The Balanced Diet For A Kapha Body Type

kapha-dosha-elements-in-lotus-flower-387x287

5 Kapha Body Types

  • Tarpaka Kapha
  • Bodhaka Kapha
  • Shleshaka Kapha
  • Avalambhaka Kapha
  • Kledaka Kapha

Tarpaka Kapha - Governs calmness, happiness, and stability. Nourishment of sense and motor organs. Located in the head, sinuses and cerebrospinal fluid.

Bodhaka Kapha - Governs perception of taste, lubricating and moistening of food. Located in the tongue, mouth, and throat

Shleshaka Kapha - Governs lubrication of all joints. Located in the joints.

Avalambhaka Kapha - Governs lubrication of the heart and lungs. Provides strength to the back, chest, and heart. Located in the chest, heart, and lungs.

Kledaka Kapha - Governs moistening and liquefying of the food in the initial stages of digestion. Located in the upper part of the stomach.

kapha ayurveda dosha types and locations on the body 350x350

The Kapha body type is balanced by a diet of freshly cooked, whole foods that are light, dry, warming, well spiced, and relatively easy to digest – ideally served warm or hot. These foods calm Kapha by balancing mucous production, maintaining adequate heat, regulating moisture levels, and by supporting proper digestion and elimination. Because Kapha is so substantive in nature, an appropriate diet is actually one of the most effective ways to reel it in. Kapha thrives on a fairly minimalist diet with smaller meals, little to no snacking, fewer sweets, an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of legumes, little to no alcohol, and lighter fare all around. That said, finding a diet that is appropriately satisfying is crucial to your success; so it’s extremely important that you enjoy the foods that you do eat.

Favor Warm Over Cool or Cold, Favor Dry Over Moist or Oily, Favor Rough Over Smooth.

Here is a balanced diet for a Kapha body type:

Foods To Favor

Pungent

  • Pungent is a spicy, hot flavor like that found in chilies, radishes, turnips, raw onions, and most spices. In fact, most spices are tremendously Kapha pacifying – see our list of foods to favor and avoid.
  • The pungent taste is light, hot, rough, and dry – all beneficial for Kapha. In essence, if you like spicy or fiery hot, go for it. And even if you don’t, favor a wide variety of milder spices in your dishes – things like cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, garlic, paprika, and turmeric.
  • The pungent taste cleanses the mouth and clarifies the senses. It stimulates digestion, liquefies secretions, clears the channels of the body, encourages sweating, and thins the blood.

Astringent

  • The astringent taste is basically a flavor of dryness – a chalky taste that dries the mouth and may cause it to contract (picture biting into a very green banana).
  • Legumes are classically astringent in taste – adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, soybeans, etc.
  • Some fruits, vegetables, grains, and baked goods are also astringent in taste – things like apples, cranberries, pomegranate, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, rye, rice cakes and crackers.
  • The astringent taste is dry, rough, somewhat light, and it reduces Kapha. But like the bitter taste, it is also cold, so it’s best to add warming herbs and spices to astringent foods. In some cases (as with pomegranate), simply enjoying these foods in the warmer seasons makes more sense.
  • Kapha benefits from the compressing, absorbing, nature of the astringent taste, which also helps to tone bodily tissues and utilize fluids.

Bitter

  • The bitter taste predominates bitter greens (like kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, etc.), and is also found in foods like bitter melon, Jerusalem artichokes, burdock root, eggplant, and dark chocolate.
  • The bitter taste is rough, drying, light, and generally reducing—all qualities that benefit kapha, but it is also cooling, so it’s important to add some warming spices to bitter foods.
  • The bitter taste cleanses the pallet and improves the sense of taste. It tones the skin and muscles, improves appetite, supports digestion, and helps to absorb moisture, lymph, muscle fat, adipose tissue, and sweat.

