In general, people who are Vata dominant should avoid salad or raw vegetables, especially if in an unbalanced, aggravated state. Vatta, unlike Pitta and Kapha, is rough, not smooth. Raw vegetables are also considered rough; they are made “smooth” by cooking. And since like increases like, rough food will, therefore, increase Vata, and in the end aggravate, or vitiate it.
Many raw vegetables are also considered cold in energy. And, as Vatta is cold and rough, irregular, and dry, it needs food that is warm, smooth, regular, and moistening.
In addition, Vatta is pacified by sweet, sour, and salty tastes, and is aggravated by bitter, astringent, and spicy tastes. Many raw veggies are bitter and astringent and are made sweeter and less astringent by cooking.
However, now we are in late Spring, which, like Summer, is governed by Pitta. Its hot and getting hotter. Can a balanced Vatta enjoy an occasional salad in the season dominated by fire? Absolutely. Can a Vatta-Pitta tolerate it even more than a Vatta-Kapha (Pitta is hot and Kapha,like Vatta, cold)? Double absolutely.
Even better: How can we transform a raw salad or raw vegetables into something more tolerable to Vatta? By making it warmer, smoother, more unctuous or moistening, and even more regular. This is not hard to do.
To make raw veggies or salad less Vatta aggravating:
• make a fresh dressing with a warming oil like Olive or Walnut
• use a sweet vinegar like Balsamic
• used a creamy soft white cheese like Bulgarian Feta or creamy Sesame Tahina
• include a few olives, olive paste, or toasted nuts
• use some warming spices like fresh oregano, marjoram, black pepper,
red onion, garlic, ginger
• grate or slice very thinly veggies like cucumber or carrot
• chop veggies into small small regular shaped pieces
• eat them for lunch, when Agni is at its maximum
• chew really well, don’t gobble
Summer Salad for Vata
This is the salad I made yesterday, a nice sunny, hot late May day in San Diego.
Tossed Field Greens
Thin Sliced Japanese Cucumber
Quartered Plum Tomatoes
Hard Boiled Free Range Egg
Toasted Walnut Oil
The dressing was smooth, unctuous (moist)and a little bit sweet. The arugula, while spicy, is also warming. The egg is a bit sweet. Overall this was a fine salad for even a Vata, this time of year. The only caution is for a Vata in a state of imbalance.
Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diegohttp://new.bodymindwellnesscenter.com