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Ayurveda

Top 10 Ayurvedic SuperFoods for Fat-burning, Weight loss and Kapha Dosha Balancing

Eating to Balance Kapha Dosha

The kapha dosha benefits from a diet that contains whole foods and spices which are dry, light, and warming. They should lower mucus production and support digestion and elimination. Foods should be eaten as three small meals with minimal snacking in between. Kapha tastes include bitter, pungent, and astringent.

Tips for Fat-loss for Kapha’s

Along with following a Kapha specific diet the following will give you amazing weight-loss success

  1. Practice yoga for 15 minutes every morning. Include sun salutation in your practice.
  2. Add pranayama to your practice especially Kapal Bhati or breath of fire. Note contraindication before practicing.
  3. Kick start your weight loss with Kapha dosha detox. You can check out the Fab & Glowing detox program here.
  4. In order to improve the digestive power or Agni try the turmeric-ginger pickle recipe and consume this before every meal.
  5. Include the following Top 10 Ayurvedic Food for Fat-burning and Kapha Dosha Balancing in your diet to accelerate weight loss.

Turmeric

 Turmeric is a rhizome in the ginger family that has a long history of use as a food and a healing agent. It is a staple in Ayurveda and Asian cuisine and has become more popular in the West. It contains many constituents such as curcumin, volatile oils, and antioxidants that have many effects on health. Turmeric helps with digestion and weight loss by suppressing body fat accumulation. Try this amazing Ayurvedic Golden Milk Recipe for weight loss. One study showed that curcumin – an important antioxidant in Turmeric decreased body weight, fat mass, lipids, blood sugar, and increased insulin sensitivity. It also stimulated fat breakdown and lipase function. I am in the process of finishing of my new kindle ebook on Turmeric and will share with you once I publish.

Bitter gourd

Bitter gourd (or bitter melon) is a popular ingredient in South East Asian cooking. I have a great stir fry recipe here. Bitter gourd or bitter melon can reduce the weight of white adipose tissue and visceral fat, while reducing leptin production. It can reduce triglycerides, lipids that contribute towards weight gain. In addition to targeting fat, one of the more known benefits of bitter melon is for lowering blood sugar. In fact, there are numerous studies showing decreases insulin resistance, increasing glucose uptake into cells, upregulation of the insulin receptor, and increased beta-cells in the pancreas (which make insulin).

Kokum

Kokum is a plant in the mangosteen family who fruit is used in Southeast Asian countries, and provides a sour taste to food. It is known as Garcinia indica which contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and garcinol just like Garcinia cambogia. Studies on HCA show that it helps in weight loss and suppressing fat accumulation. Kokum can be found dried and used in food similarly to tamarind. You can add it to foods such as curries, vegetables, lentils, okra, fish, chutneys, and pickles. You can try my Easy Dal recipe and add kokum to it or try the mung dal recipe for weight loss with kokum.

 Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a very popular spice around the world, added to foods and especially desserts. But other than its pleasant taste, it has many health benefits. It is widely used in India to treat diabetes.

There are many benefits to consuming cinnamon especially for weight loss. Studies have shown  that cinnamon lowers triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar. It has insulin-like activity and increases the uptake of glucose into cells. It increases our body’s production of antioxidants (glutathione, superoxide dismutase) and contains many constituents and polyphenols which help against the development of degenerative diseases. It was also shown to decrease body weight and visceral fat. A simple cup of cinnamon tea or Kadha or Immune Boosting Tea recipe can assist with both weight loss and immune defense.

Ginger

Ginger is the ultimate thermogenic food that the kapha body type loves for weight loss. Ginger contains many active constituents including gingerol that has many health benefits. Studies show that ginger aids in weight loss by lowering triglycerides and lipids. It also lowers blood sugar and enhances the action of insulin. Gingerol was found to increase our body’s production of antioxidants such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and catalase. These help counteract free radical damage. Try this amazing Turmeric-Ginger Pickle recipe for weight loss.

