Kapha Balancing Diet

A Food Plan to Balance KaphaDosha

These guidelines can be used for kapha mind-body constitutions, to maintain dosha balance, and to restore balance if necessary, regardless of the basic constitution. Kapha influences the heavy, moist aspects of the body.

What kind of Food to Eat to Balance Kapha

  • Warm, light food
  • Dry food, cooked without much water, minimum of butter, oil and sugar
  • Stimulating foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes
  • Kaphas need to watch the consumption of too much sweet foods or fatty foods. Keep an eye on the salt consumption also, which tend to result in fluid retention in Kaphas.
  • Light meals are to be favored such as light breakfast and dinner.
  • Avoid deep fried foods. Eat lightly cooked foods or raw fruits and vegetables. Eat spicy, bitter and astringent foods. Watch out for eating too much food, a typical kapha tendency.
  • Select hot food over cold food whenever feasible. Dry cooking methods (baking, broiling, grilling, sautéing) are preferable for kaphas over moist cooking such as steaming, boiling or poaching.
  • As an appetizer eat bitter or pungent foods instead of salty or sour. Foods such as romaine lettuce, endive, or tonic water are good to stimulate your appetite.
  • Take ginger tea or a pinch or ginger to stimulate appetite. Other preferred spices are cumin, fenugreek, sesame seed and turmeric.
  • Any food that is spicy is good for kaphas such as very hot Mexican or Indian food, especially in winter.
  • Foods that are good for kapha breakfast are hot spiced cider, buckwheat pancakes with apple butter, corn muffins, and bitter cocoa made with skim milk and a touch of honey. Avoid cold cereals, cold juice or milk, and sugary pastries. Bacon and sausage aggravates kapha due to their salt and oil. For kapha types, breakfast is optional. (You may skip it if you like).
  • To pep you up in the morning, take honey, hot water, lemon juice and ginger. Try hot ginger tea. Try skipping a meal or two and take a spoonful of honey in hot water to keep you going.
  • Kaphas have a sweet tooth. So, cutting down on sugar is difficult for many of them. Cutting sugar is recommended. Take honey instead. Avoid taking more than a spoonful of honey a day.
  • Don’t overindulge on dairy foods. Butter, ice cream, and cheese are among the worst foods you can take as it aggravates the kapha. Take warm low fat milk. Avoid hamburgers and milk shakes.
  • Eat raw fruits, vegetables and salads.
  • Watch out the restaurant foods, especially oily, salty, sweet or deep fried foods – these are all kapha aggravating. Eat salad with minimum salad dressing. Take a glass of hot water instead of ice water. Eat salad instead of soup especially in hot weather.

Food Classified By Group

Vegetables

Favor

  • Pungent and bitter foods such as:
  • asparagus
  • beets
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • leafy green vegetables
  • lettuce
  • mushrooms
  • okra
  • onions
  • peas
  • peppers
  • potatoes
  • radishes
  • spinach
  • sprouts

Reduce or Avoid

  • Sweet and juicy vegetables, such as:
  • cucumbers
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini

Fruits

Favor

  • apples
  • apricots
  • berries
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • figs
  • mangoes
  • peaches
  • pears
  • prunes
  • pomegranatesDried fruits in general are good for kapha. (apricots, figs, prunes, raisins)

Reduce or Avoid

  • avocados
  • bananas
  • coconut
  • dates
  • fresh figs
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  • melons
  • oranges
  • papayas
  • pineapples
  • plumsAvoid sweet, sour, or very juicy fruits, in general.

Grains

Favor

  • barley
  • buckwheat
  • corn
  • millet
  • oats, dry
  • rye
  • basmati rice

Reduce or Avoid

  • oats
  • rice
  • wheat, except in small amountsAvoid hot cereals and steamed grains, in general, as they are too moist and heavy for kapha.

Dairy

Favor

  • warm skim milk
  • small amounts of whole milk and eggs (not fried of cooked with butter)

Reduce or Avoid

  • All, except as noted

Meat

Favor

  • chicken
  • shrimp
  • turkey
  • (All in small amounts)

Reduce or Avoid

  • red meat
  • seafood in general

Beans

Favor

  • All legumes are acceptable except kidney beans and tofu

Reduce or Avoid

  • kidney beans
  • tofu

Oils

Favor

  • almond
  • corn
  • safflower
  • sunflower
  • (All in small quantities)

Reduce or Avoid

  • All, except as noted.

Sweeteners

Favor

  • Raw, unheated honey

Reduce or Avoid

  • All, except honey

Nuts and Seeds

Favor

  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds

Reduce or Avoid

  • All, except sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

Herbs and Spices

Favor

  • All are good. Ginger is especially good for improving digestion

Reduce or Avoid

  • salt

If your basic constitution is mixed (kapha-pitta or kapha-vata), include smaller portions for the second dosha. Kaphadosha is aggravated and increased in the spring of the year. During this season, eat less and choose more dry, fibrous foods. During wet, cold seasons, all mind-body types can choose some of the above foods and decrease others.

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