Foods to balance kapha digestion
One of the key ways to balance the doshas is through what we eat and drink each day, and just as importantly- how and when. Ayurveda really considers the right food and good digestion as being at the heart of good health.
Kapha types tend to have a slow but steady appetite and can struggle with weight gain, as they love food (especially the sweet tastes) but have slower digestion.
One of the first signs this dosha is not happy is likely to be a sluggish metabolism, followed by a feeling of heaviness and a lack of general motivation. This can happen with overindulgence - too much sweet food and comfort eating.
Eating to suit kapha dosha
The following guidelines are to help you begin to recognise the qualities of different foods and start to appreciate which foods are best to balance kapha dosha:
Eat only when you are genuinely hungry and not in between meals. Avoid overeating, especially in the evening
kapha types can thrive on two meals a day, so you can afford to skip breakfast if you are not hungry or just have a fresh vegetable juice made with ginger.
Favour foods that are light, dry or warm to counter fluid retention and congestion. For example grains such as barley, corn, millet, buckwheat and rye
Raw food is viewed as cold and damp and is best minimised
Favour foods that are spicy, bitter or astringent such as steamed, green, leafy vegetables rich in the bitter taste, prepared with warming garlic and ginger
Fresh ginger is especially helpful for kapha types. You can take a pinch of fresh ginger root daily with a few drops of lemon juice as an appetiser before each meal
Other key herbs to warm the digestion are black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and turmeric. Try adding these spices to your cooking to invigorate a sluggish kapha digestion
Reduce foods that are heavy (eg: red meat), oily/fatty (eg: nuts, crisps, biscuits, cakes, fried foods) or cold (eg: yoghurt, cheese)
A largely vegetarian diet is recommended. If you eat meat, favour white meats and take some brisk exercise after eating to help the digestion process
Reduce foods that are sweet (refined sugars, chocolate), salty and sour in taste. A little honey is the best sweetener for this type
Avoid raw or refrigerated foods as well as iced drinks
Minimise alcohol which is sweet and sour in nature. Enjoy hot, spicy warming drinks with herbs such as ginger, cinnamon and fennel.
Don't know your dosha? Take our dosha quiz to find out.
Author: Sebastian Pole
Co-founder and Master herbsmith
Pukka’s Co-founder and Master Herbsmith keeps a close eye on the formulation of our organic creations. Sebastian has been in clinical practice since 1998 using a blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western herbal medicine and has pioneered organic and FairWild practitioner-grade herbs as the norm at Pukka.
Degree in Hindi and Indian Religions, a registered yoga therapist
Years of experience
23 years in clinical practice
Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners, Fluent in Hindi.