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Dieting & Recipes

What is the Ayurvedic Diet? Everything You Need to Know

The Ayurvedic diet is part of Ayurvedic medicine, which has been practiced for 1000s of years. Ayurveda focuses on holistic mind and body healing. Let’s dive into the principles of the Ayurvedic diet and how to start. 

What is the Ayurvedic Diet?

The main goal of the Ayurvedic diet is to achieve svasthya — a state of optimal health. 

To get there, you must balance several physical, mental and physiological factors (i.e. strength, metabolism, temperament). 1

Along with lifestyle, certain foods and herbs may help or inhibit svasthya. Ayurveda categorizes people in doshas with specific guidelines for each. 

What dosha am I?

According to the Ayurvedic Institute, there are 3 dosha classifications. Each is a unique mix of general traits and common struggles. 2

  • Vata dosha: Lean or thin build. Usually energetic, talkative and lighthearted. Creative, moody, flexible but possibly indecisive. May struggle with anxiety, mindfulness and motivated by threats. 
  • Pitta dosha: Medium or muscular build. May have great friends but also enemies. Strong-willed and passionate. Often a leader that’s direct and takes charge. May struggle with anxiety, stress, mindfulness and bad mood. 
  • Kapha dosha: Solid or thick build. Calm, easygoing, loving and caring. May be slow to act and react but is very purposeful. May struggle with stress, threats and have less curiosity. 

Benefits of the Ayurvedic Diet

There are several great concepts in the Ayurvedic diet. While it may be hard to follow long-term, here are principles to take away from this diet:

  • Dosha personalization. Individualized diets can help you better achieve your goals and manage chronic disease. 3 You’ll get the most personalization by working 1-on-1 with a Registered Dietitian. 
  • Mindful eating. Mindful eating (AKA intuitive eating) is a specific way to consume your food. It makes you slow down so eating is an “experience.” It can help you enjoy your meal and be satisfied with smaller portions.
  • Plant-based foods. While it’s not a vegan or vegetarian diet, it emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Plant-based diets improve various aspects of chronic disease and their biomarkers. 4
  • Well-studied antioxidants and other compounds. Turmeric, an anti-inflammatory, is often used in Ayurveda. It can support the cardiovascular system, liver, immune system, digestive system and may improve brain function. 5 Turmeric and curcumin may help in arthritis therapy, but larger studies are needed. 6 Pomegranates, another common Ayurvedic food, contain compounds that help reduce oxidative stress and fight inflammation.  

Drawbacks of the Ayurvedic Diet

Even though Ayurveda has been around for centuries, that doesn’t mean it’s totally safe or proven by science. If you’re thinking about starting the Ayurvedic diet, keep these drawbacks in mind:

  • Not a replacement for conventional medicine. While natural healing is paramount in Ayurveda, many holistic methods don’t compare to the effectiveness of modern medicine.  
  • Lacks evidence. More evidence is needed to determine if Ayurvedic dietary guidelines yield significant results. However, one study showed that an Ayurvedic diet and yoga program yielded weight loss in participants. 7  
  • No apparent rhyme or reason. As you’ll see in the dosha food lists below, it’s hard to fully understand why some foods are allowed and others aren’t. This can make it hard for you to learn and master the diet without referencing back to the lists. 
  • Some healthy foods are restricted. When you take a look at the dosha foods, you may be confused as to why some “healthy foods” are not allowed on your dosha. This may limit your options, lead to nutrient deficiencies and make it hard to stick with.

What to Eat on the Ayurvedic Diet

Ayurvedic dieters eat based on their dosha. Below are abbreviated lists of preferred and off-limit Ayurvedic foods, though they’re not based on substantial science. 8

