While we always want to keep all three doshas in their proper balance, it is good to focus on balancing Kapha in the cooler, wet days of spring when Kapha predominates in our environment. Additionally, this is a good time to put attention on creating a balanced digestive capability. Why? Because springtime is when “ama” (toxins) that have been stored in our bodies over winter start “melting” and being released throughout our physiology. A strong, healthy digestion will help us metabolize and eliminate these deposits of wastes and impurities. This will help us to avoid allergies and spring colds. Try this diet for 2 to 3 weeks at the beginning of springtime.
Main Principles of Spring, Kapha-Reducing Diet
- Food must be freshly prepared, preferably in your own home.
- Do not use frozen or canned foods
- Do not consume any leftovers (food that has been cooked and then refrigerated. This includes most deli foods, such as pasta salad, potato salad, etc.)
- Use organically grown foods as much as possible
Items to Avoid: During your spring diet, try to avoid the following:
Oily or heavy food preparations such as fried foods, cream sauces or heavy desserts.
Raw vegetables and salads
Hot spices such as chilies, hot peppers or jalepeno
Carbohydrates: this means cutting out pizza, bread, cookies, candy chocolate, cocoa, pastries and baked goods. Freshly made chapattis or flatbreads are the exception to this rule.
Be selective with diary: avoid curdled milk products such as yogurt (except if you are drinking lassi), cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Do not eat butter, ice cream, or any frozen desserts.
Only eat fresh fruit. Avoid jam or dried fruits, except soaked figs and raisins.
Cold foods: No cold water or iced drinks.
Other drinks to avoid: carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, bottled or canned fruit or vegetable juices.
Sour foods: avoid vinegar or vinegar-containing condiments such as catsup, mustard, pickles, olives, relishes, etc.
Avoid processed soy products like tofu, tempeh, soy dogs, etc.
If you feel the need to follow a non-vegetarian diet, freshly cooked chicken is the best option during this spring, Kapha-reducing diet.
What CAN You Eat?
Enjoy cooked vegetables, grains, legumes (beans, dals), most fresh fruits (better to eat sweet fruits rather than sour. Also, avoid heavy fruits such as bananas and avacodo), nuts and seeds.
Proportionately, eat more vegetables and less grains. Green, leafy greens are a great option at this time of year. Try to include one cup every day.
Barley is the ideal Kapha-reducing grain. Millet, oats, rye, and kashi are good grains at this time of the year. Couscous and quinoa can be enjoyed several times a week, but not every day. Rice and pasta should only be eaten once or twice a week and only at noon.
Low-fat milk is fine to eat if it is boiled with a pinch of ginger or turmeric.
A vegetarian diet is helpful in maintaining a healthy weight and good digestion.
Fresh soups are easy to digest and nourishing.
If you like deserts, cooked fruit or homemade fruit crisps are recommended.
Spice your food at every meal. This will help the digestive process. Favor ginger, black pepper, mustard seeds, oregano, sage, thyme, mint, basil, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves.
Spring is the ideal time to enjoy Panchakarma, the traditional detoxification and rejuvenation therapies of Ayurveda. Panchakarma treatments will help to remove toxins and imbalances from deep within the tissues.
For more information, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Center website: