Printable document on Kapha Diet: http://bhaisajyaguru.com/namo-amitabha-buddha/index.php?dir=&file=NUT108_Ayurvedic_Diet_for_Kapha.doc
The food we eat is that unique aspect of our life which we have almost total control over. Because we are what we eat, according to Ayurveda, it can be a very powerful tool for balancing and for promoting and maintaining health. One ancient authority says that food is our medicine – a good regimen of diet is worth a hundred drugs but no amount of drugs can overcome a poor regimen of diet. Generallly, one should eat warm, freshly cooked foods. We can use the tastes in food as a guide to what qualities those foods have. For example, foods which have bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes have those qualities (especially lightness, dryness, and warmth) necessary to balance kapha qualities of heavy, cold, oily, etc. We will give below examples of foods with these tastes common in our culture. This information has been provided by Dr. Vasant Lad, in his book: Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing and Maya Tiwari in her book A Life of Balance (www.wisearth.org).. This book is a good resource of knowledge and menus. Please note that agreement about the qualities of foods is not universal. Another important point is that a list of balancing foods is not a blanket proscription to totally avoid the foods with tastes of sweet, sour, saltyy]] (heavy things). Rather, do eat foods having these other qualities to help promote balance in the emotions and in the physiology but eat them less often and in smaller quantities. The foods to favor will provide a theme of influence but in a gentle and sustained way. Please refer to our Article “ Incompatible Food Combinations” for important information about what foods are toxic (ama-creating) when eaten in the same meal. Also, refer to the Article “How to Eat” for more important points about eating. Finally, refer to our Article “Cooking - Some Ayurvedic Strategies” for thoughts about how to address family meal planning with different body types and imbalances. Favor These Foods
(eat less of those items in italics)
· beverages: alcohol – dry wine, red or white, Aloe vera juice, apple cider, apple juice, apricot, berry, black tea – spiced, carrot, chai, cherry, cranberry, grain beverages, grape, mango, peach, pear, pineapple, pomegranate, prune.
· herbal beverages: alfalfa, bancha (a Japanese green tea), barley, blackberry, burdock], [[chamomile, chicory, cinnamon, clove, comfrey, dandelion, fenugreek, ginger, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, juniper berry, kukicha, lavender, lemon balm, lemon grass, Mormon tea, nettle, passion flower, peppermint, raspberry, red clover, sarsaparilla, sassafras, spearmint, strawberry, wintergreen, yarrow, yerba mate
· food supplements: Aloe vera juice, amino acids, barley green, bee pollen, brewer’s yeast, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, royal jelly, spirulina, blue-green algae, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, EFA's (essential fatty acids) found in cold process oils from cod liver, evening primrose, black currant seed, flax seed, borage; whey powder as a protein supplement; note that omega 3 and omega 6 are probably best taken in the ratio of 1:1 to 1:2.5, which implies that while one supplements flax oil, for example, one continues to eat ghee also.
· grains: whole; grains - stored more than one year, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, cereals – dry or puffed, corn, couscous, durham flour, granola, millet, muesli, oat bran, oats, polenta, quinoa, rye, white rice (basmati only), seitan – wheat meat, spelt, sprouted wheat bread – Essene, tapioca, wheat bran. (If digestion is weak carbohydrates and proteins e.g., rice and dal, may be taken in separate meals in the same day.)
· meats: (NOTE: As recent research points to animal meat, fat, and cholesterol as promoters of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity my recommendations no longer include these as safe suggestions; also Ayurveda makes no recommendations for these foods as habitual diet), chicken – white, eggs, fish – fresh water, pheasant, rabbit, shrimp, turkey – white, venison
· [[seed]]s: [[chia]], [[flax]], [[popcorn]], [[pumpkin seed]]s, [[sunflower seed]]s,
· [[sweetener]]s: [[fruit juice]], [[honey]], [[rock]] [[crystal]] [[sugar]]
· [[vegetable]]s: arti[[choke]], [[asparagus]], [[beet]] [[green]]s, [[beet]]s, [[bitter melon]], [[broccoli]], [[cabbage]], [[carrot]]s, [[cauliflower]], [[celery]], [[cilantro]], [[corn]], [[daikon]] [[radish]], [[dandelion]] [[green]]s, [[egg]][[plant]], [[fennel]] ([[anise]]), [[garlic]], [[green]] [[bean]]s, [[green]] [[chills]], [[horseradish]], Jerusalem arti[[choke]], kale, kohlrabi, [[leaf]]y [[green]]s--lettuces, leeks, mushrooms, [[mustard]] [[green]]s, okra, [[onion]]s, parsley, [[peas]]--especially [[dried]], [[pepper]]s -- [[sweet]] and [[hot]], [[prickly]] [[pear]], [[potato]] ([[white]]), [[radish]], [[rutabaga]], [[spaghetti]] [[squash]], [[spinach]], [[sprouts]], [[squash]] [[summer]], [[tomatoes]] -- [[cooked]], [[turnip]] [[green]]s, [[turnip]]s, [[watercress]], [[wheat grass]]SOMEthing TO CONSIDER
Ayurveda suggests modest fasting]] to help maintain digestive capacity and to help burn off and release toxicity. This can be accomplished by a juice fast of fruit or vegetables taken for each meal one day per week. Review the entries above for guidance of appropriate items. Also, consider juice of romaine, celery, and carrot or pomegranate juice. remember, breakfast is optional according to Ayurveda.
