Vata Dosha Food Plan List

How this food chart is broken down

The Basic ElementsIn Ayurveda, they rarely ever say to never eat something. Instead, they say “try it and see how you feel after”. This food chart is only a rough guide and based more on how Ayurveda tends to classify various ingestible items. Some classifications are slightly different based on who you talk to, and can be based on subtle differences seen in different parts of the world or where something is grown (as where something originates does have subtle influences on it. For example, lavender from the mountains is going to have more Vata qualities, whereas lavender grown in a midwestern field during a drought might have a slightly more heating and drying effects versus the norm).

In each segment (Dairy, Sweeteners, Oils, Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Beans & Legumes, Nuts & Seeds, Meats & FishHerbs (Cooking Spices) & Condiments, Beverages, Alcohol) is broken down into:

  • Favor: these are things you want to incorporate the most of into your diet
  • Reduce or use in Moderation: incorporating some is fine, but not a lot. Maybe having once a week, or once every other week
  • Avoid/Aggravating: best not to have, or maybe very rarely, like once every few weeks or once a month. You might need to do some things to counterbalance its effects on the system

Additionally, behind most items, I’ve added some notes as there are some people who are dual or tri-dosha, or they might want to incorporate more foods that are also better for a specific season, or they might have some “excesses” that they are working on or trying to address.

  • V = Vata, P = Pitta, K = Kapha,
  • ama = subtle toxic buildup,
  • “+ in excess” means if you overdo something it can throw it out of balance
  • + means it increases (may aggravate), – means it decreases (or pacifies), = means it is generally neutral or balancing
  • I.E.: P- VK+ means Pitta balancing or reducing, increases Vata and Kapha



FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Whole Cows Milk (VP- K+)Goat Milk (K- VP+)
Ghee (Clarified Butter) (VP- K+ mildly)Ice Cream, preferably softened (P- VK+, ama+)
Butter, unsalted (VP- K+)
Sweet Yogurt (VP- K+, has B9, K, Calcium)
Cottage Cheese (VPK=)
Soft Cheeses (VP- K+)
Heavy Cream (VP- K+)
Sour Yogurt (V- PK+ ama+, has B9, K, Calcium)
Very Sour Yogurt (V- PK+ ama+)
Hard Cheeses (V- PK+)
Kefir (V- PK+)
Sour Cream (V- P+, ++in excess, K+)
Buttermilk (V- PK+)

*Note: Dairy is beneficial for the most part for Vata Dosha, though it is harder to digest, so digestive herbs tend to be beneficial.



FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Jaggery, Guda (V- PK+)Beet Sugar
Cane Sugar (VP- K+)Corn Sugars
Maple Sugar (VP- K+)Processed Sugars (VPK+, aggravating)
Fruit Sugars (VP- K+)
Lactose / Milk Sugar
Maltose/Malt Syrup
Brown Sugar
Honey (VK- P+)
Molasses (V- PK+)

*Sweet is grounding, hence beneficial for Vata Dosha.



FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Sunflower (VPK=)Corn (VPK+)Neem Oil (PK- V++)
Almond (VPK+)Margarine (depends on vegetable oil used)
HempCoconut (VP- K+ in excess)
Evening Primrose
Olive (VP- K+)
Soy (PK- V+)
Avocado (VP – K+)
Castor (VP – K+ in excess)
Safflower (V- P+ K= mildly)
Sesame (V- PK+, sattwic)*
Mustard (VK- P+)
Canola (VK- P+)
Peanut (V- PK+)
Flaxseed/Linseed (VK- P+, K+ in excess)
Ghee (Clarified Butter) (VP- K+ mildly)

* Oil = Most oils are good for Vata. Sesame, Olive, and Almond oils are most beneficial (generally). Neem can be very aggravating, so only use in extreme moderation (as it is good during summer months). While Coconut Oil is technically beneficial, it is a cooling oil, and normally used in Pitta season then for short periods of time.



FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
White Rice (VPK=, K+ in excess, sattwic – preferably Basmati/easiest to digest)Rye (PK- V+, can ferment)White Wheat/Gluten Flour (PK+ ama+)
Oats (VP- K+) *cooked, not dryMillet (K- VP+ mildly)Bleached/Refined Rice (K+, ama+)
Wheat (VPK+, sweet & astringent)Sweet Corn (K- VP+ in excess)
Brown Rice (V- PK+)Blue Corn (K- VP+, better for Pitta)
Barley (PK- V+)
Buckwheat (K- VP+)
Oats (P- VK+) *as dry

*Note: Pasta eaten without protein is said to increase serotonin in the brain and is linked to calmness and cheerfulness.



FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
most Sweet or Sour, Ripe FruitsGuava, unripeDry Fruits
Strawberries (VP- K, K+ in excess)Apples (PK-, V+ in excess, if cooked with cinnamon then V=)
CoconutPomegranates (PK- V+, P+ sour)
Grapes (V- PK+, though great for thirst, red/black better for Pitta)Pears (PK- V+ unless baked, K+ sweet)
Cherries, sweet (V- K+, P+ in excess)Cranberries (V+, PK-)
Cherries, sour (VK- P+)*Note: Fruits OK if cooked!
Melons (P- K+, V+ in excess)
Mangoes, yellow/ripe (VP- K+)
Raspberries (PK- V+)
Blackberries (PK- V+)
Blueberries (PK- V+)
Guava, sweat/ripened
Tangerine/Mandarin Orange (VP- K+, P+ in excess)
Pineapples, ripe/sweet (VP- K+)
Pineapples, unripe/sour (V- PK+)
Plums, sweet (VP- K+)
Plums, sour (V- PK+)
Avocado (VP- K+)
Figs (VP- K+)
Bananas, unripe (PK- V+)
Dates (VP- K+ in excess, dry V-)
Lime (VP+ in excess, K+)
Apricots (VK- P+ in excess)
Most Fruit Juices, sweet (P-, KV+)
Bitter Melon (PK- V+)
Aloe Vera Juice or Gel/Meat (PK- V+)
Lemons (V- P+ in excess, K- fat, K+ plasma)
Pineapples, juice (V- PK+)
Grapefruit (V- P+ K=, or K+)
Peaches (V- or V+ PK+, 1 peach daily K-)
Bananas (V- K+, P+ in excess)
Mangoes, green/unripe (VK- P+, except in chutney)
Oranges (V- K+ P+ in excess)
Papayas (V- PK+, P+ in excess)

*Notes: Normally, fruits should be eaten by themselves or as a snack, though can be eaten with grains, especially rice. Best time to eat fruit is in the afternoon. In the morning increases Kapha more. If you’ve eaten too much fruit, try warming sweet spices like ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, or nutmeg.



FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Asparagus (VPK=)Sweet Bell Peppers (K- VP+, nightshade)Mushrooms (PKV+, ama+)
Cucumber (VK+ P-)Artichoke, Jerusalem (PKV+)Kale (V+ PK-)
Beets (V- PK+ in excess)Mung dahl bean sprouts (PKV+ in excess)Cabbage (PK- V+)
Sweet Potatoes/Yams (VPK-, PK+ in excess)Burdock Root (PK- V+)
Sweet Corn (K- VP+ in excess)Brussel Sprouts (PK- V+)
Mustard Greens (VK- P+)Potatoes (PK-, V+, P+ in excess-nightshade, K+ in evening, for V, use ghee/butter)
Pumpkins (P- VK+)Spinach (K- VP+)
Rutabaga (VPK=)Turnips (K- VP+)
Eggplant (VK- unless long then VK+, P+)Watercress (K- VP+)
Radishes (V-, PK+)Garlic (VK- P+)
Beet, juice (PK aggravating) Onion (VK- P+)
Okra (VPK=) Tomatoes (VPK+, steamed, VK-P+, VPK= with cumin, turmeric, and mustard but only on occasional ingestion)
Zucchini & Yellow Squash (VP- K+, V+ in excess) Artichoke (PK- V+)
Peas (PK- V+, Sweet Peas VP- K+) Green Leafy Vegetables/Lettuce (PK- V+)
Green Beans (PK- V+ in excess) Arugula (PK- V+)
Hot, Red, or Chili Peppers (VK- P+) Broccoli (PK- V+)
Avocado (VP- K+) Cauliflower (PK- V+)
Carrots (VP- K+, P+ in excess, V+ juice) Celery (PK- V+)
Summer/Acorn Squash (VPK=, winter VPK+)
Seaweed (VPK=, VP- K+ in excess)
Cilantro (VPK=, V+ in excess)
Parsley (VPK=, P+ in excess)

*Vegetables should be cooked or steamed with oil and a little bit of salt, especially the ones in the moderate column (which are generally ok when cooked or steamed).


Beans & Legumes

FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Mung Dahl (VPK=, VK+ in excess)Soy (PK- V+) – females (phytoestrogens, endocrine disruption)Soy (PK- V+) – males (phytoestrogens, endocrine disruption)
Lentils, pinkNavy (PK- V+)Peanuts (VPK+)
Chickpeas/Garbanzo (PK- V+, easy to digest)Kidney (PK- V+)Lima Beans (PK- V+)
Tofu (small amounts)Tofu (VP- K+) (phytoestrogens, endocrine disruption)
Lentils (K- VP+, high in uric acid)
Green Peas (PK- V+)
Split Peas (PK- V+)


Nuts & Seeds

FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Sunflower (VPK=)Cashews (VPK+)
Coconut (VP- K+)Lotus Seeds (P- VK+ ama+)
Flaxseed/Linseed (VP-, K+ in excess)
Macadamia (V- PK+)
Psyllium (VPK=)
Pumpkin Seed (PK- V+ in excess)
Pinon (V- PK+)
Brazil Nuts (V- P+ K++)
Hazelnut (V- PK+)
Pecan (V- PK+)
Pistachio (V- PK+)
Sesame Seeds (V- PK+)
Walnuts (V- PK+)
Almonds (VPK+, soak overnight preferred)

*Note: While the oiliness in the Nuts can be good for Vata, better in the Fall and Winter, and better at controlling the Vata (air) that can stoke the fire to burn hotter or to cool it. Unroasted and soaked overnight is better for Vata. Normally best to avoid during the spring (increases Kapha which can block the flow/proper disbursement of Vata) and summer months (can increase Pitta). Best eaten in smaller amounts.


