Foods To Help Balance Vata Dosha

According to Ayurveda, illness and health concerns are caused by an imbalance in your dosha.

An out-of-balance Vata dosha can leave you feeling ill in many ways. However, you can be brought back into balance by eating foods that restore and support your personal composition.

An Imbalanced Vata

When out of balance, Vata mentally brings things like fear, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and exhaustion into play.

It can also disrupt communication throughout the nervous system, leading to abnormal movements in the body, such as tics, tremors, and muscle spasms.

Below is a list of Ayurvedic food recommendations to add or subtract from your diet for Vata dosha.

Vata Pacifying Fruits

The fruits that pacify Vata dosha are usually sweet and nourishing. Cooked or stewed fruits are the easiest to digest.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Apples (cooked)
  • Applesauce
  • ApricotsBananas (ripe, not green)
  • 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
Fruits to avoid are those that are exceptionally cooling, astringent (drying), or rough, including most dried fruit.

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Apples (raw
  • Bananas (green)
  • CranberriesDates (dry)
  • Dried Fruit, in general fits (dry)
  • PearsPersimmonsPomegranatePrunes (dry)
  • Raisins (dry)
  • Watermelon

Vata Pacifying Vegetables

Sweet, moist, and cooked vegetables pacify Vata dosha best. Out-of-balance Vata should avoid dry, rough, and cold vegetables, (most raw vegetables).

A really thorough cooking or a well-spiced, oily dressing can help offset the dry, rough qualities of the foods to limit or avoid.

Foods to Add or Include

  • 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
  • Rutabega
  • Spinach, Cooked
  • Squash, Summer
  • Squash, Winter
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

*Root vegetables are especially beneficial for
grounding and stabilizing Vata types.

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • 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
  • Potatoes, White
  • Radishes
  • Spinach, Raw
  • Sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips

*If you must have a salad, or any Vata-aggravating vegetables, limit the quantities and eat them in the middle of the day, when digestion is stronger.

Vata Pacifying Grains

The grains that pacify Vata dosha are generally sweet and nourishing. They are also easily digested, and well cooked.

Vata should avoid grains that are exceptionally light, dry, rough,
or especially dense and heavy.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Amaranth
  • Durham Flour
  • Oats, Cooked
  • Pancakes
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (all types)
  • Seitan
  • Sprouted Wheat Bread
  • Wheat

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Cereals (cold, dry, or puffed)
  • Corn
  • Couscous
  • Crackers
  • Granola
  • Millet
  • Muesli
  • Oat Bran
  • Oats, Dry
  • Pasta, Wheat
  • Rice Cakes
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Tapioca
  • Wheat Bran
  • Yeasted Bread

Vata Pacifying Legumes

The beans that work best for Vata dosha tend to cook relatively quickly, and are easily digested.

Vata dosha does well with some lentils, but others should be avoided.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Lentils, Red
  • Miso
  • Mung Beans
  • Mung Dal, Split
  • Soy Cheese
  • Soy Milk (served warm)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Soy Meats
  • Tofu (served hot)
  • Toor Dal
  • Urad Dal

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Adzuki Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils, Brown
  • Lima Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Soy Beans
  • Soy Flour
  • Soy Powder
  • Split Peas
  • Tempeh
  • White Beans

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Vata Pacifying Dairy

Try avoiding highly processed dairy preparations (like powdered milk) and cold dairy products.

Almond milk and rice milk are good substitutes for combining milk with other foods.

As a rule, dairy milk (cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, etc.) should be taken at least one hour before or after any other food.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cow’s milk/Goat’s Milk
  • Ghee
  • Ice Cream (in moderation)
  • Sour Cream (in moderation)
  • Yogurt (fresh)

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Powdered Milkhite Beans

Vata Pacifying Nuts & Seeds

A variety of seeds and nuts are pacifying to Vata dosha as long as they are used in moderation.

Nuts and seeds are heavy and should be eaten in small quantities.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Coconut
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Popcorn

Vata Pacifying Meat & Eggs

This dosha can be easily be pacified without animal foods, however, Vata does well with eggs and a variety of different meats.

If you do eat meat, try ones that are nourishing, sweet, moist,
and relatively easy to digest.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Beef
  • Buffalo
  • Chicken (especially dark)
  • Duck
  • Eggs
  • Fish (fresh and saltwater)
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Seafood
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna Fish
  • Turkey (dark)

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Lamb
  • Mutton
  • Pork
  • Venison
  • Turkey (white)

Vata Pacifying Oils

Most oils are beneficial for Vata dosha, but they should be high-quality organic oils.

Sesame oil, almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and ghee are among the best choices for Vata dosha.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Almond Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Ghee
  • Mustard Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sunflower Oil)

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Canola Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Soy Oil

Vata Pacifying Sweeteners

Most sweeteners are good for Vata dosha, but it’s best to avoid large quantities of refined sugar. Vata should prefer sweeteners in their most natural state, especially the ones with warming energy like honey, jaggery, and molasses to help balance Vata’s chilled energy.

Honey should be used in moderation and not heated.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Barley Malt
  • Date Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Fruit Juice Concentrates
  • Honey (raw)
  • Jaggary
  • Maple Syrup (in moderation)
  • Molasses
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sucanat
  • Turbinado

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • White Sugar
  • Honey (heated or cooked)

Vata Pacifying Spices

Most commonly used spices work well with vata, unless your dishes are fiery hot, to begin with.

A variety of spices help Vata dosha with overall digestive strength.

Foods to Add or Include

  • Ajwan
  • Allspice
  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Bay Leaf
  • Black Pepper
  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander (seeds or powder)
  • Cumin (seeds or powder)
  • 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

Foods to Limit or Avoid

  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Fenugreek
  • Horseradish
  • Neem Leaves

Explore Dosha Balancing Recipes

Develop a better relationship with food:
Interested in better nutrition to support and balance your dosha type? Try out simple recipes in the Ayurvedic Nutrition section of our blog!