SOME thingS TO AVOID
Everyday Vegetables: Use seasonal vegetables. In general use primarily bitter, pungent-spicy, or astringent-dry vegetables. Arugula, asparagus, beets, bell pepper, bitter melon, bok choy, broccoli (rajasic stimulating), Brussels sprouts, burdock root, cabbage, carrots, carrot tops, cauliflower (rajasic stimulating), celery, chili peppers, chives (tamasic dull mind), cilantro, collards, corn, daikon radish, dandelion greens, eggplant (rajasic stimulating), endive, fennel (anise), garlic (tamasic dull mind), green beans, green chills, horseradish, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, kale, Indian karela (bitter melon), kohlrabi, Chinese ku gua (bitter melon), landcress, leafy greens, all lettuces, leeks (tamasic dull mind), mushrooms (tamasic dull mind), mustard greens, okra, onions (tamasic dull mind), parsley, green peas (especially dried ones), peppers hot, pokeroot, prickly pear, potato (white – rajasic stimulating), radish, rutabaga, scallions (tamasic dull mind), shallots (tamasic dull mind), sprouts (sattvic clear mind), turnips, turnip greens, watercress, wheat grass. Best fresh or dried, not frozen, canned or left over.
Vegetables to Eat Occasionally: Artichoke, cassava, gourd squash, parsnips, pickles (rajasic stimulating), plantain, spinach (rajasic stimulating), winter squash (buttercup, butternut, acorn, spaghetti are OK infrequently but are rajasic stimulating), tomatoes – cooked (rajasic stimulating)
Vegetables to Cut Back On: In general use less sweet and juicy vegetables, beet greens, cucumber, olives (black or green), pumpkin (tamasic dull mind), parsnips (OK occasionally), rutabaga, summer squash (yellow crookneck, zucchini), sweet potato (sattvic clear mind), taro root, tomato – raw (rajasic stimulating), tomato sauce, Campbell’s tomato soup, zucchini
Everyday Fruits: Use seasonal fruits, ideally organic. Overall, fruit is sattvic. Apples (rajasic stimulating), applesauce, apricots (tamasic dull mind), cherries, dried fruit, guava (rajasic stimulating), peaches (sattvic clear mind), pears (sattvic clear mind), persimmon, pomegranate (sattvic clear mind), prunes, quince, raisins
Fruits to Eat Occasionally: Limited berries, grapes, figs (dried), lemons, limes, peaches, pears, mango (sattvic clear mind), strawberries, tangerine (OK infrequently), tamarind (rajasic stimulating) Fruits to Cut Back On: Out of season fruits, high pesticide fruits like grapes and berries. In general avoid very sweet or very sour or very juicy or very watery fruits. Avocado (tamasic dull mind), bananas (rajasic stimulating), coconut (sattvic clear mind), cranberries (once in a while), dates (sattvic clear mind), figs (fresh – give sattvic clear mind), grapefruit, melons (One in a while you may have them, but “eat them alone or leave them alone”), oranges (OK infrequently – rajasic stimulating), papaya, pineapple, plums (tamasic dull mind), watermelon (tamasic dull mind). Don’t mix fruit with any other food, especially dairy products, eggs or grains.
