Ayurvedic Body Types

Ayurvedic nutrition is one of the world's oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India.  It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.

Those who practice Ayurveda believe every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.  These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).  Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick -- and the health issues you develop -- are linked to the balance of your doshas.


ELEMENT:  Earth and water

BODY TYPE:  Larger body type, not necessarily overweight, gains weight easily, holds fat and water, strong, great powerful athlete when in shape

CHARACTERISTICS:  Grounded, stable, solid, clear about the ways of the world, sensual, strong sexuality, sense of physicality, steady appetite but not overly strong like Pitta, can miss a meal, slower metabolism, resists exercise and is slower moving, often trying to lighten up (physically and emotionally)

SIGNS OF BALANCE:  Reliable, dependable, calm, peacekeeper, even-tempered, loving, afectionate

SIGNS OF IMBALANCE:  Holds on to emotions, lethargic, sleeping too much, depressed, lack of enthusiasm, feeling dull and sluggish, overweight, congestion

ORGANS TO NOURISH:  Lungs, stomach, body fat, lymphatic system

FOODS TO REDUCE:  High-fat foods, heavy and fatty proteins, dairy, gluten-based grains, red meats, starchy vegetables

FOODS TO INCREASE:  Drying and heating foods, heating and pungent spices for their thermogenic properties, lighter grains, light proteins, vegetables

BENEFICIAL:  Beans, quinoa, spinach, dandelion, salads, cayenne, pepper, ginger, self-acceptance and body-image affirmations, cardiovascular exercises, love the body you have