Ask Ayurveda: What are some healthy snack options for Kapha body-types?

kape chips for kaphaDear Ask Ayurveda:

“I am a Kapha body-type and find myself frustrated once in a while at all of the food restrictions that we have to endure.  I am not currently overweight, but I definitely gain weight extremely easily if I am not careful.  I often read that Kapha types should not eat snacks between meals, and I was curious as to how strict I should be about this.  I am not trying to lose weight anymore, but I also do not want to gain weight.  I am often worried that if I do the wrong things I will be back where I was before (I have lost 30 lbs in the last 2 years).  I typically can make it through a day without snacking, but once in a while it would be nice to have some healthy options in case I want to “cheat” a little.  Do you have any suggestions on some healthy snacks that will not increase my Kapha or cause me to gain weight?” Happy Kapha from California

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Dear Happy Kapha:

Thank you for your thoughtful question!  Before I say anything, I must say congratulations on losing such a substantial amount of weight and keeping it off.  What an amazing accomplishment!

I agree that it seems as if Kapha types do have a lot of food restrictions, but they also have a tendency for a slow digestive fire (known as Manda Agni). Therefore it is important to not only eat the proper food types for Kapha, but also to eat at the proper times, proper food combinations and so on. 

Definitely at the top of the “food rule” list for Kapha types is to avoid snacking between meals.  The reason behind this is that with a tendency for a slow digestive fire, eating between meals rarely allows enough time for the previous meal to have been digested, piling one food or meal on top of the other.  This also overtaxes the digestive fire and the pancreas, as they are constantly at work.  The overtaxing further weakens these vital areas of the body, eventually creating toxic accumulation and disorder. 

Of course if you feel your Kapha is “happy” and your digestive fire is strong, then steering away from this idea of “no snacking” on occasion should not be an issue.  That is if you do it in a moderate and healthy manner, keeping in mind the favorable Kapha food types.  This doesn’t mean that your snack has to be bland or boring, just in line with the general Kapha dietary guidelines.  Here are some great snack options for you and your happy Kapha!

Healthy Kapha Snacks:        

  • Homemade Kale Chips with sunflower oil, himalayan salt, lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper (so easy to make!)
  • Homemade Popcorn made by using ghee or sunflower oil and adding cumin, black pepper, a pinch of himalayan salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Scoop of almond butter, sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter (all unsalted)
  • Veggie soup with barley
  • Ginger tea with lemon and honey
  • Applesauce with cinnamon
  • Fruit; the best for Kapha types are grapefruit, apples, pomegranate, unsweetened dried fruit such as apricots, cranberries, figs and prunes; persimmon, berries and cherries
  • Baby carrots, celery and/or broccoli with hummus
  • Green veggie juice with ginger
  • Pumpkin seeds, unsalted
  • Sunflower seeds, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup of dry granola sweetened with a natural sweetener such as maple syrup (I would avoid honey sweetened granola as honey should never be cooked, and also avoid granola with any added cane or white sugar) 

As you can see Happy Kapha, there are so many tasty snack options to play with when your Kapha is in balance.  Ideally it is beneficial to stay away from processed foods, salty foods, dairy, fried foods, excessive carbs and sugar (honey in moderation is the best sweetener option for Kapha).  Most of these options are whole food choices with high fiber, low carb and high nutrients.  Ideally you will still limit yourself to one moderate snack a day, keeping it at least 2 hours before and after meals.  Also make sure this is not a late night snack, as it is pretty important to avoid eating after 6-7pm (especially in the darker months).  Finally you still need to follow the proper food combinations; so if fruit is the choice, make sure this is not being eaten with other food types (even nuts). 

It sounds like a lot, but with these Kapha diet tips in mind, you can indulge in your snacking and continue to keep your Kapha (and weight) balanced.  Thanks again for this great question.  May your Kapha stay happy and healthy!

Namaste,
Ask Ayurveda 

 

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