50 Vata Foods to Eat50 Vata Foods to Avoid
Applesauce
Apricot
Asparagus
Avocado
Banana
Beef
Beet (root)
Berries
Black olives
Brazil nuts
Butter
Buttermilk
Carrots
Cashews
Chicken
Cooked apples
Cooked cabbage
Cooked oats
Cooked onions
Cooked peas
Cooked vegetables
Cow milk 
Cucumber
Dark turkey
Eggs
Fennel
Ghee
Goat milk
Green beans
Mayo
Melon
Orange
Peanuts
Pineapple
Plums
Pumpkin
Quinoa
Red lentils
Rice 
Salmon
Seitan
Shrimp
Soft cheese
Sprouted wheat bread
Strawberries
Summer squash
Tuna
Vinegar
Walnuts
Watercress
Artichoke
Barley
Beet greens
Black beans
Black tea
Broccoli
Brown lentils 
Carbonated drinks
Celery
Cereal
Chocolate
Chocolate milk
Coffee
Cold dairy
Cold soy milk 
Couscous
Dried fruits (raisins, prunes)
Dried vegetables
Eggplant
Flaxseed
Frozen vegetables
Hard liquor
Horseradish
Iced tea
Kidney beans
Lamb
Lima beans
Maple syrup
Millet
Pasta
Pears
Peas
Polenta
Pomegranate
Popcorn
Pork
Powdered milk
Raw apples
Raw onion
Raw tomato
Raw vegetables
Red wine
Tempeh
Venison
Watermelon
White sugar
White turkey
Yeast bread
Yerba mate
Yogurt
50 Pitta Foods to Eat50 Pitta Foods to Avoid
Almond milk
Almonds (soaked and peeled)
Applesauce
Avocado
Beer
Berries
Black beans
Cherries
Chicken (white)
Chickpeas
Coconut
Cooked beets
Cooked carrots
Cooked leeks
Couscous
Cow milk
Dates
Egg whites
Figs
Flaxseed
Freshwater fish
Ghee
Goat milk
Granola
Grapes
Leafy greens (kale)
Lettuce
Mung beans
Mushrooms
Pasta
Pomegranate juice
Popcorn (unsalted)
Potatoes
Prunes
Pumpkin
Quinoa
Raisins
Soft cheese
Soy milk
Sprouts
Sunflower seeds
Sweet and bitter vegetables
Sweet apples
Tofu
Unsalted butter
Watermelon
White turkey
White wine (dry)
Yogurt
Zucchini
Almonds (with skin)
Bananas
Beef
Beet greens
Brown rice
Caffeine
Carbonated beverages
Cashews
Chia
Chicken (dark)
Chili pepper
Chocolate
Corn
Dark turkey
Egg yolk
Garlic
Grapefruit
Green chili
Green olives
Hard cheese
Hard liquor
Hazelnuts
Horseradish
Kelp
Ketchup
Lemon
Macadamia
Millet
Miso
Mustard greens
Oats
Pecans
Pickles
Pork
Raw beets
Raw onions
Red wine
Rye
Salmon
Salt
Salted butter
Sesame
Sour apples
Soy sauce
Spinach
Tahini
Tomatoes
Tuna
Vinegar
Yeast bread
50 Kapha Foods to Eat50 Kapha Foods to Avoid
Apples
Apricot
Barley
Basmati rice
Beet greens
Black beans
Buttermilk
Cabbage
Carrot juice
Cauliflower
Cereal
Cherries
Chia
Chicken (white)
Chickpeas
Chili pepper
Cooked tomatoes
Couscous
Cranberries
Dry wine (red or white)
Eggs
Flaxseed
Freshwater fish
Ghee
Goat milk
Granola
Horseradish
Leafy greens (kale)
Lemon and lime
Lentils
Millet
Mung beans
Oats
Onions
Peppers
Polenta
Pomegranate
Prunes
Raisins
Salted popcorn (no butter)
Shrimp
Soy milk
Sprouts
Tapioca
Tofu
Venison
Watercress
White beans
White turkey
Wild rice
Almonds (soaked and peeled)
Avocado
Banana
Beef
Beer
Black walnuts
Brazil nuts
Brown rice
Butter
Caffeinated beverages
Cashews
Chicken (dark)
Chocolate
Coconut
Cow milk
Cucumber
Dark turkey
Dates
Hard liquor
Kidney beans
Kiwi
Lamb
Mayo
Miso
Olives
Orange
Pancakes
Papaya
Peanuts
Pineapple
Pistachios
Plums
Pork
Pumpkin
Raw tomato
Salmon
Salt
Saltwater fish
Sesame
Soy beans
Soy sauce
Sweet potatoes
Sweet wine
Tahini
Tuna
Vinegar
Watermelon
White rice
Yeast bread
Zucchini

How to Eat on the Ayurvedic Diet

A huge practice in Ayurveda is mindfulness. Mindful eating makes you stop, eliminate distractions and enjoy the meal in front of you. Doing this can help you feel more satisfied (even with smaller portions). 

How to practice mindful eating:

  1. Make your meal or snack visually appealing.
  2. Limit all distractions at meal time. No cellphone, TV, driving, eating at your desk… 
  3. Eat seated at a table.
  4. Eat until you’re 80% full. Your stomach is a vessel. Imagine what it would feel like to be 80% full. 
  5. Take your time. Make your meal last 20 minutes from first bite to last. 

