Ayurveda Kapha Diet​

The following are specific guidelines from Ayurveda/Ayurvedic medicine re diet according to what's known as the doshas. If you are not familiar with the doshas or this system, first read Mark's article on the Ayurvedic doshas & Knowing your Individual Body-Type


Reduce(but don’t avoid) foods that are: COLD, OILY, HEAVY, SWEET, SOUR, SALTY

Specific recommendations.

  • Dairy. Reduce milk, butter, and ghee.  Reduce use of yogurt, ice cream, yellow cheese      (a little bit of ricotta or cottage cheese okay), sour cream, eggs (particularly yolks) and cultured buttermilk.

    A lot of the full cream milk is not ideal for Kaphas.  Some is okay, but it is better to boil milk before drinking (which makes it easier to digest). It should always be taken warm.

    Low-fat milk is okay (do not use soy milk or skim milk), but half full cream milk and half water boiled with two pinches of ginger powder is ideal.

  • Fruit. Lighter, more astringent fruits like apples, pears, cranberries and pomegranates are best. Oranges, pineapples and melons are okay in small quantities.  Reduce/avoid heavy, very sweet, or sour fruits – e.g grapes, bananas, dates, avocados, coconuts.

  • Sweeteners. Honey, which has an astringent quality is good for reducing kapha.

    It should still be used in moderation and remember to never hit it above 42°C.  Reduce/avoid all other sugar products, as they increase kapha.

  • Legumes/Nuts. All legumes (lentils, beans, etc) are fine. Reduce/avoid all types of nuts.

  • Grains. Barley, millet, corn, rye and buckwheat are good for Kapha. Wheat, oats and rice should be reduced/avoided. Kaphas can have a little brown rice, as well as white rice (basmati).

  • Spices. All spices are okay except salt, which should be limited (just enough for taste).

  • Vegetables. All generally fine. Avoid/reduce tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, potato, sweet potato and zucchini.

  • Oils. Avoid large amounts of any oils. Small amounts of sunflower or olive oil okay.

  • Meat/Fish. Anything more than small amounts of meat are not at all recommended for kapha. If non-vegetarian, favour chicken and turkey.  Avoid red meat and most seafood.

Note: These are of course general recommendations only. Use as a guide and continue to eat foods you like, in moderation. Be more vigilant of the above recommendations, where there is a strong kapha imbalance.

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers.  Mark is also CEO of David Lynch Foundation Australia.