Spring Grocery List – Kapha Balancing Diet


Why Eat Seasonally?

When we adjust our diet and lifestyle to match the season, health-promoting digestive microbes dramatically change. Spring microbes support balanced immunity, digestion, mood, energy, blood sugar, weight, sleep – and much more. Spring is also associated with the qualities of ‘Kapha,’ which are heavy, cold and oily. To stay balanced, focus on foods and activities that are light, dry and warm.

To Stay Strong and Healthy:

  • During spring, eat more foods from this list.
  • Eat more foods that are Pungent (Spicy), Bitter, Astringent / Light, Dry, Warm: such as flavorful steamed veggies, brothy soups, brown rice.
  • Eat less foods that are Sweet, Sour, Salty / Heavy, Cold, Oily: such as fried foods, ice cream, heavy dairy.
  • Follow our Short Home Cleanse for a 4-day personal cleanse.
  • For 6 weeks, take 500 mg of Manjistha, Turmeric Plus and Tulsi twice per day to cleanse your lymphatic system,
    heal your digestion, boost immunity and nourish your nervous system.
  • Tired? Schedule an Ayurvedic Consult to treat the root cause of your fatigue, which is different for each person.

Daily Routines (Dinacharya) for Spring:

  • Self-massage with warm Lymphatic Massage Oil or raw sesame oil.
  • Three or more times per day practice Bellows Breath: breathe quickly and with strength in and out through your nose for 30 seconds while expanding and contracting your diaphragm. Sit in silence for 1 minute.
  • Exercise in the morning to increase circulation, mood and immunity.
  • Perform Neti by irrigating your nasal passage with warm salt water. Always follow with Nasya.
  • Perform Nasya by dipping a q-tip in warm Tri-Doshic Massage Oil or warm sesame oil, swirling it inside your nostrils, and inhaling deeply.

Signs of Excess Kapha During Spring:

  • Cold, cough, allergies, congestion, flu, fatigue, depression, weight gain.
  • If you experience some of these signs, schedule a consult with Dr. Douillard and follow the above guidelines for a balanced spring!


  • Choose Organic and non-GMO when possible.
  • Curious about a food not on this list? Taste it. If it has 2 of the 3 spring tastes (pungent/spicy, bitter, astringent), it is balancing. Prepare it in a way that is light, warm and dry.
  • Eat more of your favorite foods from this list.
  • Though these are not the only items you can eat, they are the most beneficial foods for this season.
  • These foods are most beneficial for spring because they have qualities that balance Spring (Kapha). Even if they are not harvested in your region during spring – or any season – their qualities are still balancing.  If you wish to take it to the next level, you can choose to eat more local foods, but you do not have to.
  • *An asterisk means that this food is a Spring Superfood. If you like it, eat more of it.

Download the PDF>>> Download a PDF of the Spring Grocery List


  • *Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Artichokes
  • *Asparagus
  • *Bean Sprouts
  • Beets
  • *Bell Peppers
  • *Bitter Melon
  • Broccoli
  • *Brussels Sprouts
  • *Cabbage
  • *Carrots
  • *Cauliflower
  • *Celery
  • *Chicory
  • *Chilies, dried
  • Cilantro
  • *Collard Greens
  • *Corn
  • *Dandelion
  • *Endive
  • Fennel
  • *Garlic
  • Ginger
  • *Green Beans
  • *Hot Peppers
  • Jicama
  • *Kale
  • Leeks
  • *Lettuce
  • *Mushrooms
  • *Mustard Greens
  • *Onions
  • *Parsley
  • *Peas
  • *Potatoes, baked
  • *Radishes
  • Seaweed
  • Snow Peas
  • *Spinach
  • *Swiss Chard
  • *Turnips
  • *Watercress


  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • *Dried Fruit (all)
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons, Limes
  • Papayas
  • Pears
  • Pomegranates (sour)
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • All Berries


  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Oats, dry
  • Quinoa
  • Rice, Brown, long grain
  • Rye


  • *All Sprouted Beans
  • Adzuki
  • Black Gram
  • Garbanzo
  • Fava
  • *Kidney
  • *Lentils
  • *Lima
  • *Mung
  • *Split Pea


  • Filberts
  • Pinons
  • Pumpkin
  • Sunflower


  • Ghee (moderation)
  • Lowfat yogurt (moderation)
  • Rice/Soy milk
  • *Goat milk


  • Chicken
  • Duck (moderation)
  • Eggs (moderation)
  • Freshwater fish
  • Lamb (moderation)
  • Ocean fish (moderation)
  • Turkey


