Kapha is balanced by a diet of fresh, cooked, whole foods that are light, dry, warming, well-spiced, and easy to digest. Avoid eating food cold or as leftovers. Eat warm or hot food.
Fresh, cooked food calms Kapha by balancing mucous production, regulating moisture levels, maintaining adequate heat and supporting healthy digestion. Because of the nature of Kapha, a Dosha-appropriate diet is one of the most effective ways balance it.
Kapha thrives on a diet with smaller meals, no snacking and little to no sweet food like desserts or candy. Those with a strong Kapha constitution or excess Kapha should eat an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and legumes. Drink minimal alcohol or none at all.
Finding a diet that is both satisfying and light can be a challenge so make sure you enjoy what you're eating and stick to the following lifestyle recommendations to balance Kapha Dosha!
Make Small Changes Little By Little
Having a good diet is a lifelong practice. There are times where you won't be able to have a "perfect" diet and there are sometimes differences of opinion between Ayurvedic specialists on what is the best food to eat for what Dosha.
Think of your diet and lifestyle and hold your intention for self-awareness and a healthy life. Writing down the things you want to change in small, doable steps is a good place to start.
Once you have written down your small steps, notice how you start to feel and how you start to change mentally, emotionally and physically. If you eat or drink something that is Kapha-aggravating, notice how you feel afterward.
If you have sluggish digestion and feelings of heaviness, for example, you'll see that it affected you negatively. Same for when you have a Kapha-balancing diet. You will notice improved health and energy levels.
Favor Light Food over Dense and Heavy Food
It's important to eat food that has light and dry qualities. Lightness can be determined by a food's weight and density. Fruits and vegetables are usually light and so they're a good place to start when changing your diet. Raw fruit and vegetables are also appropriate when in season, typically in spring and summer. Someone with excess Kapha can also enjoy salads occasionally unlike those with Pitta or Vata imbalances.
Kapha types and those with excess Kapha should completely avoid or greatly limit hard cheeses, puddings, nuts, cakes, pies, wheat, most flours, breads, pastas, red meat and deep fried foods. High processed foods and large, heavy meals are just not good for Kapha!
Eat and Drink Warm or Hot Foods and Drinks
Eat warm foods and drinks with spices. Almost all spices are warming, and Kapha types can use them liberally. Cooked food is easier to digest as well.
A Kapha type should emphasize green and black teas and sip hot water throughout the day with warm honey since it is heating and detoxifying. Reduce cold and frozen drinks and carbonated drinks.
Favor Dry Food Over Oily
Kapha’s oily quality is offset by drying foods like legumes, dried fruit, popcorn, and an occasional glass of dry red or white wine if you drink. When cooking, it is important to use as little oil as possible as a Kapha type.
Limit avocado, coconut, olives, buttermilk, cheese, fried eggs, cow’s milk, wheat, nuts and seeds, melons, summer squash, zucchini, and yogurt, because they are heavy and watery.
Tastes to Favor for Kaphas
Kapha is pacified by the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes and aggravated by the sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
- Pungent is a spicy, hot flavor like in chilies, radishes, turnips, raw onions and many spices.
- The pungent taste is light, hot, rough, and dry. Favor spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, garlic, paprika, and turmeric.
- Kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, bitter melon, artichokes, burdock root, eggplant, cumin, saffron, and turmeric are good examples.
- The bitter taste is rough, drying, light.
- The astringent taste is dry and chalky. Think of an unripe banana or eggfruit.
- Beans are astringent and pacify Kapha. So are apples, cranberries, pomegranate, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, crackers, basil, dill and parsley.
Tastes to Minimize for Kapha Balancing
- The sweet taste is cold, heavy, moist and can put Kapha straight into excess.
- Reduce or eliminate refined sugar and processed sweet foods like candy as much as possible.
- Reduce but do not completely cut out your consumption of sweet-tasting foods like fruits, grains, root vegetables, milk, ghee, yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds, oils and meat.
- Minimize sour food like vinegar, cheese, sour cream, green grapes, oranges, pineapple and citrus like grapefruit.
- Occasionally have a squeeze of lemon or lime juice in your water!
- Actual salt is one of the few places you can get the salty taste.
- In excess, the salty taste can cause water retention, high blood pressure, intestinal inflammation and excess thirst.
- As a Kapha, use minimal amounts of salt.
How to Eat As A Kapha
- Stick to three square meals each day or even just two meals if digestion is feeling slow or heavy.
- Eat at the same time each day.
- Chew a slice of fresh ginger with a pinch of sea salt, a few drops of lime juice, and about ¼ teaspoon honey about 15 minutes before lunch and dinner to strengthen the digestive system.
- Eat in a peaceful environment to avoid overeating.
- Try a short fruit or juice fast with apples or pomegranates or a longer diet of just kitchari to cleanse the body.
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your he