Kapha is the biological energetic force composed of the earth and water elements. By nature, Kapha is strong, grounded, solid and sturdy; however a Kapha imbalance may manifest excessive heaviness, dullness, low motivation and lethargy. Therefore, taking in the proper diet and eating habits is essential if these negative qualities begin to arise. If you are a Kapha body-type or currently have a strong Kapha imbalance, you may notice such symptoms as:
- Slow metabolism
- Easy weight gain
- Dull appetite
- Sleepy after food intake
- Excessive phlegm in the system
- Dull, lethargic mind
- Low energy
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- High blood pressure
In Ayurveda, diet is a vital tool for fighting disease, preventing disease and finding balance in your daily life. If you currently have increased Kapha in the system, here are some key dietary guidelines to follow:
Kapha Diet DO’s:
- Kapha should favor the pungent (spicy), bitter and astringent tastes in the diet.
- Use heating spices; in fact all spices are great for Kapha types! Some of the best options include agni churna, dry ginger, turmeric, black pepper, trikatu, cumin, fenugreek and brown mustard seed.
- Begin the day with warm water and lemon to the cleanse the system and increase the metabolism.
- Ginger tea with raw honey is very helpful for increased Kapha and can be sipped on throughout the day.
- Coriander, fennel, cumin tea is great to sip on before a meal to increase the digestive fire.
- A slice of fresh ginger, topped with honey and a squirt of lime is great about 30 minutes before food intake.
- Eating mainly healthy, lean protein and veggies with minimal starches, grains and carbs is the best general meal regimen for a Kapha type individual.
- Eat on a consistent schedule. Here is a Kapha-specific eating chart: 6:30-7:30am light breakfast; 12-1 pm lunch; 5-6pm light dinner.
- Do not snack between meals! For Kapha types, eating between meals tends to create toxic build-up in the system, decreases the digestive fire, creates disease and wears down the pancreas (leading to insulin resistance).
- Follow the proper Food Combining Guidelines.
- Taking a brisk walk after meals is a great way for Kapha types to increase their metabolism and digestion.
Kapha Diet DON’Ts:
- Avoid the sweet, sour and salty tastes in the diet.
- Avoid fatty, fried foods.
- Avoid heavy foods such as dairy, wheat, gluten, white rice, red meat and sugar.
- Avoid all unhealthy oils and keep healthy oils to a minimum. A little ghee, sunflower or sesame oil on occasion is alright.
- Beware of drinking too much water! Since Kapha constitutions already have a lot of water in the system, drinking too much water will only lead to swelling, bloating and weight gain. A proper amount of daily water intake is generally only 4-5 cups for Kapha types.
- Avoid drinking fluids during food intake or directly after.
- Do not take in food after 7pm. This is of great importance!
- Avoid iced beverages.
- Avoid ALL refined sugar, refined grains and processed foods.
- Avoid day sleep, especially after food intake!