Foods To Avoid

Sweet

  • The sweet taste is cold, heavy, moist, oily and very aggravating to kapha.
  • Eliminate the intake of refined sugar and sugary sweet foods as much as possible.
  • In addition, reduce your reliance on naturally sweet foods like fruits, grains, root vegetables, milk, ghee, yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds, oils, and Kapha-aggravating meats (see our list of foods to favor and avoid).
  • Sweet foods tend to aggravate Kapha’s tendency toward heaviness, obesity, lethargy, and excess sleep. They can also cause excessive mucus, aggravate colds and coughs, and depress the appetite in an unhealthy way.

Sour

  • Minimize sour foods like vinegar, cheese, sour cream, green grapes, oranges, pineapple, and grapefruit. An occasional squeeze of lemon or lime juice is the best way for Kapha to ingest the sour taste.
  • The moistening and oily qualities of the sour taste aggravate Kapha.
  • The sour taste can increase thirst, create heaviness in the eyes, cause laxity in the body, and aggravate water retention or swelling.

Salty

  • The salty taste is almost singularly derived from salt itself.
  • Much like the sour taste, it is salt’s moist and oily nature that aggravates kapha.
  • The salty taste can cause water retention, high blood pressure, intestinal inflammation, ascites, grey hair, wrinkles, excess thirst, and it can impede the sense organs. Further, it tends to spark a sharp desire for stronger flavors and can similarly trigger emotional greed.

Meal Planning

Breakfast:

Breakfast is often somewhat optional when Kapha is elevated. Kapha benefits tremendously from the unforced, overnight fast between dinner and breakfast. If the appetite has not returned upon waking, it’s likely that a light breakfast of fresh fruit or tea will suffice. If breakfast does feel important to you, consider:

  • A substantive serving of fresh fruit: stewed apples, a fruit salad, a fruit smoothie, or some freshly juiced fruit.
  • Need something more? Hot cereals, like grits, millet, or hot barley cereal, are excellent choices. You can even add a little dried fruit or a dab of honey to the mix, if you like.
  • Another option would be muesli with warm rice milk and a slice of rye toast.
  • Add herbal, green, or black tea to any of these breakfasts but be careful not to over-decorate them; a dab of honey and/or rice milk is likely enough.

Lunch:

Ideally, lunch is the main meal of the day, meaning it’s the largest and the most nourishing. Build your lunches around consuming lots of steamed and sauteed vegetables, and compliment them with beans, appropriate grains, non-yeasted breads, a suitable meat, or an occasional egg. Try something like:

  • Lentil vegetable soup, corn bread, and a side of steamed kale. Include vegetables like onions, garlic, broccoli, celery, carrots, green beans, or asparagus in the soup. Garnish the kale with olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper.
  • Whole chickpeas and sauteed cabbage over quinoa. Saute cooked chickpeas with a bit of ghee, a variety of spices, and some diced tomatoes. Cook the cabbage with a splash of sunflower oil, cumin, coriander, a medley of other spices, and lemon juice (if necessary, add water to prevent sticking). After cooking, add a dab of honey and salt to compliment the other flavors.
  • Green chile soup (non-dairy) with black bean tacos. Include black beans, sautéed onions and bell peppers, shredded romaine lettuce, cilantro, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice and serve over steamed corn tortillas.

Dinner:

Dinner is ideally significantly smaller and lighter than lunch. Soups and stews are often a wonderful choice because they are warm and nourishing, even when light. A smaller serving of lunch can often work, too. For some, especially when weight loss is indicated, it’s best to forego dinner altogether in favor of a healthy breakfast and lunch, or to eat a more substantial breakfast and make dinner the ultra-light meal of the day. Try:

  • Dal soup with sautéed asparagus, and a small serving of basmati rice.
  • Split pea soup and rye toast.
  • Potato leek soup with a small salad and a stimulating dressing – like tamari ginger.

TAKE THIS FREE 3-MINUTE TEST TO FIND OUT YOUR BODY TYPE

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  • Also learn how you can use this discovery to look even better, get healthier and live a much happier life!

 

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