Ayurveda is based on individualization and not a generalization. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Factors like your inborn constitution, the current state of health and digestion, seasons and emotional state need to be taken into account before having a major dietary change.
Juicing is one such major dietary change. Whether you are planning on a 30-day juice fast and cleanse or just planning to include juice every day, some factors need to be considered. The benefits of juicing have been explained and documented so much so, that is has become a food fad now.
Initially, juicing can be energizing, as it requires less energy to digest. It also has a clearing and lightening effect on your body because of its cleansing properties. The cold nature of juicing also has a cooling effect on the drinker.
But, are these above-mentioned qualities what your body needs? If you constantly feel foggy and congested, you might most likely benefit from juicing. However, if you find that your body is more in need of warming and grounding foods, you need to be careful with juicing.
Juice cleanses are not recommended for Vata dosha people because they tend to have a weak digestive system and raw juices will make them bloated and tired. If you are a Vata type or have been experiencing any digestive issues lately start by eating light meals at the regular times of the day.
Vatas tend to be lean, agile, and energetic, but when out-of-whack, they're particularly prone to quick crashes and anxiety issues. The best juices for Vata are the ones that include fruits and veggies that stave off blood sugar crashes. Like beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, fennel, and cucumber. Dense greens, like cabbage, celery, and kale, on the other hand, are not recommended, in part because they can cause gas (Vatas generally have sensitive digestive systems).
For flavoring, spices like cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric, lemon can help counter the dryness of green juice. People who lean towards a Vata dosha experience dry hair, skin or nail, difficulty with sleep at night and constipation.
Juicing for Vata dosha is only recommended during the warm weather, and only by restricting their juicing to once a day accompanied by two full meals.The fall season is associated with the Vata dosha, due to the constant movement and energy that is characteristic of this dosha.
What you need:
This green juice is filled with warming ingredients alongside high amounts of detoxifying chlorophyll and antioxidants, which can be hard for vatas to absorb when not in juice form. For extra support, try adding warm water to juice, especially as the air begins to dry and cool. (i.e. during fall)
Pitta people cannot tolerate complete fasting because their metabolism is very strong. Juice fasting with cooling and blood purifying vegetables is a good option for Pitta types.
If you are experiencing any kind of inflammation, sweating, anger, heartburn, loose stools or bad breath among other symptoms, your constitution leans towards the Pitta dosha.
The agni or digestive fire (what breaks down our food, according to Ayurveda) is very strong in hot, intense, goal-oriented Pittas. They will be very irritable if they don't eat at regular intervals. Recommended juicing schedule for pitta is to have quinoa or Chia pudding in the morning, followed by two cooling juices between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., with a blended broccoli or zucchini soup for dinner.
Cooling juice would consist of veggies like cucumbers, asparagus, and broccoli, which help lower inflammation during the middle of the day when the digestive fire is strongest. You can also add flavor with spices and herbs such as coriander, cilantro, and cardamom.
Pitta constitution people can benefit through juices due to their cooling effects. However, you still will have to juice in moderation as your metabolism and your digestion is likely to be fast and very good. If you have only liquids, you will quickly end up feeling irritable due to hunger. You can get by comfortably on one big meal with two juices per day. This dosha is most active during the summer.
What you need:
Kaphas are ideal people for fasting and juicing. They can skip one meal or go on a no food for entire day regimen. Kapha types will feel full of energy on juice cleanses.
If your constitution is more of the Kapha dosha, you will mostly be experiencing fluid retention, sinus congestion and constant colds, an uninspired and foggy feeling, oily skin and hair and great difficulty in waking up each morning despite hours of sleep.
You can go on a juice diet for 2 to 5 days, and you will immediately feel the positive effects on your body. Kapha dosha is strongly associated with the early spring and winter seasons, as this energy is introverted and grounded by nature.
Though sweet-by-nature Kaphas are often drawn to equally sweet foods, but they will feel most balanced eating bitter, astringent, and pungent options. Go for cucumber, celery, kale, broccoli, and cilantro blends, as well as sunflower sprouts and pea shoots.
Add flavor with spices like cinnamon, ginger, or cayenne pepper and avoid sweet fruits like pineapple, pear, and mango.
You will need:
Ayurvedic specialists recommend kaphas to try drink large amounts of fruit and vegetable juice that have a slightly more bitter or astringent taste, rather than ones that are overly sweet. This light juice is a great way to stimulate a kapha and help balance natural tendencies to feel lethargic, heavy, tired and a craving for oily foods. The camu camu powder in this recipe is very high in vitamin C, helping to energize the body without the extra sweetness.