Honey

Sugar and carbohydrates are usually associated with weight gain, but the Ayurveda tells us that honey is heating and therefore Kapha pacifying. Honey is a much healthier alternative than other sweeteners. Raw, unpasteurized honey contains enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and carotenoids. It is anti-bacterial and wound healing. Studies have found that honey lowers body weight, triglycerides, and leptin levels – a hormone that causes weight gain. If you can getting a sweet craving try my Homemade Naturally Sweetened Strawberry Jam recipe that is made with honey.

Mung beans/Moong dal

The most popular Ayurvedic food for weight loss is a nice bowl of Mung Dal Soup! Mung beans are nutrient-dense legumes, containing folic acid, magnesium, B vitamins, fibre, iron, zinc, and protein. As with many other legumes, it’s best to soak them in water before cooking to decrease phytates and anti-nutrients, and to combine them with spices, as is commonly done in many cultures. Mung beans contain a good amount of fibre (1 cup gives you 7g fibre) and protein, which make you feel full and eat less, as well as balancing your blood sugar. You can try Green Papaya and Moong Dal recipe, Moong Dal for Weight loss or the Oats Khichari recipe from my website for weight loss.

Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables or any type of saag are amazing bitter foods in Ayurveda for weight loss, fat burning, reducing mucus and balancing Kapha. These foods fall under bitter and astringent, therefore ideal for Kapha dosha balance. They are a MUST for every day meals! Adding leafy greens to you regular diet will completely transform your health. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, beet greens, mustard greens, collard greens, watercress, arugula, cilantro and parsley leaves are packed with vitamins, minerals as well as small amount of proteins. Try my Sprouts, Baby Kale and Avocado Salad recipe for lunch!

Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds are a legume whose seeds are used as a spice and leaves are also common in many Asian recipes. It is especially good for kapha and vata doshas and helps remove excess mucus associated with kapha. The seeds contain protein, B vitamins, folate, minerals, iron, flavonoids, diosgenin, volatile oils, and a lot of fibre. In fact the seeds are about 45% fibre (soluble and insoluble) and this fibre is responsible for many of its effects on weight and health. Studies show that fenugreek decreases cholesterol, blood sugar, and decreases insulin resistance. One study also found reduction in body weight, BMI, adipose tissue weight, and leptin in animals (47-50). See my fenugreek sprouts recipe which could be easily used for weight loss.

Ghee

Ayurveda recommends small amount of ghee even for Kapha dosha. Ghee is clarified butter that has the whey, casein, and lactose removed. It is extremely popular in South East Asian cooking and many foods and spices are cooked in ghee. Certain spices actually release their volatile oil and increase in absorption after cooking in ghee. Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), antioxidants, and butyric acid. Butyric acid is a short chain fatty acid that is also made by our gut bacteria. It is absorbed by colon cells to be used for energy and is also anti-inflammatory. CLA is shown to reduce fat accumulation and leptin levels. Read more about Benefits of Ghee in my previous blog.

The above are the top 10 foods – however ideally In order to help balance kapha, it is recommended to do a detox at  least twice a year. This will help remove toxins and improve your energy, digestion, and mental clarity. I have a wonderful 21-Day  Ayurvedic Detox program for Kapha (vegetarian and non-vegetarian  
options). This program explains your dosha and guides you in a detoxification with food and lifestyle changes. It also provides a detailed meal plan, many recipes, a shopping list to keep you organized, a supplement guide, and so much more. It makes detoxification easy and healthy!

References:

