Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term that is composed of two word Ayus+Veda. Ayu means Life and Veda means Knowledge.
So the literal meaning of Ayurveda is Science/Knowledge of Life.
According to Ayurveda, everyone is unique in their composition of both the physical body, as well as the more subtle realm of the mind and emotions.
Ayurveda believes that our individuality comes from a unique combination of three basic operating principles, known as 'Doshas'. These principles can be found not only in our own human body, but also in every realm of the natural world.
The doshas, or operating principals, are known as vata (Space and air), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth).
While people have some of each dosha, most of us tend to have an abundance of one or a predominant combination of two.
Vata (Space and Air):
Vata types tend to be connected to space and air. Vata tendencies are dryness, quickness, high creativity, unpredictable movements and nervousness. This dosha is also associated with dryness, coolness. People of a more vata constitution are often capable writers, painters and creative thinkers.
Pitta(Fire and Water):
Pitta people have the tendency of being more fiery and determined. They tend to have strong leadership quality, willpower, and when out of balance, anger and violence. The Pitta dosha also governs all heat processes in the body, such metabolism and transformation of food into assimilated nutrients. People of a more pitta constitution are often capable leaders and focused business men/women.
Kapha (Water and Earth):
Kapha types are a combination of earth and water. These individuals tend to move slowly and surely. Kapha people are both stable and loyal. Kapha is also associated with containment and calmness. People of a more kapha constitution are often wonderful social workers and group formers.
Ayurveda says your health is directly dependent on the balance of these three doshas. This is the most important aspect of planning diets.