Kapha Diet and Lifestyle

Guidelines to Balance Water and Earth

what is kapha

Each person is made up of their own special mix of the three doshas of Ayurveda. Although we cannot see them, the three doshas are responsible for all processes of the mind and body. In this post, we share the guidelines for the Kapha diet and lifestyle.

Each of us has a unique blend of the three doshas.

Kapha provides all structure in the body. It has earthy, watery, oily, and cold qualities.

Some of the most common symptoms of a Kapha imbalance include:

  • Over-weight or obesity
  • Feeling foggy, heavy, dull, or slow
  • Excess mucous
  • Thick, white coating on tongue
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Slow, sluggish digestion
  • Lethargy
  • Water retention or edema
  • Congestion, colds and cough
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies
  • Low thyroid function
  • Yeast conditions
  • Sinus congestion
  • Lymphatic disorders

Kapha Diet and Lifestyle

  • Eat organic, whole, healthy foods that have a naturally bitter, pungent and astringent tastekapha diet and lifestyle
  • Favor light, dry, and warming foods
  • Eat fewer sweet, sour, and salty foods
  • Kapha is balanced by eating less food
  • Eat a light breakfast
  • Eat your main meal between 11 am – 2 pm and take a light evening meal
  • Avoid snacking and late-night eating
  • Cut white sugar and greasy, fatty foods
  • Use warming spices to improve digestion
  • Favor warm beverages

Kapha Food List


Reduce dairy products. When you do take them, make sure it's organic and spiced with a little ginger or cardamom.


Favor: Amaranth, barley, basmati rice, buckwheat, corn flour, quinoa, rye

Reduce: Oats, long and short grain rice (white or brown), wheat or whole wheat


Favor: Raw honey only

Reduce: Butter, buttermilk, cream, cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream, Kefir, sour cream, yogurt


Favor: Sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, green beans, bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celergy, chilies, cilantro, corn, kale, lettuce, and other leafy greens like mustard greens, onions, parsley

Reduce: Beets, cucumber, eggplant, okra, tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, water chestnuts, zucchini


Favor: Dried fruits as they are not too sweet. Apples, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, pomegranate, prunes, raisins

Avoid: Sweet fruits avocados, bananas, berries, cantaloupe, coconut, dates, figs, grapes, mango, melons, pineapple, oranges, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, tangerines and watermelon


Favor: Mung beans, red lentils, soybeans (tofu & soymilk) split peas

Reduce: black lentils, chickpeas


Favor: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

Reduce: Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, coconut, filberts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts


If you choose to eat meat, limit consumption to 2-3 times per week. Kapha body types thrive as vegetarians


Use oils in small amounts only. Even the best oils, if overused will aggravate Kapha Dosha.

Favor: Flaxseed, mustard, safflower, sunflower

Reduce: Almond, avocado, castor, coconut, olive, peanut and sesame

Herbs and Spices

Kapha types can take any spices. Their food should be well-spiced and never bland. They do well with any spice but should reduce Salt.

Kapha Lifestyle

  • Get plenty of vigorous exercise often
  • Don't sleep in past 6 am and never sleep during daylight hours
  • Stimulate your mind by learning new things
  • Socialize often with friends or take part in activities that explore your limits
  • Sleep with light, warm covers, with the window cracked for fresh air
  • Never over-eat or snack often

Things That Throw Kapha Off Balance:

  • Overeating
  • Eating Kapha aggravating food
  • Watching too much television
  • Living in cold, damp climates
  • Being lazy
  • Avoiding mental challenges
  • Storing emotions
  • Eating to repress emotions
  • Focusing too much on material goods

Please don't hesitate to ask me questions in the comment area below. I’m here to help you out and I would love nothing more than for you to be the healthiest and happiest version of yourself possible. Let me know if you need anything and I will be sure to get back within “hours” most of the time.

I look forward to helping you!

kapha diet and lifestyle
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Written by Jackie Parker


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  1. Hello, I am getting confused on recomendations on Kapha diet. For example some say eat berries others say avoid them. Same with oils etc… conflicting lists. I’m just starting. So don’t know how to research this.

    • Hello Nancy,

      Ayurveda recognizes 6 tastes: Sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Most fruits are sweet. The sweet taste can imbalance Kapha dosha because sweet taste promotes heavy qualities in the body. Yes, food lists can be confusing and they can vary a bit. Some fruits are better than others. Tart apples and cherries are highly recommended in springtime. Are you primarily Kapha? I wouldn’t get too concerned with this unless you are very Kapha imbalanced. Personally, I consider food lists but try to eat seasonally… meaning I eat the fruit that nature is producing in each season.

  2. Realizing that a lot of the sluggishness I’m feeling, along with the congestion (I love icecream and live on a dairy farm, yikes!) comes from Kapha imbalance. i consume too much dairy and am not active enough, and tend to eat big meals. I have a feeling my life is about to change in a big way, thank you for this information. I’ve tried OMAD (one meal a day) in the past, and felt really good doing it, but didn’t do it longterm. Do you think this kind of reduced eating is good for kapha?

    • Typically Kapha types are not hungry in the morning and so they don’t want a meal until late morning. It would be better to have a light breakfast, then eat your largest meal before the sunsets and then do not eat again till morning. There are many, many benefits to fasting for 12 hours. It’s very important to get some sort of exercise too!

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