What Is The Ayurvedic Diet?

What's the healthiest food to eat? Well, if you're on the Ayurvedic diet, the answer is "it depends." Unlike most mainstream diet trends, the Ayurvedic diet makes recommendations on what you should eat more (or less) of based on your specific body type, personality, emotional health, and even the weather (via Healthline).

In Ayurveda, each season corresponds to a different dosha, or constitution (via Yoga International). There are three primary dosha types: vata, pitta, and kapha. Vata is associated with cold, movement, and dryness, and covers late fall through the winter. Kapha is slow, oily, and heavy — think of the mud as the snow melts in early spring. Pitta is hot, humid, and intense, like the heat of the summer.

According to the California College of Ayurveda, the Ayurvedic diet is based around the idea that "like increases like." In order to balance an excess in the body, mind, or environment, you consume less of that element. Many of us instinctually gravitate towards this concept. For example, you're not likely to crave cold foods and beverages if you're already feeling cold or tense.

Your body type and the season tell you what to eat

Each person has a dosha type, which determines what they should make the basis of their diet. According to The Ayurvedic Institute, vata types should avoid dried, bitter, raw, or cold foods, favoring those that are warm, cooked, and spiced. Pitta should avoid anything hot or sour, and should eat sweet or bitter foods along with rice and grains. Kapha types should limit their consumption of watery, sweet, or heavy foods, and keep their diets light, free of salts, and vegetable-based. The same eating recommendations apply to the corresponding seasons, as well. You'll want to avoid dried, cold foods in winter (vata season) and eat lighter meals in kapha and pitta season (spring and summer). If you have an imbalance in your doshas, try eating the opposite to bring yourself back into balance.

You can take a quiz to find out your dosha, along with specific recommendations, on the Banyan Botanicals website.