  1. Bharat B. Aggarwal. Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices To Boost Health and Beat Disease. Sterling: 2011.    
  2. Pan Y et al. Curcumin improves glycolipid metabolism through regulating peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ signalling pathway in high-fat diet-induced obese mice and 3T3-L1 adipocytes. R Soc Open Sci. 2017 Nov 15;4(11):170917.
  3. Preventive effect of a melon extracts rich in superoxide scavenging activity on abdominal and liver fat and adipokine imbalance in high-fat-fed hamsters. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jul 22;57(14):6461-7
  4. Fachinan R et al. Effectiveness of Antihyperglycemic Effect of Momordica charantia: Implication of T-Cell Cytokines. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:3707046.
  5. Krawinkel MB et al. Bitter gourd reduces elevated fasting plasma glucose levels in an intervention study among prediabetics in Tanzania. J Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Jan 12;216:1-7.
  6. Vasques CA et al. Hypolipemic effect of Garcinia cambogia in obese women. Phytother Res. 2014 Jun;28(6):887-91.
  7. Zeynep Tuzcu et al. Cinnamon Polyphenol Extract Inhibits Hyperlipidemia and Inflammation by Modulation of Transcription Factors in High-Fat Diet-Fed Rats. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017 ;2017:158309
  8. Hua Ping et al. Antidiabetic effects of cinnamon oil in diabetic KK-Ay mice. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2344
  9. Reza Alizadeh-Navaei et al. Investigation of the effect of ginger on the lipid levels. A double blind controlled clinical trial. Saudi Med J. 2008 Sep;29(9):1280-4.
  10. Dustmann JH. Antibacterial effect of honey. Apiacta. 1979;14:7
  11. Aljadi AM, Kamaruddin MY. Evaluation of the phenolic contents and antioxidant capacities of two Malaysian floral honeys. Food Chem. 2004;85:513–518.
  12. Jing Gong et al. Effect of fenugreek on hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidemia in diabetes and prediabetes: A meta-analysis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Dec 24 ; 194:260-268.
  13. Shen P et al. Effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on fat accumulation, activity, and proteomics analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Food Chem. 2018 May 30; 249:193-201.

 

 

The best kept Ayurvedic Herbal Combination formula is Triphala. Triphala – A Daily Detox Tonic for a Complete Body Cleanse

Triphala is a Sanskrit word that means three fruits, Triphala is a combination of 3 fruits from three trees, Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Vibhitaki (Terminalia Billerica), Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula), It is the most popular Ayurvedic herbal formula of India

Botanical Names:
Emblica Officinalis, Terminalia Chebula, Terminalia Belerica

Dosha Triphala is tridoshic, therefore suitable for Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Triphala is balancing and beneficial for all doshas. The herb has a rejuvenating effect and is best used to help reduce excess Kapha, Pitta and to treat Vata conditions such as constipation flatulence and indigestion.

Each three fruits of Triphala have following roles in balancing the Dosha’s:

  1. Amalaki (Amla) A rich source of vitamin C. A sour but cooling herb that balances Pitta.
  2. Haritaki (Harad) Contains anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. A strong digestive tonic that balances Vata dosha.
  3. Bibhitaki (Bahera) A source of protein and linoleic acid that balances Kapha by reducing mucus in the body.

Taste

Triphala contains five of the six tastes sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent. The strong tasting of the bitterness induces many other beneficial digestive secretions as well.

Benefits of Triphala

  1. This traditional herbal combination acts as a complete body cleanser.
  2. Triphala can detoxify and cleanse the colon and liver.
  3. It can purify the blood and nourishes your nervous system, blood & muscle.
  4. One of the best benefit of Triphala is – it aids digestion and increases nutrient absorption.
  5. This herbal formulation is used to assist in improving adrenal function.
  6. It eliminates excess mucous and also has laxative properties
  7. Triphala can enhance the immune system and reduce high blood pressure.
  8. Triphala has both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
  9. It also has anti-cancer and anti-allergy properties.
  10. Triphala assists in weight management, appetite control and reduces serum cholesterol.
  11. Triphala is also widely taken for all eye diseases including the treatment of conjunctivitis, progressive myopia, the early stages of glaucoma and cataracts.
  12. Triphala can be prescribed during symptoms of inflammation, heat and infection. Because of its combined tonic and eliminative properties, it is generally quite safe to give even for deficiency diseases including anemia, fatigue, Candida, poor digestion and assimilation.
  13. Taking triphala every day can ensure having a clear and glowing skin. Triphala has an anti-aging effect on skin.
  14. Triphala promotes vitality and longevity.

