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: Fire and water

BODY TYPE:  Medium body frame, well-proportioned, prone toward muscularity, easily overheated

CHARACTERISTICS:  Type A personalities, compelled to accomplish things, focused, organized, never misses meals and can be cranky if a meal is skipped (has a strong metabolism), workaholic, doesn’t do well in hot, humid climates, sassy, creates problems that don’t really exist when feeling too balanced, needs to eat often

SIGNS OF BALANCE: Productive, get-it-done person, organized, has a capacity to work until they drop, energized, enthusiastic, quick but sharper than Vatta

SIGNS OF IMBALANCE: Easily agitated under stress, irritable, overly competitive and other heat-associated conditions, diarrhea, skin rashes, burning eyes, increased appetite, perspiration, over-working

ORGANS TO NOURISH: Liver, gallbladder, spleen, small intestine, blood, eyes

FOODS TO REDUCE: Excessive spices that are too heating, red meat

FOODS TO INCREASE: Sweet and bitter foods, cooling and astringent, sweet-tasting spices (cardamom, fennel), protein

BENEFICIAL: Peppermint tea, fresh lime, lighter proteins (chicken and fish), dark leafy greens (bitter and cooling), sweet vegetables, calming and relaxing physical exercise, Pilates, gentle relationships