Written by John Immel,
Kapha's digestion tends to be slow and sluggish, a condition called manda agni in Ayurveda. As a result, Kapha people tend to gain weight easily and store energy well. The dull, gooey nature of Kapha creates excess mucus in the stomach, which covers the food and interferes with enzymatic action, slowing digestion down. Kapha people may have an urge to burp, but because of mucus, have trouble releasing the gas. Kapha people tend to have sluggish metabolism and poor circulation, which leads to a lack of umph and movement through the digestive tract.
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Kapha people tend to love eating even though they don't need to eat much. They find comfort in food, especially sweets. For this reason, Kapha should be careful to avoid overeating and emotional eating.
SymptomsKapha's home is in the stomach and Kapha imbalance frequently begins there. Common Kapha digestive woes include nausea, loss of appetite, feeling tired after eating, and acid reflux due to hypoacidity. Kapha's static quality and tendency toward thick fluids also results in gallstones, weight gain, and other congestive disorders. Kapha people may also have some constipation due to weak peristalsis and poor bowel muscle tone, especially if the thyroid is depressed (cold quality).
RemediesKapha should eat well balanced meals with moderate portions in order to minimize snacking between meals. They do best when avoiding heavy, gooey foods like dairy, wheat, and sugar, which bog down their digestive system. Kapha should include ample bitter greens in their diet, which stimulate peristalsis, cleanse their digestive tract, and keep things moving.
Legumes with insoluble fiber and astringency clean the Kapha digestive tract of excessive moisture and mucus. Kapha individuals should also spice their food generously to stimulate digestion and liquefy mucus. It's important that they get some form of exercise in their day to stimulate metabolism and prevent stagnation in the digestive tract.
Kapha folks should only eat when they have true hunger, i.e. when the stomach is growling. Kapha is the only dosha who can skip a meal or fast occasionally, but only if this practice does not cause strong hunger. It's best for Kapha to eat midday when the temperature is warmer and the sun is up because this is the time of day when digestion is strongest.
A common, spicy Ayurvedic formula to support Kapha's digestion is Trikatu. Digestive Bitters is an ideal formula for Kapha, specially formulated to reduce sluggish digestion, keep the bowels moving, and boost metabolism.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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The recommendations are very appropriate