Plating happiness
VOGUE India|October 2021
Whether ancient Ayurveda or modern research, food science continues to link eating habits with how we look, move and feel. With expert assistance, Sonal Ved helps you navigate your way to joy
Sonal Ved

When it comes to food and happiness, I know two things: cake makes everyone happy and karela doesn’t. But only if it were that simple. There is a correlation between the food we eat and how it impacts our state of mind. According to an article submitted by The National Centre of Biotechnology Information, researchers have concluded that “healthy food choices such as eating fruits and vegetables have not only physical but also mental health benefits and might be a long-term investment in future well-being.”

You’ll notice how some foods make us feel sluggish, bored and irritated while some uplift, get us moving and feel more joyous. This is said in many ways in Ayurveda, so that’s where we went looking first for more information. In a conversation with Sahara Rose, the author of Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary, Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook, we deep dive into eating for our body type.

VATA

This dosha is about air (ether) energy. The body type here tends to be lightweight. They have dry skin, hair and tongue, a thin body frame, muscles or bones, sometimes they may have rough bumps on the skin, experience callused feet or cracked nails easily and have cold hands or feet. When this dosha is unbalanced, it can lead to a whirlwind of air energy, thereby causing anxiety in the body.

MOOD FOOD

This body type needs grounding and dense foods that will bring down the airiness.

Sweet potato: Nothing grounds you like root vegetables. Sweet potato has qualities that will counteract a Vata’s airiness. It keeps them balanced as their mind continues to indulge with the dreamy wind energy.

Peach: The juicy sweetness of this fruit hydrates the body. Air energy needs ample hydration to feel centred, which in turn dispels that unnecessary anxiety.

Oatmeal: Nothing feels more grounding and like a hug in a bowl than a big scoop of oatmeal. The airy energy of a Vata personality accepts oatmeal-led meals easily; they can digest this ingredient. Oats help them feel comfortable, supported and secured.

Avoid: White sugar or cane syrup, ice cream, frozen yoghurt, salted nuts, barley, beans, raw vegetables (especially broccoli and kale), apples and green bananas.

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