Improper food and lifestyle causes balances to accumulate. Ayurveda shows you exactly which doshas and qualities will accumulate in your body. Once these doshas and qualities accumulate too much, they will begin to cause disease. You can reduce an imbalanced dosha or quality by removing things that aggravate it from your diet and lifestyle.

'Vegetarian' is likely to aggravate the following doshas and qualities.If you have a systemic imbalance of one of these doshas or qualities, Ayurveda would generally recommend removing, substitute or lessen the frequency of Vegetarian.

Vata aggravatingDigestive Effects Help

Key: V = Vata, P = Pitta, K = Kapha. A slash through a dosha means it an aggravated dosha. To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.

Correct Imbalance

Food and lifestyle habite with the following effects may reduce imbalances associated with 'Vegetarian'.
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.

Educational Resources

Browse these educational resources for 'vegetarian'.
Balance Your Vata Diet in a Week - eCourse
Gain deeper wisdom and insight as you balance your Vata diet in a week with this eCourse. Gracefully heal your body.

Ayurvedic Herbs & Natural Products for Vegetarian

Please review these herbs & products below to determine which ones might be helpful for Vegetarian.

Vata Massage Oil
Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
$24.95 $22.45
Experience the deep calm encouraged by Vata Massage Oil. Nourishing, grounding, calming herbs are infused into a sweetly warm blend of sesame and sunflower oil.

Ashwagandha Tincture
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Calms the nerves while rebuilding strength and stability. Energy all day long and sound sleep are benefits of ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha Ghee (9oz)
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
Ashwagandha calms the nervous system while the ghee restores and replenishes. Also useful as a male reproductive tonic.

Nettles Tincture
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Nettles provide a stellar nutritional profile to strengthen your body and build stamina.

Diet for Vegetarian

A diet rich in these foods & nutritional supplements may help re-balance the aggravated qualities and doshas in vegetarian.
Adzuki BeansVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingAlmond ButterVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
AlmondsVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingHemp SeedVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
Lamb's QuartersVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingMung BeanVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
QuinoaVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingSesame SeedsVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Stinging NettlesVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingSunflower SeedsVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
Sweet PeasVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating

Related Symptoms & Habits

The following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Vegetarian' See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type. Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
I'm different from others / uniqueAt odds with nationality / culture
Raw Food / SaladsRed meat intolerant
Gas, irregular digestionFeel underweight
Macrobiotic dietSweet cravings
Thin, lanky, slim with thin musclesLow basal body temperature
AnemiaB12 Deficiency

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Personal Experiences

What are some of the reasons why you include 'vegetarian' in your life? Is there something you'd like to know about 'vegetarian'?

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Would anyone care to expand upon the exceptions with Vata? Also, are you familiar with different metabolic types according to western thought and how they correspond to the doshas?

- Jess, Allen park, MI, 08-24-13 (Reply)
I usually have somewhat of a Vata imbalance (esp this time of year!), but for moral reasons, I eat a plant-based diet. I do often eat ghee. I haven't had meat for 2 years and don't crave it; neither do I crave dairy products. I take B12 regularly.
- Kim Comerford, VA, 11-24-14 (Reply)
Hi Kim, Thanks for sharing you experience. If order to offset Vata imbalances while being vegetarian, increase your oils and whole grains. Ghee is a great one! Lots of sweet potatoes, basmati rice, and hearty soups will all be helpful this time of year.

What is Joyful Belly?

Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

Learn about Ayurveda from the author of this article and founder of Joyful Belly,
John Immel.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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