Cold season is here and the quest for efficient ways to lose weight is ongoing. Ayurveda can help with weight loss. In Ayurveda a person is seen as a unique individual made up of all the five primary elements. The five elements are: ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. If one looks at nature we find that this too is made up of these five elements: water, land (earth), surrounded by air and space (a vacuum) and fire (from the sun).This is why we are considered part of the cosmic nature of life.
The food we eat and the weather around us are two examples of these elements. Though we are made up of these five elements, certain elements have an ability to mix together to create various physiological functions. Ether and air combine to form an energy that is known in Ayurveda as the Vata energy or dosha. Vata is responsible for the principle of movement. It can be seen as the force, which directs nerve impulses, blood circulation, respiration (breathing), and elimination (of waste). When fire and water elements combine they form the Pitta dosha or energy. This dosha is responsible for the process of transformation or metabolism- breaking down of food into nutrients for example.
Pitta energy is also responsible for metabolism in the organs, tissue systems and cellular metabolism, premature hair loss and hair thinning. When the elements water and earth combine they form the kapha dosha. Kapha energy is responsible for growth and protection – stomach mucosal lining and cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column are all types of Kapha energy. Although each of us have all the three doshas or energies – the ratios of the doshas vary in each individual. This makes us all unique. When any of the doshas (vata, pitta or kapha) accumulate in excess of our “norm” we need to reduce the dosha that has become excessive. Herbal supplements may accelerate the process of removing these toxins. Excess pitta energy in the sebaceous gland, at the root of the hair, or folliculitis can make the person start losing hair. We need to reduce or pacify the pitta energy.
How many different tastes of foods are there and should we have them all in our diet?
Weight loss in mind or just healthy living, the answer is yes whilst attempting to reduce the pitta energy. Try a diet which has:
• Sweet – wheat, milk, dates, rice.
• Sour – yoghurt, tamarind, lemon.
• Salty – salt, kelp.
• Pungent – onion, radish, chilly.
• Bitter – bitter melon, rhubarb root. Astringent – pomegranate, apples.
Which foods should be avoided as they increase pitta energy in the body?
Excessive intake of tea, coffee, salt, alcohol, meats (particularly red), pickles, yoghurt, cheese and excessive smoking will not help your struggle with weight loss. Eating too many fried, oily, greasy, spicy, sour and acidic foods also aggravates pitta. To counteract pitta energy your diet should contain more green leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts.* Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, cereals, yeast, wheat germ, soybean and vitamin A.* Take cool or warm but not steaming hot foods* Bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes
* Use less butter and added fat. Consume food with moderately heavy textures.
The Pitta energy or dosha is characterized by fire or heat- so eating cooling foods would be more beneficial. For a list of Pitta reducing food get our Book Hair Today Hair Tomorrow