Kapha Pacifying Foods


Kapha Pacifying Foods: A Guide to Balancing Your Doshas

According to the ancient Indian medicine system “Ayurveda”, there are three doshas which are primary energies of our body that govern our body and mind – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each individual has a unique combination of these doshas, which determine their physical and mental constitution, and how they respond to various foods, activities, and environments.


Kapha dosha made up of earth and water elements are responsible for the structure and stability of our body and mind. It governs functions such as lubrication, nourishment, and immunity, and helps maintain physical and emotional balance. When Kapha is imbalanced, it can lead to conditions such as obesity, lethargy, congestion, depression, and attachment.


The food we eat is the most effective way to balance our Kapha dosha. Ayurveda recommends a Kapha-pacifying diet that consists of foods that are light, dry, warm, and spicy, and have qualities that counterbalance Kapha’s heavy, cold, damp, and sluggish nature.


In this blog, I will discuss some of the best Kapha pacifying foods that can help you balance your doshas and promote optimal health.




Favour Avoid
  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Cereal (unsweetened, cold, dry)
  • Couscous
  • Crackers
  • Durham Flour
  • Granola
  • Millet
  • Muesli
  • Oat Bran
  • Oats (dry)
  • Polenta
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (wild)
  • Rice Cakes
  • Rye
  • Seitan
  • Spelt
  • Sprouted Wheat Bread
  • Tapioca
  • Wheat Bran
  • Corn
  • Oats (cooked)
  • Pancakes
  • Pasta
  • Rice (brown, white)
  • Wheat
  • Yeasted Bread





Favour Avoid
  • Adzuki Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
  • Lentils
  • Lima Beans
  • Mung Beans
  • Mung Dal
  • Navy Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Split Peas
  • Tempeh
  • Toor Dal
  • White Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Miso
  • Soya Beans
  • Soya Cheese
  • Soya Flour
  • Soya Powder
  • Soya Sauce
  • Soya Milk
  • Soya Meats
  • Tofu
  • Urad Dal





Vegetables are an important part of a Kapha-pacifying diet, as they are low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The best vegetables for a Kapha-pacifying diet include:


Favour Reduce or Avoid
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Beet Greens
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bitter Melon
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Burdock Root
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chillies
  • Cilantro
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Daikon Radish
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Horseradish
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leafy Greens
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers, Sweet & Hot
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes (cooked)
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Winter Squash
  • Wheat Grass
  • Zucchini
  • Avocado
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Olives
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes (raw)





Fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and can be a healthy addition to a Kapha-pacifying diet. The best fruits for a Kapha-pacifying diet include:


Favour Avoid
  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Apricots
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Figs (dry)
  • Grapes (red, purple, black)
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranates
  • Prunes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Coconut
  • Dates
  • Figs (fresh)
  • Grapes (green)
  • Grapefruit
  • Mango
  • Melons
  • Papaya
  • Plums
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb
  • Tamarin





Spices are an essential part of a Kapha-pacifying diet, as they have a warming effect on the body and help stimulate digestion and metabolism. The best spices for a Kapha-pacifying diet include:


Favour Avoid
  • Ajwain / Bishop’s Weed
  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Bay Leaf
  • Black Pepper
  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander (seeds or powder)
  • Cumin (seeds or powder)
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • Garlic
  • Ginger (fresh or dried)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Hing (Asafoetida)
  • Mace
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Neem Leaves
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Pippali
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Savoury
  • Spearmint
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Trikatu
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla
  • Wintergreen
  • Use less Salt





As the sweet taste is not particularly supportive of kapha, most sweeteners are better avoided. Honey on the other hand – which is dry, light, and heating—is the one exception, when used in small quantities. Honey also scrapes toxins and fat from the tissues, so it benefits kapha on multiple levels.


However, heating or cooking with honey creates toxins, so only raw and unprocessed honey should be used. Foods and drinks that contain refined sugars or corn syrup can be especially detrimental and should be avoided as much as possible.


Favour Avoid
  • Honey (raw and unprocessed)
  • Stevia and other sugar substitutes
  • Avoid all Fruit Juices
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Barley Malt
  • Date Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Honey (cooked, heated, or processed)
  • Jaggary
  • Maple Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sucanat
  • Turbinado
  • White Sugar





Oils are an important part of a Kapha-pacifying diet, as they help lubricate the body and promote healthy digestion and elimination. The best oils for a Kapha-pacifying diet include:


Favour Avoid
  • Almond Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Apricot Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Ghee
  • Primrose Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soya Oil
  • Walnut Oil





Dairy products are best minimized when trying to reduce kapha because they tend to be heavy, and unctuous, and can increase mucus production. As a rule, dairy milk should be taken at least one hour before or after any other food.


Ideally, milk is boiled and served hot with a pinch of turmeric or ginger—to make it more digestible and less congesting. Goat’s milk and goat’s milk products are the best options for kapha because they are lighter, but are best in moderation. Almond and rice milk are good substitutes.


Favour Avoid
  • Buttermilk
  • Cottage Cheese (ideally from skim goat’s milk)
  • Goat’s Cheese (unsalted, not aged)
  • Goat’s Milk (skim)
  • Yoghurt (fresh and diluted)
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ghee
  • Ice Cream
  • Sour Cream
  • Yoghurt (store-bought)



Meat & Eggs: 


Kapha does best with animal foods that are light and relatively dry (like chicken or freshwater fish), as opposed to those that are heavy, oily, or especially dense (such as beef, pork, or duck). Eating less meat all around is generally beneficial. Kapha can be easily pacified without any animal foods if your diet doesn’t already include them.


Favour Avoid
  • Chicken (white)
  • Eggs (not fried, and in moderation)
  • Fish (freshwater)
  • Shrimp
  • Turkey (white)
  • Venison
  • Beef
  • Buffalo
  • Chicken (dark)
  • Duck
  • Fish (saltwater)
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Seafood
  • Tuna Fish
  • Turkey (dark)

Meat & Eggs


Nuts & Seeds:


Nuts and seeds tend to be heavy, dense, and oily and are generally not terrifically balancing for kapha. But there are a few types of nuts and seeds that are acceptable in small quantities. When trying to balance kapha, nuts and seeds are best enjoyed only on occasion.


Favour Avoid
  • Almonds (soaked and peeled)
  • Charole Nuts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Popcorn (without salt or butter)
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Coconut
  • Filberts
  • Flax Seeds
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Tahini
  • Walnuts

Nuts & Seeds




In conclusion, a Kapha-pacifying diet is an important part of Ayurvedic medicine and can help balance Kapha dosha and promote optimal health. By incorporating light, dry, warm, and spicy foods into your diet, and avoiding heavy, cold, damp, and sweet foods, you can achieve a healthy balance of all three doshas and improve your physical and emotional well-being.