To clarify, certain foods increase Kapha in any person of any dosha (so, in Vatas and Pittas as well as Kaphas), and other foods decrease Kapha. In my previous post on weight I explain that Kapha is manifested in the body as water/earth tissues, including fat and water retention. So to decrease fat in the body, Ayurveda advises to eat foods that decrease Kapha. Makes sense.
Here is a quick list of foods that decrease and increase Kapha. For a complete list visit this web page.
KAPHA-DECREASING FOODS (choose)
FRUITS ~ light, crisp fruit including apples, plums, peaches and pears but also berries and prunes
VEGETABLES ~ all light, crisp, bitter or dark vegetables
GRAINS ~ rye, kamut, barley, millet, buckwheat, corn
PROTEIN ~ lentils, beans, toasted sunflower seeds, chicken, eggs and cooked tofu
BEVERAGES ~ herbal teas, soy milk, diluted fruit juices
SPICES ~ honey, all herbs and spices especially pungent ones like ginger, garlic, turmeric, pepper, chilis, cumin
KAPHA-INCREASING FOODS (avoid)
FRUITS ~ sweet, juicy, tropical fruit including oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates, avocadoes, tomatoes, coconut and melons
VEGETABLES ~ sweet or juicy vegetables including cucumbers, sweet potatoes, squashes and zucchini
GRAINS ~ wheat and rice
PROTEIN ~ all nuts, cheeses, red meats and seafood
BEVERAGES ~ excess alcohol, all dairy and pop
SPICES ~ sugar, maple syrup and salt
OILS ~ choose sunflower oil and ghee, but use sparingly and only for cooking (never cold, as in salad dressing, in spreads and garnishes, etc)
The thing to remember is that like increases like, so if your issue is fat and water retention, don't eat foods that are fatty or watery. Kapha is also inherently cold and inert, so opt for warm/hot foods that give you energy! Eat small meals, and choose snack like toasted sunflower seeds (no salt), fruits, berries, prunes, plain popcorn, raw or lightly-steamed vegetables, soup, rye toast and chai tea. Stay away from restaurant food especially Italian, sushi, bbq, burgers, fries, pizza, pub food, fast food, pre-packaged foods, and treats and desserts. Sorry!
Some encouragement: in the last few weeks of eating a Kapha-pacifying diet, I have loads of energy and my clothes fit better. This has also spurred increased activity by joining the Y!