It’s really helpful to practice mindful eating with foods you “binge” on. Maybe you overdo it on chocolate, potato chips or French fries. However, mindful eating should be done with all foods on the Ayurvedic diet.

Categories
Dieting & Recipes

How to Juice the Right Way (And 3 Recipes for Beginners)

You’ll find juicing for weight loss and detox juice recipes all over the Internet, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to juice. So when researching how to juice, make sure you follow expert advice.

Yes, you can create healthy juices right at home. Will they detox your system or make you lose weight? Probably not. 

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get benefits from juicing. Let’s walk through how to juice and get started with 3 great recipes! 

What is Juicing?

Juicing is the process of extracting juice and water from fruits and vegetables — even some nuts, seeds, roots, herbs and oats can be juiced too!

Juicers press out the liquid and discard the solids, leaving you with a nutritious, hydrating drink. 

Blending vs. Juicing

Blending in a Nutribullet or blender is not the same as juicing. In fact, the texture, ingredients and nutrition can be very different. 

Blending pros and cons:

  • Less mess than juicing
  • More fiber and nutrition 
  • More ingredient choices 
  • Can be higher in calories
  • May have too many fruit servings

Juicing pros and cons:

  • Can be lower in calories
  • Filled with hydrating fluid
  • Messy and lots of clean up
  • More food waste (pulp and skins)
  • Need extra produce for a single serving

Is juicing healthy?   

The healthiest way to juice is to use it as supplemental nutrition. Along with a healthy diet, juicing can help add to your daily nutrient profile.

A big downside to juicing is that it lacks fiber and other nutrients you’d get from eating whole fruits and vegetables. 

What you don’t want to do is make juicing your sole form of nutrition. You’ll be undernourished, exceptionally hungry… and likely miserable. The bottom line: Juice cleanses are brutal and ineffective. 

Juicing for weight loss

While your friend may swear by a juice cleanse, juicing diets are fads. You may shed pounds temporarily, if at all. Typically, juice diets last a few weeks, and you regain the weight when you return to solids. 

How to juice and lose real weight:

  • Replace your dessert with a low-calorie juice drink
  • Replace commercial juices with your at-home juices
  • Avoid adding sugar, honey or syrup to your blends
  • Drink a large glass of low-calorie juice before eating to fill your stomach
  • Have homemade juice when you’re hungry between meals

Juicing for detox

As long as you’re healthy overall, you detox naturally. Your kidneys, liver, skin, gut and lungs are nature-made detoxers! 

How to support your body’s natural detoxification:

  • Limit alcohol 
  • Get active and sweat
  • Stay hydrated
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet

How to Juice

So here’s the question you’d like answered: how to juice? Juicing is easy if you have the right tools and ingredients. Let’s go step-by-step on how to juice!

Step 1: Get a great juicer.

You can juice manually, but that takes so much time and effort. If you want to get started juicing, invest in an electric juice extractor. 

There are 2 common types of juicers on the market. A centrifugal juicer “spins out” the juice from a fruit or vegetable. A masticating juicer (AKA “cold press juicer”) grinds the produce and strains out the liquid. 

Step 2: Know what you can and can’t put in a juicer. 

Read the manual on your electric juicer so you don’t break it! Here are a few general guidelines for juicing: 

What can you juice? 

For the most part, if it’s a juicy fruit or vegetable, juice it! But, there are some not-so-obvious juicing ingredients too. This is not an exhaustive list. 

Best Fruits for JuicingBest Vegetables for JuicingOther Foods You Can Juice
OrangesBeetsAlmonds (soaked)
PineappleCarrotsOats (soaked)
Lemon and limeCabbageFresh herbs
PapayaDark green leafiesGinger root
Small berriesCucumberTurmeric root
Cherries (pitted)TomatoSweet potato
ApplesCeleryPistachios (soaked)
StrawberriesWheatgrassFennel

What can’t you juice? 

Some things don’t juice well (and can break your juicer). If a food doesn’t have high water content, it likely won’t work. This is not an exhaustive list. 

Foods that Can’t Be Juiced
Banana
Avocado
Coconut oil
Coconut flesh
Rhubarb
Eggplant
Squash
Figs
Dried fruit
Onion
Ice

Step 3: Clean everything.

