Do you feel different now that spring is upon us? More stuffy and sticky?
The body will hold onto more water during spring, which may congest mucus membranes that line the respiratory and digestive tracts, aggravating kapha. After a long winter of dryness, mucus membranes respond by producing excess reactive mucus, causing immune hypersensitivity (more common in the transitional seasons of spring and fall).
According to Ayurveda, spring (March-June) is kapha season. Kapha literally means “to stick together.” It’s a muddy, wet, rainy time of year, where the earth is holding onto more water—nature’s response to a long dry winter.
The extent that the sinuses dry out in the winter is the extent to which they will produce reactive mucus in the spring. To a certain degree, the mucus-making tendency of spring provides relief for a long dry winter. But, if a little is good, more is not necessarily better.
We RecommendSpring Grocery List: Kapha-Pacifying Diet
The Natural Austerity of Spring
While it is natural for kapha to increase during spring for all body types, excess kapha can cause problems.1 The production of mucus in spring can also be aggravated by a diet rich in congestive, out-of-season foods like pizza, bread, cheese, dairy, pasta, and the thousands of foods that employ these ingredients.
To antidote the natural increase in kapha each spring, nature provides a harvest of foods low in complex carbs and fat, which do not congest the body. If you were living off the land, you would find yourself eating more bitter roots, leafy greens, and berries, which are naturally occurring in the spring.
Each spring, our ancestors likely struggled to consume the calories required to feel satiated, triggering a form of calorie restriction. During periods of famine that most commonly happened in spring, there were physiological benefits that allowed us to be more alert, have more energy, and activate restorative stem cells along with a body-repair process called autophagy.2,3
Research suggests that during kapha season, when the body naturally holds onto more water, lymph, and fat, benefits of the diet becoming more austere and calorie-restricted are much greater than we imagined. Diet is the first line of defense against immune hypersensitivity and congestion each spring.
Sign up for the 3-Season Diet Challenge, my free monthly eating guide, which includes recipes, grocery lists, and superfoods.
We Recommend084: Spring Cleaning for Body, Mind + Soul
Tips to Avoid Woes of Kapha Season
- Avoid congestive foods, such as refined carbs like wheat, dairy, sugar, and high-fat foods. Complex carbs from grains and tubers are harvested in the fall.
- Try to eat just two meals per day.
- Make 2/3 of your plate green veggies at each meal.
- Split the remaining 1/3 of your plate between protein and healthy starch.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
- Sip hot water throughout the day.
- Vitamin C blocks the release of histamine. Get plenty of vitamin C-rich foods
Vitamin C-rich Foods
- Citrus fruits (grapefruits are in season in the spring)
- Brussels sprouts
- Bell peppers
More Spring Tips
- Need to lose weight? Download my free Weight Balancing eBook and reset fat burning this spring.
- Consider a spring cleanse to detox the excesses of winter. Download our free Short Home Cleanse eBook.
- LifeSpa’s Aller-Rest: Individuals with hypersensitive immune reactions often experience physical, mental, and functional decline even with moderate onset of discomfort. Aller-Rest provides fast-acting, natural support for hypersensitivity reactions, including watery, itchy eyes and runny nose, as well as other manifestations of histamine release. Formulated with a synergistic combination of vitamins, bioflavonoids, amino acids, herbs, and bromelain, Aller-Rest addresses distressing signs of immune hypersensitivity.*