Shop Smart: An Ayurvedic Guide to Spring Grocery Shopping
As the seasons change from winter to spring, our bodies not only need a different diet, but also a different daily routine to maintain balance as we shift from Vata into Kapha season. The mind-body awareness that our yoga practice brings helps us to easily & naturally make this transition.
A long winter can lead to a build up of Ama, the toxic waste created from undigested food. When there is an excess of Ama, our Agni, or digestive fire, is weakened. A weakened agni and increased ama leads to colds, flus, illness and allergy flare ups as the seasons change. Symptoms such as loss of taste & appetite, coated tongue, increase muscous, loss of strength, bad body odors (perspiration, urination, defecation), loss of focus & mental clarity, depression and irritability are all signs of increase Ama, or toxic waste build up. By eating the right foods in our diet, we can naturally reduce our Ama and strengthen our agni; bringing balance into the body, mind, and spirit.
Kapha season is from March until June and it is best to eat and drink foods and liquids that are more pungent, spicy, bitter, astringent, light, dry, and warm during this time. These types of foods and beverages help open the channels of elimination and detoxify the body by clearing out mucous and waste. Foods such as seasoned steamed vegetables, warm, broth-based soups, brown, short-grained rice, leafy greens & pomegranates are excellent Kapha pacifiers. Warm to hot water and herbal teas are also beneficial. Also using a variety of spices in your cooking will not only bring flavor to your food, but balance in the body. Try things such as garlic, cayenne, black pepper, mustard & ginger in your meals. These spices help stimulate perspiration and detoxification, promoting health and balance within the body.
As we increase the above tastes in our diet, it is also recommended to reduce others. Sweet, sour, salty, heavy, cold, & oily foods should be significantly reduced and eaten only sparingly. These types of foods aggravate Kapha and lead to imbalance in the body. Avoiding fried and processed foods, leftovers, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and dairy whenever possible; these foods are very taxing on the body, wrecking havoc on our systems and creating further imbalance.
Keeping these items out of our cart at the grocery store guarantees we will not eat them late at night when we are at home. Below is an easy to follow shopping guide of all the best Kapha pacifying foods to help keep you balanced and healthy this spring. Print this page and keep it in the kitchen for easy reference when you write your next shopping list!