Kapha governs all structure and lubrication or fluid balance in the mind and body.

Welcome to the fourth article of Know Your Prakriti Series. Find the links at the end to the entire series.

Kapha controls weight, growth, lubrication for the joints and lungs, and formation of all seven tissues (lymph, blood, fat, muscles, bones, bone marrow or nervous tissue and reproductive tissues).

You need to balance the heat of Kapha if any of the following conditions are present:

• You gain weight easily and find it very hard to lose weight.

• You tend to be overweight.

• You often feel dull, bored and lethargic.

• You lack energy and feel lazy or complacent.

• You experience sinus problems

• You have frequent and prolonged chest colds and flu.

• You suffer from congestive problems

• You suffer from asthma or bronchitis.

• You need lots of rest and sleep long hours.

• You wake up feeling heavy and un-refreshed.

• You find that you are possessive, greedy and over-attached.

• You feel discomfort in cold, damp weather.

• You experience bloating or water retention.

• Your digestion is slow and heavy even when you have only eaten a small meal.

• Your joints and muscles feel stiff and heavy, especially in the morning.

Tips for balancing Kapha:

• Follow a Kapha balancing diet with plenty of spices and pungent, bitter and astringent tastes.

• Skip breakfast if you don’t feel hungry.

• Partake in some vigorous exercise each day – running, cycling, tennis, squash or rugby.

• Stay warm in cold, damp weather.

• Be early to bed and early to rise.

• Take time to enjoy warm showers.

• Have a vigorous, dry massage each morning.

• Wear bright colours – orange, yellow, red.

• Decorate your house in warm, bright, vibrant colours.

• Enjoy the sun and spend more time outdoors.

• Partake in exciting activities or adventure holidays.

• Take time out to have fun and meet new people.

• Seek out variety, embrace new experiences and take up a hobby.

• Use stimulating essential oils and incense with warming aromas such as pine, eucalyptus, clove, orange, basil & sage.

The Kapha balancing diet

• Favour warm to hot foods that are light and dry in quality. They should be cooked with minimal fat and water and be predominantly pungent, bitter and astringent in taste.

• Spicy Indian or Mexican food is good for Kapha as long as not too much oil is used in cooking.

• Avoid heavy, oily and cold foods and foods that have predominantly sweet, sour and salty tastes.

• Drink 1 litre of hot water with lemon and/or ginger daily. Have barley tea or post-digestive tea after main meals to cleanse the tissues, improve digestion, give energy and reduce hunger.

• Favour baked, grilled or sautéed food in preference to boiled, deep-fried or steamed food.

• Occasional have small side salads and raw foods to help tone the digestive tract.

• Avoid fried foods and cold cereals at breakfast – stewed fruit or toast with honey is much better.

• Favour barley, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, corn, millet and rye and limit oats, rice and wheat. Dry roasting grains in ghee before cooking helps make them lighter on digestion.

• Increase your intake of vegetables but exclude mashed potatoes, turnips and parsnips.

• Lighter fruits, such as apples and pears are better for Kapha. Reduce heavy or sour fruits, such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates, avocados, coconuts and melons.

• Honey is excellent for reducing Kapha but generally reduces other sugar products.

• Spices are all fine but reduce salt as it helps retain water and increases Kapha.

• Limit your intake of milk, butter, ice cream, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, deep-fried food, white sugar, aspartame, tinned beans, fizzy drinks, yeasted bread, confectionary, sweet fruits, red meat, potatoes, hard or aged cheeses, salt and alcohol.

• Avoid low-fat products as these are highly processed and usually high in sugar.

• Have rice cakes, rye bread, chapattis and cornbread rather than yeast-risen bread.

• Pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts are good but they should be lightly roasted and then ground before eating.

• Most beans are good as long as they are well-cooked.

For knowing your body type, please feel free to consult with any Ayurvedacharya (Ayurveda Doctor / Vaidya) on AayushBharat platform. You can download the app from Google Playstore by clicking on the short link here: https://bit.ly/3RsJbf3

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