The doshas are biological energies found throughout the human body and mind. They govern all physical and mental processes and provide every living being with an individual blueprint for health and fulfillment. The doshas derive from the Five Elements and their related properties.
Because Kapha is heavy, oily, and cold, favor foods that are light, dry, or warm. Foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes are most beneficial for pacifying Kapha.
Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. It controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind. Since Pitta and Kapha cannot move without it, Vata is considered the leader of the three Ayurvedic Principles in the body.
Pungent, sour, and salty tastes increase pitta, by increasing its hot quality. An example of the pungent taste is chili pepper; of sour: pickles and of salty: salt. Sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes will decrease pitta by providing the opposite qualities to those of pitta.