 

Nutritional Value of Triphala (each of the three fruits)

Amalaki or Amla (Emblica Officinalis)

  • Amla fruit is also known as Indian Gooseberry and it is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C builds immunity and is an effective antioxidant that removes harmful toxins from the body.
  • Amla helps to strengthen and nourish the lungs and the respiratory tract by removing mucus.
  • Vitamin C in Amla helps to maintain good reproductive health in both males and females
  • Amla helps to regulate menstrual cycles.
  • Amla induces iron that aids blood circulation and maintains proper functioning of the heart.
  • Its detox function helps in the formation of fresh tissues leading to a glowing skin.

 Bibhitaki (Terminalia Billerica)

  • Bibhitaki acts as a blood purifier and curbs hemorrhage.
  • It is an internal cleanser removing harmful toxins and excess fats out of the body.
  • It’s anti-viral and anti-bacterial abilities nurtures voice quality and improves eyesight.
  • Hair roots are strengthened and it enriches hair color.

 Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula)

  • It stimulates the functioning of the digestive systemand sensory organs.
  • It is an effective in combating piles, anemia, gastro-intestinal problems and gall stones.

How to take Triphala 

Triphala Tea 

The traditional way of ingesting Triphala is as a tea. This method allows one to taste the herb fully, and taste is considered by Ayurvedic to be an important part of the healing process. Taste starts the digestive process, and sends signals to the body as to what to expect, already initiating your body’s own inner pharmacy.

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Recipe:

½ teaspoon of Triphala

1 ½ cup of water

To take Triphala as a tea, make a decoction by adding ½ teaspoon of Triphala powder to a one and a half cup of water. Stir and allow the tea to cool and drink.

Note: If you have never taken Triphala before – start with ¼ teaspoon of Triphala powder.

 

Over time, as the system becomes more balanced, it is not uncommon for the taste one perceives to evolve into a sweet experience. Triphala is usually taken on an empty stomach, most commonly in the evening before bed. Some prefer to take it first thing in the morning, especially if taking it at bedtime makes one urinate at night.

 Precaution in using Triphala

Triphala is not recommended for acute diarrhea or during pregnancy. People who are underweight should avoid using this product as it will decrease weight.

Some potential Triphala side effects of high dosage of Triphala include diarrhea or an increased amount of gastrointestinal gas. In some cases, a person may have difficulty sleeping after taking the herbal combination. The severity of these side effects depends on the dosage taken.

Triphala Capsule

Alternatively you can also take Triphala Capsules. Here is the brand I like.

 

Triphala Capsules

 

As a nutritionist, I recommend clients complete a cleanse program at least twice a year. By undertaking this program, my clients learn how to cleanse using food, along with making lifestyle changes according to their body type. 

I have designed this programis is available on my website and includes meal plans, recipes and lifestyle updates for your dosha type.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This magnificent and priceless essential oil is also known as ‘Immortelle’ and ‘Everlasting’ to emphasize on the never ending health benefits of these flowers. The essential oil is extracted from the bright yellow flowers by steam distillation. This is one of the most desired essential oil in our home.

Ayurvedic Characteristics of Helichrysum Oil:

It is important to learn the characteristics before talking about the Ayurvedic Benefits of Helichrysum Essential Oil.

Common Name: Immortelle
Family Name: Compositae (Sunflower Family)
Effect of Dosha (Body Type): VPK = (mostly, neutral effect on all three body types). It reduces excessive Pitta and Kapha conditions. May increase Vata therefore use in moderation for Vata.
Taste: Sweet, Bitter and Pungent
Energetics: Heating and Moisturizing
Impact of Tissues: Lymphatic system, Endocrine System and Skin

Chemical Constituents: Cineole, camphene, terpinen-4-ol, caryophyllene, a-pinene, myrcene, linalool, nerol, limonene, eugenol, b-diketones, neryl acetate, b-pinene, geraniol, flavonol glycosides and b-bisabolene.

Medicinal Actions: Alterative, anti-spasmodic, analgesic, anti-allergenic, stimulant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anticatarrhal, anticoagulant, expectorant, emmengogue, nervine, cytophylactic, vulnerary, cholagogue, diuretic, cell-regenerative, astringent, anti-haematomal, and nutritive tonic.

