· By Chiru Roy
Kapha Diet: A Beginner's Guide
Kapha is one of the three Doshas that governs the structure of the body. It is responsible for holding the cells together which forms the muscle, fat, and bones in the body. Distinguishing traits of a Kapha dominant person are - active with strong built, strong stamina and good digestion. However, the imbalance of Kapha Dosha create issues like weight gain, fluid retention, allergies, and fatigue. It can even lead to asthma, sleep disorders, diabetes and depression. The thumb rule of Ayurveda is that good health starts with proper digestion. So, the most important thing to do is to eat wisely. Food is medicine. Eat food that matches with the physiology, follow a sattvic routine that boosts digestion, and you stay happy and healthy. Kapha dominant person should follow two fundamental rules:
- To pacify Kapha, eat pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes because sweet, sour, and salty tastes aggravate it.
- By nature, Kapha is heavy, cool, oily, and smooth, so eat foods that neutralize these qualities. Select foods that are light, warm, dry, and rough to balance excess Kapha.
Oils -Lighter oils like olive oil, almond oil, sunflower oil and pure ghee
Dry Fruits - Pumpkin and sunflower seeds should be chosen over heavy nuts like cashews, pistachios and pine nuts.
Sweetener–Raw and unprocessed honey
Fruits & Vegetables –Opt for lighter fruits, such as apples and pears over heavy and sour fruits, such as oranges, pineapples, avocados, coconuts, melons, and even bananas. All fruits and veggies which are moist and too watery should be avoided, such as melons, squash, zucchini, etc.
Dairy products –Choose low fat and calorie versions of dairy products. Adding some turmeric or ginger makes them more favorable.
Meats - Lighter meats like chicken, eggs, turkey and seafood should be preferred over lamb, pork or beef.
Grains – Barley, buckwheat,corn and millet rye should be favored over oats, rice and wheat.
Spices -Favor spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, garlic, paprika, and turmeric, as they improve digestion and enhance the aroma.
Stay Hydrated Drink warm water or healthy vitality-boosting beverages like herbal teas and soups. This helps to hydrate the system and also flushes out toxins from the body. Drinking ice-cold water is detrimental before, during and after meals as it slows down the blood flow in the stomach and lowers the action of digestive enzymes. Blood flow and digestive enzymes in combination assist our digestion process. People who have a tendency of congestion should prefer a glass of hot water with lemon over milk, which is inherently heavy.
Go Natural and Seasonal As per Ayurveda, our human physiology is a reflection of the laws of nature. Eat freshly cooked food and avoid processed foods, which are genetically modified and loaded with preservatives. Eat seasonal vegetables and fruits, for they are the best for your mind and body.
Eating Habits Avoid skipping meals, eating junk food, eating on the go, or having processed food more frequently. Kapha dominant person should follow three meals at a regular time every day, keeping lunch as the main and heaviest meal of the day. During the afternoon, our digestive Agni works in its maximum potency. And as the sun sets down, our Agni reduces. So keep lunch as the largest meal of the day. Leftovers should be avoided as they are considered less sattvic.
Cleansing from inside out The build-up of ‘Ama’, digestive toxins resulting from improper digestion is the root cause of most disorders. To avoid the Ama built-up, eat light dinner, at least 3 hours before sleeping. Try to be in bed around 10:00 p.m. or before. Detox your body especially during the change of seasons.
Conclusion Ayurveda can add life to our years and years to our lives. We do not just metabolize the food, but everything that we sense, hear, touch and smell. Let’s try and live a stress-free, balanced lifestyle, stay active, hydrate and eat the right food. Vedi Herbals wishes you a Kapha balanced lifestyle!