Kapha Pitta Diet

Kapha Pitta Diet: Everything You Need To Know

Kapha dominated Kapha Pitta Prakriti (Kapha Pitta body type) poses a unique challenge to the person having this dual prakriti. The primary Kapha being dominated by the earth and water element, antagonizes the fiery nature of the secondary dosha (Pitta) dominated by the fire and the water element.

You might question how the antagonizing element of fire and water can coexist in Pitta. Well the property of water which is represented in Pitta is fluidity. This provides the necessary ability to flow to the substances which represent Pitta in the human body like enzymes and hydrochloric acid of the stomach, for example.

On the other hand the water represented in the Kapha bestows predominantly cold, cohesive and smooth qualities to Kapha. Overall Kapha is always a threat to the fiery nature of Pitta. So Being a Kapha Pitta type you need to always keep an eye on the food you ingest. You don’t want to increase the Kapha levels in the body to the point where they dampen the fiery nature of pitta and thereby the digestive fire or agni that is nurtured by Pitta.

With this dual body type, so many questions come to mind. Should you be eating two sumptuous meals or 5-6 small meals? Should you have cold foods like ice-cream at all? Which grains are best for me?

Don’t know your Prakriti (Ayurvedic body type)? Take this free quiz and find out!

Kapha Pitta Diet + Acid/Alkaline Balance

The Kapha, if in balance, provides a cradle for the digestive enzymes and juices to act properly in the stomach and small intestine. It also provides lubrication to the stools to be moved properly (by the action of Vata) in the intestines. Throughout the body it counters the acidic environment created by Pitta dominated metabolites and provides the buffering alkaline environment. Thus a properly balanced Pitta and Kapha is necessary for the proper acid-base balance which is an important contributor to the proper functioning of the body.

If Kapha gets aggravated then it shifts the balance first to the alkaline side. As soon as it antagonizes the digestive fire and dampens it though, the metabolism all over the body is hampered. The digestive fire is believed to ‘fuel’ the so called ‘metabolic fires’ which is referred to as bhootagni and dhatwagni. So a weak digestive fire leads to the formation of many unwanted metabolites that in turn lead to the precipitation of many chronic disorders. Conversely if Pitta becomes aggravated, it tilts the balance towards an acidic state and depletes Kapha and its protective actions causing various kinds of excoriating and inflammatory disorders and disorders related to blood.

So, as your physiology is dominated by these two dosha both important for metabolism, growth and repair, you need to take care that your diet fulfills the requirements of the two, does not aggravate either of them and keeps them both in balance. There are no absolute must-avoid lists for Kapha Pitta Diet, but definitely there are foods which are more likely to suite you over others. The other less suitable ones should be taken less frequently.

How To Follow A Kapha Pitta Diet

Having a dual Prakriti, you need to listen to your body. The dosha which is aggravated or depleted will need your attention. Pitta dosha symptoms are different than Vata dosha symptoms and Kapha dosha symptoms. So when a dosha is aggravated, use foods which have properties opposite to that of the dosha in question. On the other hand if your body gives symptoms which point towards the depletion of a dosha, use foods with the same properties as that of the particular dosha.

Don’t know your Prakriti (Ayurvedic body type)? Take this free quiz and find out!

However, if both of your constituent dosha are balanced, you need to follow certain guidelines which will keep the two in the desired state of balance. These guidelines will come in handy when you’re choosing a meal plan.

  • Eat moderate quantities of food and food with Kapha pacifying qualities. All foods that are low in the glycemic index are generally Kapha pacifying like leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, white meat and egg whites. Minimize or avoid the Kapha aggravating foods that have a high glycemic index like sugar and sugary foods, root vegetables, starchy vegetables like jackfruit, potatoes (though you can use them after boiling or after taking them out of the starchy cooking water), white bread, white rice, pasta. These tend to increase Kapha to unmanageable proportions.
  • Too much animal protein is linked to high cholesterol which is thought to be a Kapha disorder. Replace animal protein with vegetable proteins like moong beans, sprouts, lentils and egg whites. Seafood is also Kapha aggravating and too much and too frequent use should be avoided.
  • Have freshly cooked, warm food over raw and cold food. The latter two compromise the digestive fire and produce ama (morbid matter of digestion) which is responsible for allergic disorders, autoimmune disorders and metabolites like cholesterol and uric acid as well as excess Kapha (excessive fat) and Vata. To take care of  the secondary dosha (Pitta) it may be useful for you to consume food spiced with cooling herbs like mint, fennel, cumin and coriander seed powder. Very hot spices like peppers, though good for Kapha, may aggravate Pitta if taken in excess and should be consumed with caution. Mild spices are alright to have.
  • You should sit peacefully and eat in a calm atmosphere. Chew your food properly and eat slowly. Eating while walking, working and talking is likely to cause indigestion and acidity, which you are prone to.
  • Liquids should be taken an hour prior to or an hour after meals, so as not to dilute the digestive juices. A few sips taken with meals are however allowed and are good for digestion.
  • Eat only when you are really hungry and the previous meal has been digested. You’ll know this when your appetite returns, there is a light feeling in the stomach and a clear burp, if any, not smelling of the previous meal.
  • Cooking fats like sesame oil, olive oil and ghee (in small quantities made from cow’s milk) are good for you and do not aggravate Kapha. In small quantities they pacify Pitta. Butter can be replaced by any of these. Intake needs to be restricted to three to four teaspoons per day.
  • White meat (if you decide to have meat) is recommended over red meat. Lean cuts are always preferred. Fish like salmon is all right but too much seafood is Kapha aggravating and excess should be avoided.
  • Dairy taken in excess causes aggravation of Kapha. Two servings of dairy of low fat variety can be taken every day. Yogurt at night and fruit yogurt is strictly prohibited. Not more than two servings per week of yogurt should be taken. Similarly cheese is considered Kapha aggravating and fattening and needs to be avoided. Buttermilk is much better and can be improved by adding some black pepper, rock salt and roasted cumin seed powder (a pinch each) to a glass. Buttermilk is very good for gut flora. It should be taken before lunch. It can be prepared at home by churning the low fat yogurt in a mixture and removing any cream that comes to the top. Ice creams are best avoided, reserved for every two weeks, and can even be replaced by any one of the rich variety of Irish cakes (1 small piece). Dates or fig balls made at home can be taken to cater to your sweet tooth. One half teaspoon of roasted fennel seeds chewed along with a few crystals of rock candy after meals generally satisfies the sweet cravings and acts as a good digestive as well.
  • Take coriander seed, mint and Tulsi tea 2-3 times a day. To make this tea, boil 1/2 tsp of dried Tulsi leaves and 1 tsp of coarsely ground coriander seeds or 6-8 shredded mint leaves in a glass of water. Reduce to 3/4th and strain. Let cool and enjoy. This tea is balancing to your doshas.
  • Fruits like apples should be had 2 times in a day. Too sweet and too sour fruits are best avoided.
  • More and more vegetables should be incorporated into your diet. Most vegetables (except the starchy ones, pungent and sour ones like green bell peppers and tomatoes), are suitable to Kapha Pitta Prakriti. In fact sour vegetables aggravate both Kapha and Pitta and should be taken minimally.
  • The use of bitter and astringent tastes has a pacifying effect on your constituent Doshas, Kapha and Pitta. So bitters like leeks, kale, celery, parsley, mint and fenugreek leaves, moringa leaves, and astringents like salad leaves and spinach, are vital to a healthy diet and should be incorporated in at least a small quantity to begin with. Avoid too much salt and sugary foods (as it increases Kapha ) in the diet.
  • Limit tea, coffee and alcohol. One to two glasses of wine on weekends is all right.
  • Nuts like peanuts are best avoided while roasted seeds may be taken and so may soaked almonds and walnuts in small quantities.

