Kapha Balancing Diet
THE BEST FOODS FOR:
Kapha Season – Spring
Manda Agni = Slow Digestive Fire
Pungent, Bitter and Astringent Taste
Sweet, Salty, and Sour Taste
Kapha qualities are: moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, sticky
Kapha balancing foods are: light, dry, warming and stimulating
Kapha shows up mainly in the late winter and spring time. It can also be seen whenever we have excess weight, water, or mucous in the body or a heavy, lethargic, slow or dull mental/emotional state. Or a weak, slow digestive fire. In the spring we see it as the melting snow, heavy rains, flowing rivers, wet thick muddy earth, and dense cloudy skies. This is also time for the body to clear out and cleanse from the heavier winter foods. To reduce or balance the kapha, we can bring in more heat, invigoration, and lightness.
The light spring greens – the sprouts, shoots, and bitter berries that nature provides are the perfect antidote to heavy, thick, cloudy kapha and burning off the winter weight. Bitter and astringent tastes have a reducing effect on the body. They will pull the weight, mucus, and heaviness out of the tissues while naturally detoxifying. Astringent includes beans and legumes, fruits like pomegranate or berries, some spices like turmeric, and many vegetables. All vegetables in general are good for kapha. It’s even better to prepare them roasted, baked or grilled and well spiced. This creates more of a lightening, drying effect.
Hot, clear, brothy soups are really great. More spices – black pepper, basil, cayenne, clove, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, mustard, turmeric etc can be used. Warm, spicy teas or hot lemon water are great!
Things that are heavy, cold and sticky should be reduced, or avoided when kapha is out of whack: dairy, gluten, pastas, oily food, sweets, bananas, roasted nuts and salt. Or eating cold drinks and cold food in general. Also, make sure to wait until your hunger is strong (about a 7 on a scale from 1-10), don’t over-eat/ over indulge or drink too much water or liquids while eating or directly after a meal.
To read more about a kapha balancing lifestyle, click here.
The Best Foods for Kapha Dosha ➤
You can consider cooking your fruit and adding spices – such as cinnamon-nutmeg baked apples and pears.
Apples, Blueberries, Cherries, Dried Fruit (all), Grapefruit, Lemons, Limes, Papayas, Pears, Pomegranates, Prunes, Raspberries, Raisins, Strawberries, All Berries
A very veggie centered diet helps kapha thrive. You can opt for baking, roasting, grilling or steaming rather than frying or saute, and add pungent spices (not creamy sauces).
Alfalfa Sprouts, Artichokes, Asparagus, Bean Sprouts, Beets, Bell Peppers, Bitter Melon, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chicory, Chilies, dried, Cilantro, Collard Greens, Corn, Dandelion, Endive, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Green Beans, Hot Peppers, Jicama, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Seaweed, Snow Peas, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Turnip, Watercress
Grains should be lighter and even pungent, such as rye. Avoid processed grains like flour.
Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Brown Rice, long grain, Rye
Legumes and beans rock the astringent taste, which pulls excess water, mucous, edema, weight from the tissues.
All Sprouted Beans, Adzuki, Black Gram, Garbanzo, Fava, Kidney, Lentils, Lima, Mung, Split Pea
NUTS & SEEDS:
Make sure the nuts are unsalted, and sprouted is a bonus.
Filberts, Pinons, Pumpkin, Sunflower
Remember that dairy exemplifies the same qualities as kapha – cold, heavy, cloudy, dense… If you eat dairy you will increase those qualities. Best preparation is to heat or boil some rice milk, and add heating and astringent spices.
Ghee, Lowfat yogurt (moderation), Rice milk, Goat milk
Corn, Flax, Mustard, Sunflower
HERBS & SPICES:
Spice it UP!
Anise, Asafoetida (hing), Basil, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Chamomile, Caraway, Cardamom, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Horseradish, Marjoram, Mustard, Nutmeg, Oregano, Peppermint, Poppy Seeds, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Spearmint, Thyme, Turmeric
raw honey is best for kapha. When used raw (not cooked or heated) it has a heating and scraping effect.
TEAS AND BEVERAGES:
Alfalfa, Cardamom, Chicory, Cinnamon, Cloves, Dandelion, Ginger, Hibiscus, Orange Peel, Strawberry Leaf
* food lists are adapted from Dr. John Douillard. Picture is from The Sweet Life.
If you would like help to customize your diet, balance your doshas and alleviate any health issues you have, please schedule a private Ayurveda Assessment.