For much more on Ayurvedic nutrition, grab a copy of my book In Your Elements on Amazon!
Ayurvedic nutrition has such a different and refreshing lens!
Is there such a thing as "Ayurvedic food"? No. Food is food.
So don't stress about whether food is "Ayurvedic" because there is no such thing. Yay!
What matters is a) the quality of food — is it high quality or low quality and b) are the "tastes" of the food — and whether those tastes balance your dosha.
Having a balance of the six tastes in our diet creates harmony in the body and mind. Each taste contains certain elements (space, air, fire, water, earth), so depending your dosha, there are tastes that will be more balancing for you than others.
The tastes that balance vata are: sweet, sour, salty.
The tastes that balance pitta are: sweet, bitter, astringent.
The tastes that balance kapha are: pungent, bitter, astringent.
Below are some examples of the foods for each taste. If you'd like more details, I dedicate 3 chapters to nutrition in my book In Your Elements.
Sweet: carbohydrates/grains, rice, bread, sweet fruit, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, milk, oils, meats, nuts
Sour: citrus fruits, yogurt, alcohol, vinegar, cheese, tomato, raspberries, strawberries
Salty: all salts; sea, black, rock
Pungent: garlic, onion, ginger, wasabi, black pepper, cloves, cayenne pepper, horseradish, salsa, jalapenos
Bitter: coffee, rhubarb, turmeric, most green and yellow veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, leafy greens, cabbage
Astringent: fruit peels, unripe banana, leafy greens, blueberries, cranberries, beans, legumes, peas, green tea
Vatas need more of the carbs, dairy, fruits and a little meat. Vatas need less vegetables, hot spices and bitter things like coffee.
Pittas need carbs, dairy, sweet fruits, a little meat (non-red) too. But they also need a good amount of greens for the bitter and astringent tastes. A very spicy meal will leave them overheated.
Kaphas do best with spices and a good amount of vegetables/greens to keep them light. Anything too rich, heavy or sweet will leave kapha lethargic and weighted down.
If you don't know your dosha, take the test here. And keep bringing Ayurveda to life!