How This Helps

Ayurveda views every human being to be made up of a unique combination of three primary life forces. These are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. These three life forces together give a person a unique constitution. Pitta is the life force that contains the properties of fire and the water element, with the fire element being more pronounced. Due to this, pitta regulates all the metabolic processes in the body, including body temperature and hormonal balance. Thirst, hunger, and even intelligence are associated with the Pitta element.  Any imbalance in this dosha can be healed with a Pitta pacifying diet.

What is Pitta Dosha?

Understanding Pitta Dosha

Pitta dosha occurs when the fire element gets the better of the water element. Pitta dosha can cause a person to be more prone to fits of anger, especially when they are hungry. After doing prolonged or concentrated work, a person with Pitta dosha finds it challenging to relax and usually suffer from a sleeping disorder. 

When the Pitta force becomes unbalanced, it can lead to inflammation in the body and many diseases, including stomach and intestinal ulcers, gastritis, acne, eczema, and liver infections. [1]

See: Natural Treatment for Hormonal Acne in Ayurveda

Pitta Pacifying Diet

What is a Pitta Pacifying Diet?

Pitta dosha can be balanced once again by having a pitta pacifying diet that includes a lot of fresh and whole foods (cooked and raw). [2] These foods should ideally be cooling, energizing, hearty, high in carbohydrates, and comparatively dry. The purpose of a pitta dosha diet is to prevent inflammation, calm pitta by lowering internal heat, balancing the digestive system, and absorbing excess oil and liquid.

Remember that in a pitta diet, you have to avoid eating very large portions of any food. At the same time, you should indulge in some form of moderate exercise every day and stay away from sources of heat, opting instead for cool and well-ventilated environments. 

A pitta dosha diet is predominantly vegetarian, with a preference for bitter vegetables. The food in a pitta diet should not be too salty, sour, or spicy. It should be cooling foods in the summers and hot foods in the winter. Alcohol-free beverages and occasional tea or coffee are allowed. [3]

See: Ayurveda treatment for GERD and Acidity

Ayurvedic Diet Pitta Foods

Ayurveda Diet Pitta Foods

A pitta pacifying diet keeps the pitta force in balance within the body. Here are some foods that you can include in your pitta dosha diet. 

 

1. Fruits

Fruits for pacifying pitta are sweet and little astringent. Dried fruits are also acceptable but in small quantities. Fruits that you should avoid are those that are especially heating or sour, such as cranberries, green grapes, and bananas. 

 

Fruits to include:

●       Sweet apples

●       Sweet apricots

●       Sweet berries

●       Sweet cherries

●       Coconut

●       Figs

●       Purple, black, and red grapes

●       Ripe mangoes

●       Sweet oranges

●       Pears

●       Sweet plums

●       Pomegranates

●       Strawberries

●       Watermelon

●       Raisins [4]

 

Fruits to avoid:

●       Sour apples

●       Sour apricots

●       Green grapes

●       Sour cherries

●       Sour berries

●       Green mangoes

●       Sour oranges

●       Sour plums

●       Tamarind

●       Kiwi

●       Cranberries

●       Bananas

●       Lemons

 

2. Vegetables

Pitta pacifying vegetables are usually sweet and can be either bitter or astringent. It is better to include raw vegetables, but only have raw vegetables in the daytime as at that time the digestive strength is at its peak. Vegetables to be avoided or limited are the ones that are particularly sour, heating, and spicy, such as garlic, green chilies, onion, radishes, and mustard greens. 

 

Vegetables to include: [5]

●       Avocado

●       Asparagus

●       Cooked beets

●       Broccoli

●       Brussels sprouts

●       Cabbage

●       Cooked carrots

●       Cauliflower

●       Potatoes

●       Pumpkin

●       Peas

●       Cooked onions

●       Sweet potatoes

●       Green beans

●       Cilantro

●       Okra

●       Mushrooms [6,7]

 

Vegetables to avoid:

●       Beet greens

●       Raw beets

●       Fresh corn

●       Eggplant

●       Garlic

●       Green chilies

●       Mustard greens

●       Green olives

●       Raw onions

●       Tomatoes

●       Cooked spinach

●       Turnips

 

3. Grains

For balancing pitta dosha, a pitta dosha diet should avoid grains that are heating, such as corn, millet, brown rice, yeasted bread, and buckwheat. Grants that are sweet, cooling, grounding, and dry are the ones to include in a pitta diet. 

