The Ayurvedic reason you might be craving sugar

I’ve shared on oodles of occasions how Ayurvedic healing is, in my opinion, the most grounded wellness approach around. You can catch up on my previous posts here and find out which dosha you are here. And if you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know my dosha is, yeah, vata. I’m a poster child for the category!

If you’re not vata yourself read on anyway, because vata energy actually controls all the doshas – if your vata is out of whack, all the doshas become unbalanced.

Photo by Ceppas Photography
Photo by Ceppas Photography

The thing is, Vatas need “sweet” foods

Vata energy actually needs sweetness to balance and pacify. This is because the energy in vata comes in bursts, so calls for energy stabilisation after a burst. Which is why vata types crave sugar. Because it’s sweet, yes, but also because it’s a stimulant. And for vata types – which sees energy move through our bodies and minds like wind through a tunnel – we feel we need those stimulants to replace the lost energy.

Where does this leave things? We need “sweet” foods, but sugar is surely an issue? I asked Ayurvedic consultant Nadia Marshall to share some of her tips and tricks on the topic. Nadia is director of The Mudita Institute near Byron Bay. She lives and breathes this stuff. 

So what does Ayurveda have to say about sugar?

Nadia deals it straight: From an Ayurvedic perspective, refined sugars are considered both stale and over-stimulating. They are difficult to digest so can create disturbance and waste in the body (known as “Ama” in Ayurveda and considered to be the root cause of all disease). Refined sugars actually aggravate vata but also kapha, leading to fluid retention, weight gain, mental agitation or dullness (or both… swinging between the two) and physical exhaustion. They also weaken the pancreas and the liver, which in turn can aggravate pitta in the body.

Refined sugars produce the disease-causing agents in the body and mind, simultaneously weakening the immune system.

So what to eat to pacify vata if you don’t eat sugar?

Set us straight Nadia:

1. Go for warm and slightly oily foods. Eating foods cooked with warming spices (turmeric,

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