Don’t know your Prakriti (Ayurvedic body type)? Take this free quiz and find out!

Sample Meal Plan For Kapha Pitta Diet

Start your day with a glass of warm water and a platter of fruits, ten almonds and ten raisins (soaked overnight in water).

Breakfast could be a cereal like oats with low fat milk. Bread made from barley flour, whole wheat or multigrain flour can also be taken along with egg whites.

In midmorning a handful of roasted seeds like pumpkin, sunflower or flax (flax seeds only in winter) can be taken with a mint and Tulsi tea or butter milk before lunch.

Lunch could be a mix of vegetables and whole grains like pearled barley, boiled bulgar wheat, quinoa, amaranth or wild rice. The protein portion can come from white meats, green moong beans and red lentils. Lunch can include cooked salad like sauteed cabbage and carrot julienne. Any type of vegetable is also good to have.

In the early evening a serving of fruit can be taken along with herbal tea.

Dinner can be the same as lunch but should be smaller in quantity and taken before 8 pm if possible. Dinner can include soup or vegetarian stew. Experiment with dishes like modified cabbage rolls having fillings like cooked grains or moong beans sautéed in olive oil.

You may have a glass of warm saffron milk or turmeric milk before going to bed. Use low fat cow’s milk or soy milk.

Kapha Pitta Chart, Kapha Pitta body type, Kapha Pitta diet.

Don’t know your Prakriti (Ayurvedic body type)? Take this free quiz and find out!

 

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Deepak Bhanot, BAMS is a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner with 20 years of experience. He specializes in dietary and lifestyle consultation as per one's Prakriti. He has an advanced specialization in Nutrition and Health Education as well as Preventive and Promotive Health Care. He is a certified Panchakarma and Ayurvedic Acupressure therapist.

7 comments

  1. Most of this is misinformation

  2. Thank you doctor

  3. Hello and thank you for the info! I had a question in regards to intermittent fasting with the kapha pitta body type. I have been using this fasting method of eating only between the hours of 12 -8pm and had a severe diverticulitis flare up. I am curious what you think

  4. Dr Deepak’s kapha pitta imbalance diet tips have helped me a lot in tackling with my problem. Thnq sir. I would like to know much more regarding the kapha pitta imbalance

    • Dr. Deepak Bhanot

      Hi Hemalatha, Thanks for your appreciation. The Kapha Pitta imbalance will be reflected in the dimunition or aggravation of the properties and also the respective work these dosha do in the body. One needs to know how the properties of these dosha manifest in the body in the form of symptoms and also what actions these dosha do in the body. After knowing this one needs to know what are the signs of aggravation and signs of dimunition of these dosha. They may individually get aggravated or may get aggravted in conjunction wit each other or also in conjunction with the third dosha Vata. So when we are talking of The Kapha Pitta body type and the diet and life-style, some general suggestions can be made. But if we are talking of Kapha Pitta imbalance which is ‘Vikriti’ as per ayurvedic terminology, it is best to be thorough with the basics. The symptoms will vary as per the different degrees of each dosha that is aggravated or diminished and also as per the body channel or the organ involved. Little complex I know. But that is what it is. I may recommend you to first go through a basic book or course ( like the Ayurveda experience course we have) on Ayurvedic principles and then we can discuss this in more detail.

  5. The Ayurvedic experience has been of great help to me and my friends.I would further want to have much more advice and tips to tackle the kapha pitta imbalance.Thnq sir

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