  • *Corn
  • Flax
  • Mustard
  • Sunflower


  • Anise
  • Asafoetida
  • Basil
  • Bay Leaf
  • *Black Pepper
  • Chamomile
  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • *Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • *Clove
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Spearmint
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric


  • Black Tea (moderation)
  • Coffee (moderation)
  •  Water (room temp. to hot)


  • Alfalfa
  • *Cardamom
  • *Chicory
  • *Cinnamon
  • *Cloves
  • *Dandelion
  • *Ginger
  • *Hibiscus
  • *Orange Peel
  • *Strawberry Leaf


  • *Honey – Raw
  •  Maple Syrup
  • Molasses


  • Carob
  • Pickles

*An asterisk means that this food is a Spring Superfood. If you like it, eat more of it.

Slider_3SD-Challenge-with-Learn-More_Dec2014This 2015, join Dr. John Douillard for The 3-Season Diet Challenge. It’s free! This challenge takes you through a year of eating seasonally with month-to-month support and guidance. Nature provides the ideal harvest for each season to keep you strong, healthy, energized and focused. New research suggests that our gut microbes are meant to change seasonally by the foods we eat. Seasonal microbes optimize digestion, mood and immunity – the way nature intended!

Learn more about the 3-Season Diet Challenge and sign up for FREE today!


    • John Douillard says

      HI Amanda,
      Yes, in fact, we have created a completely free 3-Season Diet Challenge that provides seasonal recipes and tons of other really cool seasonal eating information each month for a full year. You can sign up and learn more here: http://lifespa.com/3seasondietchallenge/. The recipes come from Food Network star, Emma Frisch. We also have a Recipes category on our site, where these seasonal recipes are being archived: http://lifespa.com/category/recipes/.
      ~ jen @ lifespa

  1. teri harms says

    Thank you for this information. . 1.Since I’m a vata, are you saying these are the foods I should eat now? 2. Has coffee always been allowed in moderation for vata’s? 3. Isn’t sesame oil excellent for vata’s & it’s not listed on this list or is it just good in wintertime?
    Thank you for your help. “a new learner of ayervedic medicine”

    • John Douillard says

      Hi Teri,
      If you are primarily vata, DURING THE WINTER, you should be especially be focusing on the Winter Grocery List and vata-balancing activities:http://lifespa.com/winter-grocery-list-vata-balancing-diet/. The goal is to get all 3 doshas into balance, and not have one or two doshas way high or low. Regardless of your dosha, you should strive to be eating with the seasons. In about 2 weeks, we are publishing an article that will give you the superfoods for the spring for your primary dosha. Keep an eye out. And, yes you are correct about coffee being ok in moderation for vatas. Check out this article I wrote on coffee: http://lifespa.com/coffee-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ayurvedic-perspective/. Sesame oil is great for vatas as well, both for self-massage as well as for cooking with.
      Hope this helps,

  2. Judith H says

    Years ago I did a yoga for lymph drainage video daily that you did with your daughter who looked about 17 or so. I loaned it out but it was never returned. Is this still available? I would love to resume doing this. If not is there another that you could recommend to improve lymph drainage?
    Thank you.

  3. Wendy says

    Any cautions or recommendations regarding herbs for March if I plan to do the Colorado Cleanse? In one of the preparation resources I read not to take any herbs until the cleanse starts…is that just to make sure you have enough for the cleanse?

    • John Douillard says

      Hi Wendy, Actually I like the idea of starting the herbs early if you are needing more of a digestive reset. I also suggest taking advantage of these weeks before the Colorado Cleanse to change the microbiome with Gut Revival (1 packet 2x/day) before and during the Cleanse and after the Colorado Cleanse ends, switch to 1 capsule of the Flora Restore Max per day for a month. Follow that with regular strength Flora Restore (1 cap a day for another month or two).
      Hope that helps.

  4. Josie Guarino says

    This will be my third year participating in the Colorado Cleanse. I love it more and more each year. However last year Epsom salt with lemon (not sure the exact recipe) was replaced with the castor oil. The Epsom salt did nothing for me. I found the castor oil far more effective. I’m primarily a Pitta. I’m not sure if that helps you in answering this question but is it still ok if I return to the castor oil during the last stage of the cleanse? Thanks

  5. Karen says

    Hello. Thank you for all the springtime food lists and information. I am enjoying the seasonal challenge.
    In springtime is a cardamom lassi (after 11am lunch) around midday ok? What about a warm saffron milk in the evening with honey and ashwangdha? Or should I just avoid dairy all together during springtime? I am drinking dandelion, ginger, nettle, hibiscus and tulsi teas during the day.


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