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Clinic > FLUID AND MUCUS REDUCING DIET (KAPHA)

DIET TO CLEAR PHLEGM, MUCUS AND STICKY ACCUMULATIONS

Use this diet to clear mucus, heaviness, sinus congestion, think tongue coating, tiredness, sluggishness, high cholesterol, oedema and during winter months,

General Treatments

Please just eat what is appropriate for you. If you are intolerant of any food or simply do not like it then please avoid it.

  • Avoid yeast, salt, cheese, yoghurt, chocolate, and refined sugars and flours as these increase mucus.
  • Avoid overeating, especially at night.
  • Do not eat when you are not hungry. Do not eat between meals.
  • Do not eat cold foods
  • A primarily vegetarian diet is highly recommended.
  • Include ginger in your daily diet: take a pinch of fresh ginger root with a few drops of lemon juice before each meal.
  • Favour foods that are light, dry, and warm as these reduce mucus.
  • Reduce foods that are heavy, oily, and cold as these increase weight and mucus.
  • Favour foods that are spicy, bitter, and astringent (eg ginger, asparagus, tea) as these help to dry excess fluids in the body.
  • Reduce foods that are sweet, salty, and sour (eg, cakes, crisps, vinegar) as these increase fluids in the body.
  • Dairy: Low-fat milk is better. Always boil milk before you drink it (making it easier to digest) and take it warm. Do not take milk with a full meal, or with sour or salty food. Add some cardamom or ginger to whole milk before boiling it to help reduce any mucus generating properties. Use goat’s milk or water milk down 50/50. A little ghee (clarified butter) is fine. Avoid eggs, cheese, yoghurt and buffalo milk.
  • Fruits: Lighter fruits, such as apples and pears, are better. Reduce sweet, heavy or sour fruits such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates, avocados, coconuts, and melons, as these fruits increase mucus.
  • Sweeteners: Use a little honey (2 tsp/day) as it helps to reduce mucus. Reduce all other sugar products.
  • Beans: All beans are fine, except tofu as it is very cold.
  • Nuts: Reduce all nuts as they are too oily.
  • Oils: Reduce all oils but flax, corn and sunflower is ok.
  • Grains: Increase barley, corn, buckwheat, quinoa and millet as these are slightly drying or warming. Avoid or do not take too much wheat, rice, or oats, as they increase heaviness and mucus.
  • Spices: Include all spices except for salt. Salt increases water retention and mucus whereas spices increase warmth in the body.
  • Vegetables: Increase asparagus, aubergine, beetroots, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, garlic, ginger, green leaves, kale, onion, potato, pumpkin, radish, sprouts. Reduce okra, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and summer squash as these increase fluids.
  • Meat and Fish: White meat from chicken or turkey is fine, as is seafood. Avoid or reduce red meat and pork.

Kicharee recipe:

  • Try eating kicharee regularly: it is easy to digest and very nourishing.
  • 1/3 cup split mung lentils, 2/3 basmati rice (or other grain) simmered in 3-4 cups of water (a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4).
  • Add 1/4 tsp each of organic turmeric, ginger, roasted cumin and coriander.
  • Add seasonal vegetables: spinach, peas, or seaweeds, shitake mushrooms for an all round healing, healthy and agni enkindling meal.
  • The best practice is to cook it on a very low heat in a covered saucepan and DO NOT stir it after all the ingredients are added.
  • Add a teaspoon of ghee or hemp seed oil at the end.

Healthy eating habits

  • Eat only when hungry.
  • Follow the body and not the mind- listen to your body and what it needs.
  • Treat your digestion like a fire; stoke it with easy to assimilate light meals.
  • Eat to less than full capacity. It is recommended to eat until the stomach is 1/2 full with food, 1/4 full with liquid and to leave 1/4 empty for the digestive process to have some space.
  • Eat simple meals.
  • Eat fruit, including juice away from other foods; ie leave a 2-4 hour gap.
  • Eat in a peaceful environment; not driving, hurrying or standing.
  • Eat warm and cooked food as this is easier to digest. Cold food, raw food, ice, cold water can weaken the digestive process.
  • Leave 4 hours between breakfast and lunch and 6 hours between lunch and supper. Eating in between meals slows down digestion and must be avoided in intestinal imbalance.
  • Eat the last meal of the day early in the evening. Late eating can cause constipation and indigestion.