Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Ayurvedic Detox Diet for the Kapha Dosha

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By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed     

The Ayurvedic system of health and healing began to be systematically compiled approximately 5,000 years ago in Northern India. It is considered to be the sister science to the practice of Yoga. When Ayurvedic techniques and recommendations are combined with a consistent practice of Yoga asanas, pranayama exercises and meditation, a Yoga practitioner is greatly supported in creating and maintaining a state of vibrant good health and well-being. 

According to Ayurvedic guidelines, spring is a great time to cleanse the entire body of toxins that may have accumulated throughout the winter months. Often, we eat heavy, more tamasic foods during the wintertime. Come spring, we may find that we have even put on a few extra pounds! This is especially true for those of us who are predominantly Kapha in nature. The term “Kapha” refers to one of the three doshas or body/mind constellations according to Ayurveda. The other two doshas are Pitta, which is imbued by the fire element, and Vata, which is ruled by the air element.

When a Kapha individual is balanced, he or she is steady, strong, peaceful, loyal and serene. When a Kapha dosha individual is out-of-balance, he or she may experience lethergy, procrastination, excess weight and even depression. As new life begins to bloom around us, very naturally we want to cleanse our homes, wardrobes and bodies.  The softness of the air and the increasing light support us in releasing heavier thoughts, ways of being and dietary habits. In addition to a spring detoxification diet, daily exercise out in the sunshine, engaging in new experiences and rising with the sun will all support a Kapha in feeling light, energized, strong, and healthy. 

Ayurvedic physicians recommend that all doshas reduce the consumption of ama-producing or stagnating and toxic foods throughout the year, especially during a spring detox diet. Examples of ama-producing foods are meat, processed food and fast food. The recommended diets for Kaphas during a spring detox diet are bean-based soups, leafy and bitter greens, steamed vegetables and easily digested whole grains. 

It is also recommended that Kaphas include digestive herbs and spices in their detox diet plan. According to Ayurveda, some of the most highly recommended spices for Kaphas to include during a springtime detox diet and throughout the course of the year are fenugreek, fennel, coriander, turmeric and ginger. Including these spices into your daily diet will help to facilitate thorough digestion, alkalize your body and promote greater enzyme production; thereby stimulating more energy, fire and a sense of peaceful lightness and well-being. 

© Copyright 2013 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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  1. To balance kapha dominance, eat smaller amounts of food and emphasize food with vata properties of light and dry.
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