 

Grains to include:

●       Amaranth

●       Barley

●       Crackers

●       Granola

●       Oats

●       Oat bran

●       Pasta

●       Quinoa

●       Rice cakes

●       Wheat and wheat bran [8]

 

Grains to avoid:

●       Buckwheat

●       Corn

●       Millet

●       Muesli

●       Brown rice

●       Polenta

●       Rye

 

4. Dairy Products

Dairy products are suitable for balancing pitta. Avoid taking sour, heating, and salty. If you are taking milk, then it should be taken at least an hour before or after having any other food. 

Dairy to include:

●       Unsalted butter

●       Unsalted or soft cheese

●       Cottage cheese

●       Cow's milk

●       Goat's milk

●       Ice cream

●       Yogurt

 

Dairy to avoid:

●       Salted butter

●       Hard cheese

●       Frozen yogurt

●       Sour cream

●       Buttermilk

 

5. Other foods

Nuts and seeds can be included in small quantities. You can include almonds, flax seeds, coconut, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and popcorn (buttered and without salt). Avoid taking almonds with skin, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and sesame seeds.

In meats, opt for meats like chicken, shrimp, turkey, venison, and freshwater fish. Avoid having beef, duck, saltwater fish, lamb, pork, sardines, tuna fish, and salmon. 

Legumes are an excellent choice for the pitta diet. [9] Except for soy sauce, miso, and soy meats, you can include nearly all legumes in a pitta dosha diet. Kidney beans, lima beans, lentils, navy beans, soybeans, split peas, tofu, tempeh, and white beans are all great choices. 

The best oils for balancing pitta dosha are sunflower, olive, and coconut oil, as well as unsalted butter and clarified butter or ghee.

 

See: Ayurvedic Diet

Summary

Since Pitta governs metabolism, heat, and transformation in the mind and body, we must keep this life force in balance. Pitta controls how we digest food, how we discriminate between what is right and what is wrong, and even how we metabolize our sensory perceptions. Pitta is oily, hot, light, sharp, spreading, and liquid. This means that when you eat foods that neutralize these qualities, it helps balance the pitta dosha in the body. 

So opt for cool foods over hot or warm; have dense and nourishing foods instead of light foods; have dense and dry foods instead of oily or liquid foods and favor mild flavors over sharp ones if you want to achieve a balanced pitta. 

You will find that pitta gets pacified by sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes and get aggravated by sour, pungent, and salty tastes. Understanding these flavors and tastes will help you make better dietary choices when it comes to balancing pitta dosha in the body.

 

 

See: Successful Ayurvedic Remedy for Eczema in a Female Patient

References

1. Agrawal, S., & Gehlot, S. (2017). Variations in the functions of Pitta Dosha as per gender and Prakriti. TANG [HUMANITAS MEDICINE], 7(4), 3-3.

2. Hankey, A. (2010). Establishing the scientific validity of Tridosha part 1: Doshas, Subdoshas and Dosha Prakriti. The ancient science of life, 29(3), 6.

3. Bhugra, D., & Winston, M. (1994). Alcohol and alcohol-related problems in Caraka Samhita. History of Psychiatry, 5(19), 347-360.

4. Törrönen, R., & Määttä, K. (2000, July). Bioactive substances and health benefits of strawberries. In IV International Strawberry Symposium 567 (pp. 797-803).

5. Ingram, D. K., Elks, C. M., Davenport, G. M., & Roth, G. S. (2013). 14 Potential Health Benefits of Avocados. Bioactives in Fruit: Health Benefits and Functional Foods, 337.

6. Vasanthi, H. R., Mukherjee, S., & Das, D. K. (2009). Potential health benefits of broccoli-a chemical-biological overview. Mini-reviews in medicinal chemistry, 9(6), 749-759.

7. Kansal, L., Sharma, A., & Lodi, S. (2012). Potential health benefits of coriander (Coriandrum sativum): An overview. International journal of pharmaceutical research and development, 4(2), 10-20.

8. Navruz-Varli, S., & Sanlier, N. (2016). Nutritional and health benefits of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). Journal of Cereal Science, 69, 371-376.

9. Trinidad, T. P., Mallillin, A. C., Loyola, A. S., Sagum, R. S., & Encabo, R. R. (2010). The potential health benefits of legumes as a good source of dietary fiber. British Journal of Nutrition, 103(4), 569-574.

See: Successful Case of Ayurveda Treatment for GERD

Dosha Quiz

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email