Clean your juicer, your produce and your hands. Unlike juice you get at a store, your homemade juice won’t be pasteurized. So, if there’s bacteria on your produce or juicer, it’ll end up in your glass. 2 3

Into the juicer:

  • 2 cups Swiss chard
  • 1.5 cups sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1.5 cups papaya chunks

Blend and/or garnish after juicing:

  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½-¾ cup unsweetened almond milk 

#2 No-Grass Green Juice

No need to drink a green juice that tastes like grass! Pineapple, lemon and green apples make this juice super fresh! Dark green leafies like kale are filled with vitamin K, an essential nutrient for healthy blood clotting. 4 

Into the juicer:

  • 2 cups kale
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Blend and/or garnish after juicing:

  • 2 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup coconut water, chilled

#3 Brain Boost Juice

With a light kick of caffeine and brain-boosting blueberries, you’ll get your brain stimulated and ready to take on tough tasks. 5 The chia seeds give you heart healthy omega-3s and gel up in the drink, making it really satisfying. 6  

Into the juicer:

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

Blend and/or garnish after juicing:

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water, chilled
  • 1 cup green tea, chilled

Hope this how to juice guide is helpful. If you want more juicing recipes, check out our top 10 healthy juicing recipes!

Categories
Dieting & Recipes

10 Best, Simple Juicing Recipes You Need to Try Today

Add a blast of nutrition with these easy-to-drink juicing recipes. Their ingredients are backed by science to reduce inflammation, delay disease progression… and may even get you using produce you’d never eat otherwise!

These recipes go perfect with a healthy diet and can help fill some nutritional gaps. Another bonus: Make these juices your dessert to cut back on calories and aid in weight loss. 

Don’t forget to read our post about how to get started juicing! 

10 Delicious Juicing Recipes and the Science Behind Them

Let’s take a look at a rainbow of great juicing recipes. The more colors you add to your diet, the more micronutrition your body can get! 

Recipes make 1 serving of juice. 

Easy Additions to These Juicing Recipes:

  • Water
  • Ice
  • Green or herbal tea (chilled)
  • Coconut water
  • Almond, soy or skim milk 

1. “Blood” Orange Juice

While you could use a blood orange for this recipe, the “blood” part comes from a deep red beet. I don’t really like eating beets by themselves. So, hide a beet in this sweet, fresh juice. 

Recipe:

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 oranges, peeled and pith removed
  • 1 medium beet, scrubbed with top cut off  
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (stir in after juicing) 

Nutrition Highlights:

Beets are notable for vitamin A, K, potassium and magnesium. They may have heart health and blood pressure benefits as well. If you’re an athlete, research shows that beets may improve performance and extend time to exhaustion. 1

The chia seeds give you omega-3 fatty acids for heart health as well as calcium, iron and zinc. 2 Adding chia seeds to your juices gives you protein and fiber — two things to keep you feel full for hours. 

2. Peppy Punch

Wake up with this tangy drink that packs a punch of flavor! It’s great as a morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up with ginger and apple cider vinegar. 

Recipe:

  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup dark greens 
  • Fresh ginger to taste
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar 

Nutrition Highlights:

Pineapple is a great way to get vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights oxidative stress, conducts microbial killing and even regenerates other antioxidants into their active state. 3 Manganese plays a role in metabolism, immunity and elimination of harmful reactive oxygen species. 4

When you take apple cider vinegar regularly, it may help you suppress your appetite. 5Apple cider vinegar gets a lot of attention for weight loss and health, but currently more research and larger studies are needed to confirm these findings. 6

3. Green Garden Juice

This juice blend uses all types of healthy green foods to give it great color. It’s an even mix of fruits and veggies that are loaded with antioxidants.

Recipe:

  • ½ large cucumber
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup baby greens (spinach or kale)
  • ⅛ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp maca powder 
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (stir in after juicing) 

Nutrition Highlights:

Dark green leafies are most notable for their vitamin K content. Vitamin K plays a role in our body’s natural ability to form blood clots. It’s also been an important nutrient against osteoporosis and coronary heart disease in the research. 7

Maca powder is a great way to get more vitamin C, copper and iron. Iron helps make healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen all over the body. When someone is iron deficient (especially women, vegans and vegetarians), their body cannot make enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen. 

4. Bloody Mary Mixup

If you’re a sucker for a Bloody Mary at Sunday brunch, you may love this savory juice recipe. This would make a great mocktail too. 

Recipe:

  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 small beet, scrubbed with top cut off 
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Nutrition Highlights:

Tomatoes contain carotenoids which can help reduce your risk of macular degeneration and certain cancers. These carotenoids work by reducing damage from free radicals. Tomatoes also contain vitamin C, which helps immunity, collagen rebuilding and iron absorption. 8

You might think celery is just a bunch of… nothing. But, it has plenty of nutritional benefits! 9 Celery contains flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. 10

5. Black and Blue Juice

Here’s a nice mix of sweet dark berries and pear. It’s got a touch of sour lemon juice for freshness and pucker. 

