They say “you are what you eat,” and this is especially true if you’re trying to live an Ayurvedic lifestyle. A key tenet of Ayurveda is the practice of using your diet to balance the energy within your body. While you should consult a professional to understand your personal dosha and needs, we’ve identified some Ayurvedic foods to ease anxiety.
Before we get into the list, it’s important to understand a little about each dosha and which foods are generally supposed to be favored or avoided.
- Vata (air and space): Creative, energetic, expressive, light, cold, rough. This dosha sometimes faces fatigue and digestive issues. It should favor hearty, warm foods and limit raw vegetables and dried fruits.
- Pitta (fire and water): Intelligent, driven, sharp, hot, decisive. This dosha may suffer from indigestion or high blood pressure. It should favor cool foods like certain fruits and vegetables, and avoid spices, nuts, and beef.
- Kapha (earth and water): Grounded, calm, loving, lethargic, loyal. This dosha may struggle with depression and weight gain. It should favor lighter foods like fruits and vegetables, and avoid heavy foods like oils, seeds, and nuts.
Now that you understand a little about the types of food each dosha requires, read on below to discover our list of scientifically-backed Ayurvedic foods to ease anxiety.
Foods to Ease Anxiety for Vata Doshas
Vata doshas need warm, grounding foods to help balance their energy. With this in mind, those with this dosha should try the following foods to help them deal with anxiety.
Salmon: This fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acid, which has been linked to improved cognitive function and better mental health. It also contains Vitamin D, which some research suggests can improve mood and help fight depression. Sardines also provide similar benefits to salmon.
Oatmeal: While Vatas should avoid uncooked oats, warm oatmeal might be just the thing to lift their spirits. This complex carbohydrate slowly releases a steady flow of energy into the body, and can also boost serotonin.
Pumpkin seeds: A great source of potassium, pumpkin seeds can help manage blood pressure and regulate electrolytes. Science suggests that eating potassium-rich foods can reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
Foods to Ease Anxiety for Pitta Doshas
Pitta doshas are known for being fiery and hot, so with this in mind Pittas should target light, cooling foods to help balance their energy.
Oranges (sweet): For fiery Pittas, a cool, sweet orange full of Vitamin C may help reduce anxiety. Studies suggest that a diet rich in Vitamin C can improve your mood and help you stay calm.
Spinach (raw): While Pittas should avoid cooked spinach, leafy greens are generally recommended for this dosha. Raw spinach and kale are both high in magnesium, which can help you feel calmer and balance your mood.
Chamomile tea: Many people espouse the benefits of tea, and chamomile in particular is known for its calming properties. It is used as an herbal remedy thanks to its antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. While it can’t prevent new episodes of anxiety, it can be safely used to manage your symptoms in high doses.
Foods to Ease Anxiety for Kapha Doshas
While Kapha doshas should avoid heavy, grounding foods, there are plenty of light fruits and vegetables that can be used to manage anxiety.
Berries: Long-touted as a “superfood,” blueberries in particular are known for their antioxidant properties. Strawberries and blackberries are also high in antioxidants, which can protect your cells against stress and improve your mood.
Sauerkraut: This pungent, fermented cabbage is bursting with good bacteria, Vitamins C and B, and folic acid. The good bacteria promote gut health and also encourage serotonin production in the brain. Kaphas should be sure to eat it raw.
Turmeric: Generally speaking, all spices are good for Kaphas, but turmeric in particular is packed with curcumin. Curcumin can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, the latter of which may be experienced by people with mood disorders. Its light flavor means turmeric can easily be added to many dishes.
Eat Your Way to Peace
Hopefully the above list will give you some ideas about Ayurvedic foods to ease anxiety for your specific dosha. If you find yourself struggling with digestion in general, YouVeda’s doctor-formulated My Healthy Digestion supplement can support healthy gut function and a healthy liver. It contains an organic blend of turmeric/curcumin, triphala, tinospora, licorice root, and more Ayurvedic herbs, and can help balance Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas.
Author: Alexandria Baker- Youveda Wellness Contributor