Home » Ayurveda » Kapha Dosha

Kapha Dosha

How is a balanced Kapha?

A typical Kapha person has a strong body structure and a slow digestion. A Kapha person is methodical and patient. A balanced Kapha person feels safe and harmonious, has empathy and endurance, and is stable and relaxed.

How is an unbalanced Kapha?

A Kapha person who is not in balance becomes smug, sluggish, overweight and will need a lot of sleep. Typical health problems are also allergic reactions, problems with mucous membrane, and suffering from depression.

General Guidelines for Balancing Vata

If you experience symptoms of Kapha imbalance, the general guidelines below will help balancing your Kapha. Find out the changes that you need to make in order to stay healthy.

Kapha

  • You need STIMULATION!
  • You need to move your body a lot
  • You need to eat less and exercise more than Vata and Pitta
  • You need to watch extra over your diet and stop eating heavy and fat food
  • You might need to sleep less
  • You need to be more flexible and not having too many “old habits”
  • Hot light food and hot spicy drinks are good for you
  • Good food choices: spicy herbs, ginger, onion, garlic, radish, beans, lentil, turmeric
  • Exercise: You may find it difficult to get started in some training activity. You really need to move your body because your metabolism is slow. You can easily gain weight if you don’t stay active. You have a stronger body with more endurance than both Vata and Pitta and therefore you can do tougher physical exercises.
  • Good exercise choices: Running a marathon, cross-country skiing, triathlon, cycling, weight training, hiking

 

Dietary Guidelines for KAPHA

If you are a Kapha person and have Kapha-related problems like depression, fatigue and weight problems, you need to balance your Kapha. Pay attention to your diet and follow the Ayurveda recommendations:

  • Include: pungent, bitter, astringent foods
  • Include: dry, warm, light foods

If you need to balance your Kapha, eat foods like beans, vegetables, barley, rye and corn grains. Eat lighter fruits of the more astringent kinds like pears, apples, and pomegranates. Use honey as sweetener. A moderate intake of white meat (chicken, turkey) is permitted for those who cannot do without it. Use low fat milk.

  • Avoid: sweet, sour, salty foods
  • Avoid: oily, cold, heavy foods

Avoid nuts, large amount of any oil, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and salt for it increases Kapha, according to the Ayurvedic diet. Reduce your intake of wheat and rice. Avoid heavy, very sweet or sour fruits like grapes, bananas, figs, oranges, coconuts, pineapple and melons. Avoid sugar products. Avoid red meat and seafood. Reduced intake of milk as it benefits a Kapha person. Milk should be boiled before drinking to make digestion easier and should always be taken warm. Do not drink milk with meals especially salty or sour foods. For Kapha disorders like congestion, add one or two pinches of turmeric or ginger in your milk before boiling it. Yogurt, cream, ice cream, cheese, butter and excess of whole milk are not recommended.

Tastes decreasing KAPHA

Food / herbs to eat

Tastes increasing KAPHA

Food / herbs to avoid

Pungent

Onion, radish, chili, ginger, garlic, asafoetida, cayenne pepper, black pepper, mustard

Sweet

Peaches, sweet plums, grapes, melons, oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, milk, butter, rice, wheat bread, basil, licorice root, red cloves, peppermint, slippery elm, fennel. Avoid highly processed sweets such as candy bars and sugar

Bitter

Dandelion root, holy thistle, yellow dock, rhubarb, bitter melon. Greens such as Romaine lettuce, spinach, and chard fresh turmeric root, fenugreek, gentian root

Sour

Yogurt, vinegar, cheese, sour cream, green grapes, citrus fruits Hibiscus, rose hips, tamarind, pickles, miso. Caraway, coriander, and cloves

Astringent

Unripe banana, cranberries, pomegranate, myrrh, goldenseal, turmeric, okra, beans, mace, parsley, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, saffron, basil, alum

Salty

Table salt, sea salt, rock salt, kelp, sea weeds

 

Below you will learn how to balance your Kapha, especially if you have problems with weight loss or PMS

 

Balancing Kapha – Weight Loss

If you are a Kapha person, your body structure is bigger than those with Vata Dosha and Pitta Dosha, and your metabolism is slower. Your overweight is due to a slow digestion. A Kapha-person is rarely naturally thin so you should not aim to be skinny because that would not be healthy for you. If you can’t lose those extra pounds no matter what you do, you should know that being skinny is against your nature. Try balancing your metabolism by keeping a diet and lifestyle suited for a Kapha person.