Meat & Fish

FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Chicken (V- PK+)Pork  (VPK+, clogs subtle channels)Bacon (VPK+, P++)
Turkey (V- PK+)Beef (V- PK+, aggravates toxic blood)Animal Oils/Fats (PK+, ama+, toxic blood)
Venison (V- PK+)Lard (V- PK+, ama ++)
Freshwater Fish (VPK=, PK+ in excess, Trout is best)Lamb (VPK+, and never with garlic)
Egg Whites (VPK=)
Duck (V- PK+, harder to digest)
Egg Yolk (V- PK+)
Ocean Fish (V- PK+)

*All meat in smaller quantities as it is harder to digest, and Vata has the weakest digestive system.


Herbs (Cooking Spices) & Condiments

FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Salt (V- PK+) -> good for electrolyte balance & help maintain hydration when used in moderationMilk ChocolateDark Chocolate
Cardamom (VK-, P+ in excess), in hot monthsPoppy Seeds (VP+ K-)
Cinnamon (VK- P+), in cold monthsMarjoram (VPK+)
Clove (VK- P+, V+ in excess)Oregano (VPK+)
Asafoetida/Hing (P+ VK-)Most Fermented Foods
Cumin (VPK=)Coriander Seed (PK= V+)
Fennel (VPK=)Nettle (PK-, V+ in excess)
Turmeric (PK-, V+ in excess)Horseradish (VP+ K-)
Dill (VPK=)
Saffron (VPK=)
Black Pepper (VK- P+)ॐ , in moderation
Bay Leaves (VK- P+)
Sage (VK- P+)
Licorice (VP- K+)
Hibiscus (P – VK=)
Ginger, wet (VK- P+), less aggravating
Ginger with Rock Candy (P-)
Ginger, dry (VK- P+)
Rose (VP- K+)
Sarsaparilla (P- VK=)
Tulsi (VK-, P+ in excess)
Thyme (VK- P+)
Garlic (VK- P+)
most Spicy things
Vinegar (V- PK+)
Cayenne (VK- P+)
Sour Salad Dressings
Fenugreek (VK- P+)
Catsup / Ketchup
Mints, Peppermint, Spearmint, etc (VPK=, V+ in excess)

Note: Herbs and spices should be used in smaller quantities in regards to Vata even though herbs & spices tend to normally be heating, which is generally good for Vata Dosha. Wet or even fresh herbs are better for Vata, while Dry Herbs have stronger Vata increasing qualities. Also, herbs are great for helping to aid in the digestive capacity, which is often weaker for Vata individuals.



FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Water, room temp, slightly warm, or even hotSoda (because normally ingested cold, natural sweet/cane sugar sodas better)Soda with corn products
Whole Cows Milk (VP- K+) (digestive herbs/spices can be beneficial)Coffee (antidote with cardamom & add jaggery and cream)Tomato Juice (P+, blood aggravating)
Carrot Juice (VP- K+) – tends to be very sweetGoat Milk (K- VP+)
Heavy Cream (VP- K+)Coconut Water
*Herbal Teas – check herbs usedCranberry Juice (PK- V+)
 Mineral Water (because the bubbles)
 Wheat Grass Juice (PK- V+)


Alcohol (overall VPK+)

FavorReduced or use in ModerationAvoid/Aggravating
Sweet White or Blush WinesSweet Red Wines (Fall/Winter)Dry Red or Dry White Wines
Fruity Mixed CocktailsRums (the herbs used can aggravate or balance Pitta)Champagne and bubbly alcohols
Sangria (more Fall/Winter if using Red Wine)TequilaVodka made from corn or potatoes (potatoes are a nightshade)
Pina Colada (with sugar)
AVIV Vodka (made from fruits, and other awesome stuff)
Meads (Honey Wine)

*While technically alcohol does aggravate all the doshas, there are better alcohols versus others for each of the doshas. Alcohol is best consumed during a celebration or joyous occasion. Also, check out the Grain section above. Issues with alcohol, try chewing cardamom or cumin seeds. Also, Pineapple juice is nice for antidoting or reducing the effects of alcohol.

One thought on “Vata Dosha Food Plan List

TCM Healing Secrets
TCM Healing Secrets says:

Valuable Post !

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