Recipe:

  • 1 cup purple cabbage
  • 1 cup purple grapes
  • 1 pear, peeled
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • 1 stalk celery
  • ½ lemon

Nutrition Highlights:

The rich color of purple cabbage proves it’s loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients, particularly anthocyanins. Anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid, may help improve your vascular health. 11

Dark berries — like blueberries — have been shown to slow the rate of cognitive decline. Antioxidants help fight oxidative stress, which can occur in your brain. One study found that those who consumed 1 cup of blueberries daily showed better cognitive function than placebo. 12 

6. Cherry Ginger Juice

Tart, tangy and a little sour. Here’s a super delicious drink to keep it interesting and keep healthy nutrition front of mind. 

Recipe:

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 oranges, peeled and pith removed
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • ½ inch fresh ginger

Nutrition Highlights:

Ginger has been a natural nausea remedy for many years, even for morning sickness. It works on the digestive tract to reduce gas and bloating. If you’re constipated, ginger might help get things moving again.  

Cherries are rich in vitamin C and polyphenols. They may help improve sleep, reduce muscle soreness and decrease oxidative stress, but more research and larger studies are needed. 13

7. Turmeric Twist

This juice drink is exactly what it sounds like. It’s got the anti-inflammatory power of turmeric with lots of citrus juice to make you pucker. Add a little black pepper so you can better absorb the turmeric!

Recipe:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • ½ cup papaya
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ lime
  • ½ inch fresh turmeric
  • Touch of black pepper (for better turmeric absorption)

Nutrition Highlights:

Turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps to encourage antioxidant production. It may also improve brain function and promote a healthy cardiovascular system, liver, immune system and digestive system. 14 Research shows that turmeric and curcumin could be used in therapy for people with arthritis, but larger studies are needed. 15

Papaya is packed with health benefits. Along with a slew of antioxidants, one small study showed that fermented papaya might help reduce oxidative stress in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. 16

8. Sweet Treat

Replace a dessert with this naturally sweet juice blend. You’ll save 100s of calories per meal! 

Recipe:

  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 small pear, peeled
  • ½ small peach
  • 1-2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp shredded coconut (for garnish after juicing)

Nutrition Highlights:

Pears give you a boost of important minerals like copper and potassium. Copper is involved in energy production and iron metabolism. If you have Crohn’s disease, you may be at higher risk of copper inadequacy. 17

Adding a little coconut can give you lots of great micronutrition with vitamins and minerals. Coconut also contains medium-chain triglycerides, which may help you reduce your overall calorie intake. 18

9. Cellular Saver Juice

This mix is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. You’ll get a good amount of fluid from these ingredients, keeping you hydrated. 

Recipe:

  • 1 cup red Swiss chard
  • 1 small beet
  • ½ cup watermelon
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • ½ lemon

Nutrition Highlights:

Pomegranates contain anthocyanins to help reduce oxidative stress and fight inflammation. Pomegranates are also full of antioxidants like vitamin C. 

Compared to other fruits, watermelon has less antioxidant power due to its high water content. But, it’s still a great addition to your healthy juice recipe. It contains vitamin A, C, potassium and other important nutrients.   

10. Summer Fruit Juice

This cool and refreshing drink is perfect for hot summer days. While these fruits may not be your top picks, they’re great in a fresh blend together. 

Recipe:

  • ½ cup cantaloupe
  • ½ cup honeydew
  • 1 small peach 
  • ½ cup blackberries

Nutrition Highlights:

Cantaloupe contains lots of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a nutrient that includes powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene. It helps nourish healthy skin. Vitamin A is also responsible for cell growth and development, immunity and vision. 19

Honeydew is similar to other melons. It’s full of vitamin C and antioxidants like beta-carotene. It also contains potassium. Potassium is a really important mineral for nerve function and muscle contraction. 20 

Before You Juice

While juicing is often used as a way to detox, that actually doesn’t work. Never use juicing as your sole form of nutrition. 

Even the best juices can’t give you all the nutrients you’d get from eating fruits and vegetables whole. 

Juicing can be a supplement to your diet, but talk to your doctor if you take medications like Warfarin or have kidney issues. Big blasts of nutrition from juicing could cause some people more harm than good.