Ayurveda states that certain tastes can either raise of lower a dosha. For instance if you are a hot person it is beneficial to eat cooling foods. Certain foods can stimulate your digestive fire (agni) and others can cool your agni.
Foods also have an after taste or affect that can be different from the initial taste, often not what you would expect. For instance yoghurt is sweet but the after affect is heating, so therefore not advisable for a Pita constitution as it increases heat.
Depending on your imbalance you are either wanting to raise or lower your dosha. Most commonly you need to lower your dosha to bring your body back into balance.
Nutrition from an Ayurvedic perspective
The ancients offered principles about a healthy diet and how it is to be eaten.
- Food needs to be hot (usually cooked)
- Food needs to be tasty and easy to digest
- Food needs to be eaten in the proper amounts, not too much or too little
- Food needs to be eaten on an empty stomach, after your last mean has been digested, not before
- Combining foods need to work together and not contradict one another in their actions
- Foods need to be eaten in pleasant surroundings
- Eating should not be rushed or a long drawn out affair
- It is best to focus on your food while eating and limit talking to prevent air intake (gas)
- Only eat food that is nourishing to your particular constitution and suits your mental and emotional temperament