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V Gut/Brain Diet

  1. Favor foods that have a sweet, sour, or salty taste.
  2. Avoid foods that have a pungent, bitter, or astringent taste, because these can aggravate and imbalance a V Gut.
  3. Favor warm, heavy foods because they’re easier to digest and assimilate, and help to sooth, balance your Gut.
  4. Avoid light, dry, and cold foods.
  5. Use oils frequently and generously. Butter, especially clarified butter or ghee, and olive oil, are very good.
  6. Sip hot water throughout the day to promote natural detoxing and improve digestion.
  7. An ideal breakfast for a V Gut is cooked cereal with roasted nuts and a little fruit. If you’re gluten intolerant, pick appropriate non-gluten grains.
  8. Roasted nuts and seeds are good, especially almonds. It’s best not to eat raw nuts, but we can only do what we can do. Roasting nuts helps their digestion and assimilation. Ayurveda recommends first soaking them overnight and then roasting.
  9. All organic dairy products are highly recommended for a V Gut.
  10. A modest amount of any natural sweetener helps to calm a V Gut. Coconut sugar is especially good.
  11. Hot cooked food is better for a V Gut than cold or uncooked food. Warm or hot cooked food is more balancing and stabilizing, and much easier to digest! Small leafy salads, however, are OK.
  12. Favor rice, and if you can tolerate  gluten, wheat, and oats (cooked, not dry).
  13. Eating fresh corn in season is fine! Otherwise, not so much.
  14. Reduce your intake of millet, barley, buckwheat, and rye.
  15. A V Gut is vulnerable to excess gas, so reduce the intake of all bean products accordingly. (Tofu is hard to digest. But if you love it, then take small amounts, and only if it’s VERY fresh.)
  16. Fruits should be very ripe, sweet, and juicy! (Fruit is most easily digested when it’s lightly stewed or sautéed.)
  17. For non-vegetarians, favor fresh organic chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
  18. Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, and other caffeine-laden beverages. Try to cool it on the alcohol.
  19. If you’ve been using skim milk to reduce your fat intake, Ayurvedic doctors recommend that you buy whole organic milk and dilute it with purified water. This will reduce your fat intake, but ensure that you benefit from the important synergistic value of all the nutrients in the milk.
  20. If you’re not sleeping well,  cook a cup of whole milk for about several minutes (ideally, bring it to a boil four times). While the milk is cooking, add cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coconut sugar, to taste. Drink while it’s still nicely warm, but not too hot. If you find that the milk clogs you up overnight, then add a little powdered ginger to the mix. (Too much ginger can be over stimulating and keep you up, or give you a stomach ache.).

Favor: asparagus, artichokes, beets, carrots, green beans, okra, sweet potatoes, turnips
Acceptable when cooked with oil: broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, celery, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, peppers (not green), peas, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini
Reduce/Avoid: cabbage, sprouts, raw vegetables.

Favor: apricots, avocado, bananas, berries, cherries, dates, figs, mangoes, melons, nectarines, papaya, peaches, pineapple, plums
Reduce/Avoid: apples, cranberries, pears, pomegranates, uncooked dried fruits.

Most spices are good in moderation, with a strong emphasis on sweet and/or heating herbs and spices such as: anise, basil, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, clove, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, licorice root, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme. Allspice, anise, asafetida, bay leaf, caraway, juniper berries, mace, and mustard can be used with discretion. Use black pepper sparingly. And minimize or eliminate all bitter and astringent spices.