Kapha – Increase the element “FIRE” in your diet and lifestyle

For a natural weight loss, increase the element “fire” in your diet and lifestyle. Flavor your vegetables and lentils with herbs like black pepper, fresh ginger and turmeric. Turmeric supports the metabolism and reduces cholesterol (as well as allergies) and it also helps burning fat. Be careful with the turmeric though, and consult a doctor if someone in your family history has had liver/bile/gallbladder problems, since turmeric activates the liver. Other tastes that keep Kapha in balance are bitter and dry, such as green leafy vegetables, bean soups, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprout. It is very important that you prepare your vegetables and eat them hot. Don’t eat any food that is cold and raw since it’s hard to digest.

Kapha – Eat Basmati Rice and Quinoa

Basmati rice should be included in your diet, as well as quinoa. Quinoa is a great alternative to rice. Quinoa is perfect to eat when you wish to reduce weight since it has lots of proteins and zinc. Your quinoa should always be hot and cooked with some ghee or olive oil so it does not taste too dry. Avoid cold and heavy desserts like ice cream and cheese cake, because they will slow your metabolism. A Kapha person should also avoid cold drinks. If you want to balance your Kapha and lose weight make sure that you don’t eat deep fried food, refined sugar and refined wheat flower.

Kapha – Eat your main meal during the day

Eat your main meal when the sun shines the most during the day. This will help your digestion. In the morning your digestion won’t be that strong, so eat something lighter instead like a cooked apple or pear mixed with plums. This balances all three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha and helps the metabolism. Eat your dinner before 6 pm. A nourishing soup or a rice dish are perfect food choices for a Kapha person

Kapha – Go to bed before 10 pm and wake up before 6 am

People who are predominantly Kapha tend to sleep more than Vata and Pitta. Even 8 hours sleep may not seem to be enough for a Kapha person who is unbalanced. To correct the balance it’s important to go to sleep before 10 pm and wake up before 6 am. This recommendation applies for all three Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).

Kapha – Choose Tougher Workouts

When a Kapha person is out of balance, his/her breathing will suffer. Daily breathing exercises can help you get balanced and this will have a good effect on your metabolism. Deep breathing exercise will also calm your body and soul. A balanced Kapha person will have a healthy weight and avoid other Kapha related health problems such as allergic reactions, depression and problems with mucous membrane.

Regular training is the most important change for a Kapha person who wants to lose weight, since physical exercise will strengthen his/her metabolism. A Kapha person will probably need a little push from a friend to get started. If you are a Kapha person, you really need to move your body because your metabolism is slow. You can easily gain weight if you don’t stay active. You will need tougher and longer workouts compared to a Vata- or Pitta-person, in order to achieve the same weight loss result. But remember that in your favor you have a much stronger body with more endurance than both Vata and Pitta and therefore you can do tougher physical exercises like: running a marathon, cross country, skiing, triathlon, cycling, weight training, and hiking. Your body has a lot of strength and endurance to do these types of exercises. You just need to work on your motivation. Find your inner strength and run for it. You can do it!

Balancing Kapha – PMS

Excess Kapha causes the following PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms: bloating, weight gain, and depression. If you have these PMS symptoms, avoid foods with sweet, salted and sour tastes, according to Ayurvedic diet.

PMS symptoms: bloating, weight gain, depression
Avoid: sweet, salted and sour foods

If you are a Kapha person don’t eat foods like chocolate, nuts, chips and pickles to avoid PMS symptoms. According to Ayurvedic Diet, avoid sweet, salted and sour foods since these tastes make your PMS symptoms worse.

Kapha Diet for PMS – Include: warm, pungent, bitter, astringent foods

You should eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes. Avoid oily, heavy and cold foods. You should eat your food warm and the heaviest meal should be eaten in the middle of the day. Eat pungent, bitter and astringent foods, see examples below:

  • Pungent foods: onion, radish, chili, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper, mustard
  • Bitter foods: greens (lettuce, spinach), chard fresh turmeric root, fenugreek, gentian root, rhubarb
  • Astringent foods: unripe banana, cranberries, pomegranate, myrrh, goldenseal, turmeric, okra, beans, mace, parsley, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, saffron, basil