Adapt Your Diet
Agni (digestive fire) is low in the spring. That’s why ayurveda suggests eating less than you did in winter — when agni is high — especially if your predominant dosha is kapha.
Eat light, warming foods.
Bitter, pungent, and astringent foods are ideal for the spring. Enjoy a whole-foods diet of legumes such as yellow split peas, red lentils, garbanzos, pinto beans, soy products, and grains such as barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, or oats. For vegetables, try broccoli, radishes, spinach, okra, asparagus, artichokes, and onions, with hot spices like garlic, ginger, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and chili pepper. Salads with spring greens like dandelion and fresh-leaf lettuces will reduce kapha (although vata-dominant people should eat these sparingly). You can also eat pears, plums, apples, pomegranates, and rhubarb in moderation.
To keep your agni strong, drink a tea of cumin, coriander, and fennel powder in equal proportions, or make a homemade lassi: Combine 1 part yogurt with 4 parts water and 1/4 teaspoon of roasted cumin seed. Blend until creamy.
Avoid cold, heavy foods.
Sour, sweet, and salty foods like citrus fruits, ice cream, and potato chips increase the kapha dosha and should be avoided. Also reduce your use of dairy products and iced drinks — they dampen your digestive fire.
Use More Honey.
According to ayurveda, honey is heating and helps balance kapha in the spring. Use it as an alternative sweetener, or treat yourself to a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of honey.
Vasant Lad, BAMS, MASc, is a world-renowned ayurvedic physician and author. He is the founder of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His first name comes from the Sanskrit word vasanta, which means “spring”!