Health Conditions Used for:

Skin Health: Skin allergies, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, wrinkles, bruises, scar tissues, wound healing, and inflamed skin.

Respiratory Health: Colds, cough, bronchitis, and sinus infections.

Mind: Uplifts mood and reduces stress.

Other: Stomach cramps, menstrual cramps, strengthening immune system, gall-bladder infection and liver weakness.

Health Benefits of Helichrysum Essential Oil:

Best oil for most skin conditions: This is one of the finest oils that contain wound healing, scar-fading and anti-aging properties. This is crucial oil for your first aid kit. It fights aging symptoms, wrinkles, dark circles, skin pigmentation, and oxidative skin damage. Helichrysum oil nurtures the natural glow of the skin, support multiplication of collagen count, and improves cellular regeneration.

Helichrysum oil has cicatrisant properties which help to speed up wound healing, cuts, bruises, stretch marks and scar tissue (both current and old). It is a natural emollient; it retains the moisture of the skin and prevents the development of cracks and dehydration. This oil also heals raw chapped skin and burns.
I will soon be posting my favourite sunscreen recipe!

Amazing healing speed for sports injuries: Helichrysum Oil is the most sought after natural remedy to combat sports injuries such as sprains, blood clot, inflammation, bruises, twists, micro tears, muscular pain, swelling and damage to connective tissues. Apply 2 drops in sesame seed or coconut oil or use as a hot compress.

Fast Pain Relief: Assists in re-growing of the damaged nerves, sciatica, spine ache, joint and arthritic pain. If applied on time it can prevent hemorrhaging.

Super emotional support: Helichrysum oil supports the neurological system by uplifting mood and stress reduction benefits. It can also balance Pitta emotions such as resentment, anger, bitterness, and stubborn negative attitude. To reduce Vata emotions such as fear, anxiety, stress and fatigue this oil comes handy. Diffuse Helichrysum oil for an hour to balance your emotions, release defense mechanisms and emotional trauma.

Crucial for respiratory system: Helichrysum oil is suppresses excess kapha symptoms because it has expectorant, mucolytic, and anti-tussive properties. These properties makes it ideal for cold, cough, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis. Best way to apply Helichrysum oil is inhalation therefore diffuse couple of drops of the oil. You can also make your own vapour rub cream and add Helichrysum oil in it.

Essential for the heart: Helichrysum oil assists in combating high blood pressure and heart palpitation. It also reduces the chances of stroke as it contains anti-coagulant and blood thinning properties. Apply Helichrysum oil drops in coconut oil and massage your whole body. Read how to do Abhyanga or self massage.

Other: Also provided immune system and antioxidant support to accelerated healing. Combined with Cardamom essential oil, Helichrysum assists with heavy metal detoxification.

How to Use Helichrysum Oil for Healing?

Applications: dilute with oils for massage, inhalation, lotions, compress, perfumes, cosmetics, aftershave, bath, and sunscreen.

Dilute 1-2 drops with sesame seed oil (Kapha and Vata) or coconut oil (Pitta) and …

• Rub on the chest to help open airways and relieve cough, congestion and cold. Also provides quick relief from spasms caused by bronchitis.
• Massage on the ear lobes, under the nose to relieve stress.
• Massage on the back of your neck and temples to get rid of headaches.
• Apply to cuts, burns, scrapes, wounds, scars, stretch marks and bruises. It also assists to stop bleeding.
• Add a drop to your favourite sunscreen or face cream recipe. And to your natural aftershave lotion!
• Mix with frankincense and basil to apply topically on effected areas for hives.
• Apply on gum if suffering from swelling caused by abscess.
• Massaging inhibits the growth of harmful microbial and fungal infections. It is also effective against pain management.

Diffuse with chamomile to strengthen nervous system, uplift mood and reduce stress.

Young Living Essential Oil Blends with Helichrysum:

PanAway, Deep Relief, M-Grain, GLF (gallbladder and liver flush), Juva Flex, Juva Cleanse (liver) and Aromalife (heart).

 

Read about How to Sign Up for Young Living Essential Oils here.

Questions? Please ask questions, leave a comment and share your experience with Helichrysum oil here.

 

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