Everyday Grains: Whole grains (unprocessed) and old grains stored more than one year. Barley (sattvic clear mind), blue corn (sattvic clear mind), bran, buckwheat (rajasic stimulating), cereals—dry or puffed, corn (rajasic stimulating), durham flour, granola (dry with NO milk or added sugar), millet (rajasic stimulating), muesli, oat bran, oats, polenta, rye, seitan—wheat meat or wheat gluten meats or “fake meat” (not soy meat), spelt, sprouted wheat bread—Essene, tapioca (sattvic clear mind), wheat bran. If digestion is weak carbohydrates and proteins (e.g., rice and dal) should be taken in separate meals in the same day. It is best to have dry toast with no butter or jam – focus on hard-rough-dry-astringent grains forms, not mushy-soft-sweet.
Grains to Eat Occasionally: Amaranth, basmati white rice (sattvic clear mind), brown rice (basmati only – however all brown rice is tamasic and dulls the mind), white rice (basmati only), quinoa. Also processed grains such as barley cereals, barley flour, buckwheat flour, corn grits, cornmeal, corn grits, couscous, millet cereals, oat bran, rye cereals, rye flakes, rye pasta, Japanese soba noodles and Japanese udon noodles are OK occasionally. These should be taken without milk, without butter, without soy milk. If you do add a small amount of warm spiced (cinnamon and cardamom) Rice Dream (rice milk) or hot-spiced organic or raw milk that is OK.
Grains to Cut Back On: Bread (containing yeast), oats (that are cooked are sticky mucousy kapha), pasta, rice flour, wheat (tamasic dull mind), whole wheat flour. Never should you add cold cow’s milk to grains cereals or use toast or bread with milk. It is best for kapha to use warm spiced goat’s milk on grain cereals. Don’t mix grains with fruit or tapioca.
Everyday Legumes - Beans: aduki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chick peas, lentils—red and brown, lima beans, mung beans, mung dal, navy beans, peas—dried, pinto beans, split peas, tur dal, white beans
Seeds: chia, flax, popcorn, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds,
Spices: all spices except salt (saindhava is okay), especially fresh ginger
Condiments: black pepper, chili peppers, chutney, coriander leaves, dulse, kijiki, horseradish, lemon, mustard—without vinegar, scallions, seaweed, sprouts
Beverages: alcohol—dry wine, red or white, aloe vera juice, apple cider, apple juice, apricot, berry, black tea—spiced, carrot, cherry, cranberry, grain coffee, grape, mango, peach, pear, pineapple, pomegranate, prune, soy milk—hot and spiced
Herbal Beverages: alfalfa, bancha, barley, blackberry, burdock, chamomile, chicory, cinnamon, clove, comfrey, dandelion, fenugreek, ginger, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, juniper berry, kukicha, lavender, lemon balm lemon grass, Mormon tea, nettle, passion flower, peppermint, raspberry, red clover, sarsaparilla, sassafras, spearmint, strawberry, wintergreen, yarrow, yerba mate
Food Supplements: aloe vera juice, amino acids, barley green, bee pollen, brewer’s yeast, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, royal jelly, spirulina, blue-green algae, vitamins A, B, B12, C, D, E, EFA’s (essential fatty acids) found in cold process oils from cod liver, evening primrose, black currant seed, flax seed, borage
Animal flesh: chicken—white, eggs, fish—freshwater, pheasant, rabbit, shrimp, turkey—white, venison
Oils: ghee, olive oil, mustard oil
Dairy: buttermilk, cottage cheese—from skimmed goat’s milk, ghee, goat’s cheese—unsalted and not aged, lassi, non-fat milk—goat’s milk (avoid homogenized if possible) ` Sweeteners: fruit juice, honey (raw, uncooked only; not cheap, heated filtered Sue-Bee or other cheap honey), rock crystal sugar
SOME THINGS TO AVOID
• Frozen, canned, fried foods, leftovers
• All ice cold food and drink
• Big, heavy, or late evening meals
• The combination of Milk or yogurt with fruits, vegetables, fish (is toxic)
• Honey cooked in anything (is toxic)
• Fruits and vegetables in the same meal
• Mushrooms, peanuts, tomatoes, garlic, eggplant (affect meditation and transcending)
• Sweet, flour desserts after a meal (before is best)
• Alcohol, caffeine–coffee, tea, chocolate, other beverages (affect meditation and transcending)
• All refined grains and sugar and foods containing them
• All food cooked in used fats/oils
• Because of significant contraindicating research ALL soy products no longer carry a recommendation.
(See http://www.tldp.com/issue/11_00/soy.htm “Tragedy and Hype: The Third International Soy Symposium – Part II - by Sally Fallon)
© Copyright 1994 All Rights Reserved Michael S. Dick rev. 11/2001