What foods to eat if you are Kapha
Have you been told by an Ayurvedic practitioner that you are predominantly Kapha Dosha or that your Kapha Dosha is imbalanced? Well, we are in Kapha Season, so the latter doesn’t surprise me. Diet, lifestyle, and the season can make huge shifts within us, especially during the pandemic. Read further if you want to know about kapha balancing lifestyle.
Kapha is primarily composed of the elements earth and water. As a result, the dominant qualities in Kapha are heavy, slow, cool, oily, smooth, dense, soft, stable, gross, and cloudy. We know that Ayurveda tells us that like increases like, so, if you eat foods with opposite qualities, it will help bring Kapha back to balance. For example, foods that are light, warm, dry, and rough—can help to balance excess kapha.
There are six tastes in Ayurveda. They are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes are Kapha balancing while Kapha is aggravated by sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
The three Kapha balancing tastes
The pungent taste is primarily composed of the fire and air elements, which make it hot, dry, light, and sharp – all qualities that are Kapha balancing. It kindles the agni (digestive fire) and stimulates metabolic functions. Kapha imbalance can look like weight gain, sluggishness, depression, lack of motivation, excessive attachment, hoarding, low agni etc.
The bitter taste is primarily composed of the air and ether elements, which makes it very light and dry. Kapha vitiation can show up as water retention and mucous. The bitter taste drains moisture from the body, and it reduces congestion.
The astringent taste is made up of air and earth elements. Because it is very drying, it helps to remove ama (toxins) and cleanses the mucous membranes. It also aids in decongestion because of its drying action.
General Guidelines for Kapha Balancing
- Eat only when hungry, not because the clock says its mealtime.
- Don’t snack between meals.
- Kapha imbalance can look like greed, so don’t overeat.
- Keep your dinner light.
- Unless you have a health issue, most Kaphas do well with two meals.
- Reduce foods that are heavy, which includes dairy, gluten, oily, fried, and processed foods.
- Cook with a variety of spices. I write about my 5 favorite spices for Kapha season.
- Avoid anything cold or iced drinks.
- Introduce fresh ginger in your diet to kindle the agni. You can take a pinch of fresh ginger root daily with a few drops of lemon juice as an appetizer before each meal.
- Favor foods that are light, dry, or warm to counter fluid retention and congestion.
- Prefer vegetarian meals over animal meats.
- Don’t nap after lunch.
- Walk 100 steps after eating.
If you feel like you need a more concrete understanding of what Kaphas should eat or would like to learn more about the six Ayurvedic tastes, please contact me.