There are a few ways to enjoy a satisfying breakfast, but if you want to start your day off right it might be worth incorporating some Ayurvedic nutrition tips into the most important meal of the day.
We’ve all been faced with a splendid breakfast buffet at one time or another, tempting you with a massive range of food.
The choice can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to make choices that you – and your stomach – regret later on.
In this article, I’ve provided some ayurvedic breakfast recipes to inspire you, but first let’s have a look at how Ayurvedic eating works.
How Does Ayurvedic Eating Work?
The Ayurvedic diet is a kind of eating plan that provides guidelines for what, how, and when you should eat according to your dosha, i.e. your body type.
Below, you’ll find some of the basic characteristics of each dosha to help you decide what type you relate to most:
- Kapha (Earth & Water): Grounded, loyal, and naturally calm. If you have a kapha dosha you tend to have a stronger frame and may experience issues with asthma, depression, diabetes, or weight gain.
- Pitta (Fire & Water): Decisive, hard-working, and intelligent. This dosha tends to have a medium build, a short temper, and may experience conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and indigestion.
- Vata (Air & Space): Lively, energetic, and creative. Those with a vata dosha tend to be thin and have a light frame. When imbalanced they may experience anxiety, digestive issues, and fatigue.
Ayurvedic eating theorises that your dosha determines what food you should eat in order to achieve inner balance.
For example, the pitta dosha is concerned with energising, cooling foods and avoids nuts, seeds, and spices.
On the other hand, the vata dosha advocates for grounding, most and warm food and advises against bitter herbs, dried fruits, and raw vegetables.
Lastly, the kapha dosha warns against eating heavy foods like nuts, oils and seeds, and instead encourages fruits, legumes, and vegetables.
All three doshas are advised against eating artificial sweeteners, processed foods, and red meat. Rather, healthy whole foods are encouraged.
Examples Of Ayurvedic Foods
Foods are categorised according to their physical qualities in Ayurveda, (see also: 5 Foods To Avoid At Night (According To Ayurveda Diet))as well as how they are believed to impact your body. This helps deduce which ingredients are more effective for the various doshas.
- Dairy: Goat milk, skim milk, and soy milk.
- Fruits: Apples, blueberries, cherries, dried fruit such as figs, prunes, and raisins, pears, and pomegranates.
- Grains: Barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, and rye.
- Herbs and spices: Basil, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, oregano, thyme, and turmeric.
- Legumes: Black beans, lentils, chickpeas, and navy beans.
- Nuts and seeds: Small amounts of flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
- Protein: Egg whites, small amounts of poultry, and seafood.
- Vegetables: Asparagus, leafy greens, mushrooms, okra, onions, potatoes, and radishes.
- Dairy: Butters, ghee, and milk.
- Herbs and spices: Black pepper, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, dill, and turmeric.
- Fruits: Fully ripe, sweet fruits like bananas, mangoes, melons, oranges, pineapples, and pears.
- Grains: Basmati rice, barley, oats, and wheat.
- Legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, and mung beans.
- Nuts and seeds: Coconut, and small amounts of flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
- Protein: Egg whites, small amounts of poultry, and tofu.
- Vegetables: Bitter and sweet veggies such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, leafy greens, squash, sweet potatoes, and zucchini.
- Dairy: Butter, cheese, ghee, milk, and yogurt.
- Fruits: Fully ripe, heavy, sweet fruits like bananas, blueberries, grapefruit, mangoes, peaches, plums, and strawberries.
- Spices and Herbs: Basil, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, ginger, oregano, and thyme.
- Grains: Cooked rice and cooked oats.
- Legumes: Mung beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
- Seeds and nuts: Almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
- Protein: Small amounts of poultry, tofu, and seafood.
- Vegetables: Cooked vegetables such as beets, carrots, green beans, onions, radishes, sweet potatoes, and turnips
Tips For An Ayurvedic Breakfast
Ayurvedic breakfasts tend to be small, and contain warm, light foods, as your main meal is usually eaten at midday.
However, in Western cuisine, breakfasts tend to be big. This can cause problems however, as Agni, the digestive fire, is still weak in the morning.
To avoid the flame going out unnecessarily, we should think carefully about what we’re eating for breakfast. These tips can also be helpful when eating an Ayurvedic breakfast.
- Brush your teeth before breakfast.
- Drink a glass of water with ginger or a glass of hot water as this will stimulate the digestive fire.
- A warm porridge should contain fruits steamed in ghee to reduce their acidity, and also contain honey and nuts if possible.
- If you have a dominant Pitta, is it recommended you eat toast with coconut oil or another plant-based spread.
- You should also consider if you are indeed hungry in the morning. If not, a glass of warm water will do until midday. You should never force yourself to eat breakfast if you are not hungry.
- If you want to mix it up, stir some fresh herbs into some scrambled eggs and veggies.
Ayurvedic Breakfast Recipes
This Ayurvedic drink is made with almonds, cardamom, and dates and is a great breakfast option if you’re feeling sluggish or you ate a heavy meal the night before.
This breakfast dish contains complex carbs, healthy fats, and plant-based protein and not only does it taste good, but it smells heavenly and feels great in your tummy.
You can add a fruit compote or some stewed apples with cardamom and cinnamon to put a seasonal twist on your porridge.
Because Ayurveda doesn’t recommend mixing fruits, I would suggest only making this porridge as an occasional treat.
These waffles also make a delicious brunch dish, and are topped with a tasty tomato spread and cashew chutney.
Stewed apples are an amazing way to stoke your digestive fire. Warm fruits are a lot simpler to digest than cold ones, and fruits such as plums, pears, and apples contain a lot of pectin.
Pectin is a type of fibre, particularly a soluble fibre that promotes good gut health, good bacteria, decreases inflammation, and boosts your immunity. Stewing apples encourages pectin, which is great news for our gut!
Kitchari is a traditional ayurvedic recipe, and is a nutritious porridge containing healing spices, mung beans, rice, and veggies. This recipe encourages good gut health, is an amazing source of fibre, and is packed with flavour.
The Ayurvedic diet is based on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine, which is a form of traditional Indian medicine (see also: Herbal Vs Ayurvedic Medicine – What’s The Difference?)that was established thousands of years ago.
The diet is focused on cutting out particular foods and concentrating on certain foods according to your body type (or dosha) and is believed to encourage mindfulness and improve your physical health.
Still, the Ayurvedic diet isn’t for everyone, as some people find it restrictive, confusing, and based on general assumptions about certain body types and personalities.
However, it is important to keep in mind that while you can follow Ayurvedic guidelines, you are your own individual person and all you need to keep in mind when it comes to a good breakfast, is to eat what makes your body feel good.