Kapha Dosha Diet — Ayurvedic Principles of What to Eat

by Monica Gisella
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So, you have taken a dosha test and know your constitution is predominantly Kapha.

Now, what?

One of the most important lines of treatment to pacify an aggravated Kapha dosha is through diet.

A Kapha dosha diet has the power of energizing a heavy and lethargic body and invigorating a melancholic and foggy mind.

It can support optimal digestion and regular elimination.

Help you lose weight and reduce emotional eating.

These are the most significant dietary principles. Let’s begin.

Accumulation of mucus in the body is a sign of eating foods that are Kapha.

Kapha qualities

Discovering your body type is the first step towards achieving balance (if you are still unsure about your constitution, take my dosha quiz)

Once you determine your dosha, the next step is to learn as much as you can about it. However, it is also necessary that you implement dietary and lifestyle changes gradually, so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

A Kapha dosha diet is intentional about reducing the obvious signs of aggravation.

Its purpose is to lessen the cold, heavy, and oily qualities.

If you are reading this, you’ve probably felt these attributes in your body, mind, and emotions.

Physically

You could be experiencing excess of mucus, slow digestion, or edema.

Mucus in feces, poor digestion, as well as obesity or difficulty losing weight.

An overall heaviness, dullness, dampness, and lethargy that doesn’t seem to go away for bodies that have an excess of water in the system is common. This is typically manifested in depression, cravings, and having a hard time waking up in the morning.

Further, Kapha individuals tend to suffer from diseases of the respiratory system.

Mentally and emotionally

The abundance of Water and Earth — Kapha elements — results in feelings of attachment, materialism, sentimentality, and apathy.

Kapha individuals have trouble being independent.

In fact, often times they are in need of security and love provided by others.

Likewise, when aggravated, they tend to be greedy and insensitive, which can make their relationships with others difficult to navigate.

Does it sound like you?

The sensation of heaviness is constant for Kapha individuals, and it can affect every aspect of their lives.

However, with the right diet and appropriate lifestyle habits, you can return to a state of homeostasis to balance your Kapha dosha and be able to experience the positive side it has to offer.

The six tastes

Understanding the effects of the six tastes — sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent – on Kapha dosha is crucial to cook healing Ayurvedic meals.

Each taste is made up of two of the five elements; therefore, they can directly augment or diminish Kapha.

Sweet

  • Increases Kapha dosha, so it should be eaten in small quantities.
  • Elements: Earth and Water.
  • Example: Carbohydrates.

Salty

  • Increases Kapha dosha, so it should be eaten in small quantities.
  • Elements: Water and Fire.
  • Example: Table salt, kombu.

Sour

  • Increases Kapha dosha, so it should be eaten in small quantities.
  • Elements: Earth and Fire.
  • Example: Sauerkraut, lime.

Pungent

  • This taste is good for Kapha.
  • Elements: Fire and Earth.
  • Example: chili peppers.

Bitter

  • Good for Kapha.
  • Elements: Air and Ether.
  • Example: Kale, goldenseal.

Astringent

  • Good for Kapha.
  • Elements: Earth and Air.
  • Example: Green tea, cucumbers.

Kapha dosha diet

The proper Kapha dosha diet will help you increase your energy levels, reduce the excess weight and fat, improve your digestion, and better cope with life. By consistently following the below principles, you will also see changes in your body composition, endurance, and motivation.

An Ayurvedic Kapha dosha diet must be warm, light, and dry.

With enough of the astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes.

Ideally, food is well cooked with generous amounts of hot spices and little oil.

If you are Kapha aggravated, avoid fried or breaded foods, overly sweet, heavy, or greasy meals, and creamy sauces.

Furthermore, incorporating Intermittent Fasting is an excellent strategy to pacify Kapha. It can be done by simply skipping breakfast or having an early dinner.

Fruits

Generally, fruits are watery and sweet, which are two qualities Kapha has in abundance. Therefore, they should be eaten in small quantities and definitely not combined with milk or sugar. There are, however, some fruits that because of their sour taste, can help you liquify fat and dissolve mucus.

Tip: Lemon and grapefruit are two Kapha-pacifying fruits that are fantastic at providing the sour taste you need.

Kapha pacifying fruits

  • Dry fruits
  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Lemon
  • Pomegranates

Vegetables

Most vegetables are great for Kapha. Specially if they are diuretic and slightly dry, like celery or broccoli.

Tip: Ideally, cook your vegetables by steaming them. Then, season them with lots of spices and little oil.

Kapha pacifying vegetables

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Bitter melon
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Chilies
  • Cilantro
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Watercress

Cereals

Cereals are heavy and can exacerbate Kapha dosha. However, a good diet for the Kapha constitution includes moderate quantities of grains combined with properly cooked vegetables.

Tip: Breads tend to increase Kapha as they can be mucus forming, so try to avoid them.

Kapha pacifying cereals

  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rye

Legumes

Most beans are excellent for Kapha individuals since they are dry. They are a valuable source of protein compared to meat and animal products. Nevertheless, lentils and beans should still be cooked using Ayurvedic principles.

Tip: Tofu could increase Kapha, therefore cook it with enough spices to make it less aggravating, such as ginger, black pepper, and cayenne.

Kapha pacifying legumes

  • Aduki beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beans
  • Mung dal
  • Soy beans
  • Split peas
  • Tofu

Nuts and seeds

Nuts are heavy and oily, so naturally they have the potential to aggravate Kapha dosha. Nevertheless, they are an important part of a vegan / vegetarian diet, a significant source of protein, and clearly a better alternative to animal products.

Tip: Make sure that you only eat small quantities of nuts and seeds, occasionally.

Kapha pacifying nuts and seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Oils

Kapha is inherently oily, hence, by applying the principle of Opposites Create Balance, this body type should avoid having large quantities of oil with food, especially from animal sources.

Tip: In addition, avoid high-fat foods such as cheeses, olives, and sour cream.

Kapha pacifying oils

  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Mustard oil
  • Safflower oil

Spices

Kapha nature requires foods that are pungent in taste and have a heating energy. By using good amounts of hot spices, you can help reduce your irritated Kapha, increase your metabolism, and lessen body fat.

Tip: Cut down salt intake, as it elevates water retention issues.

Kapha pacifying spices

  • Asafoetida
  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish
  • Mint
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Soy sauce
  • Turmeric

These are general Ayurvedic guidelines that can help you diminish the excess Kapha in your system.

Nevertheless, be mindful of every change you make to your diet.

You are a unique being.

And although a food item can be listed as favorable for Kapha dosha, you might find, through your own experience and observations, that it produces negative effects on your body.

The same is true for items that are supposed to be avoided, yet they might not be necessarily harmful to you.

Hence, the above lists are not absolute facts.

They are just general guidelines to be adjusted to your own unique situation. Plus, they are a great starting point if you are new to living an Ayurvedic lifestyle.

My FREE Ayurvedic Meal Plan for Kapha Dosha can help too!

It’s super easy to follow and has delicious and healing recipes.

Kapha FREE Menu

kapha dosha diet

Kapha FREE Menu — Spanish

kapha dosha diet

Remember:

  • Listen to your body.
  • Eat at 3/4 of your full stomach capacity.
  • Cook meals that feel and look slightly dry, warm, light, and wholesome.
  • Favor the astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes.
  • Avoid alcohol and red meat!
  • Try to eliminate dairy products. They are mucus forming and can cause congestion and allergies.
  • Changing your diet is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no rush! Take slow but, firm steps.

Happy healing!

Monica

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