One of the easiest ways to maintain balance for your dosha is through your diet. For Pitta dosha types, this means embracing food, beverage and eating habits that bring balance to their hot, light, liquid, oily and sharp nature. To choose the right options, keep these Pitta diet tips in mind.
Pitta Diet Qualities to Favor
Ayurveda recommends that Pitta types or people who are experiencing a Pitta imbalance favor cool, heavy and dry foods.
Cool over Hot
It’s best for Pitta types to avoid excessive heat in their meals. This means Pitta types should consume warm or room temperature meals. They can also fare well with raw vegetables and the occasional smoothie. Pitta types should also consume foods that have cooling effects and limit ones that are heating. For example, coriander is cooling while chili is heating.
Heavy over Light
Because the Pitta dosha is characterized as light, Pitta types should incorporate heavier and denser foods. Grains and root vegetables are examples of foods with grounding and stabilizing qualities.
Dry over Oily
Pitta types are encouraged to choose drier foods over oily foods. Potatoes, beans and most vegetables are excellent choices for drier foods as long as they aren’t cooked with lots of oil.
Pitta Diet Tastes to Favor
Ayurveda recommends that Pitta types favor sweet, bitter and astringent tastes over sour, salty and pungent tastes.
Sweets aren’t universally bad for your health. You simply need to eat the right ones. Apples, berries, melons, and naturally-sweet fruits should play a greater role in the diet of a Pitta type. You can also get sweetness from ghee and even avocado.
Bitter foods can have a particularly soothing effect on the energies of a Pitta type. Specific options to consider include bitter leafy greens, such as kale or collard greens. Eating more of these has the added benefit of providing your body with essential vitamins and antioxidants. For a bitter treat, Pittas can enjoy moderate amounts of dark chocolate.
If you’re a fan of legumes, here’s some great news: all legumes are suitable for a Pitta type. These include beans, peas, lentils, and more. Legumes are good options for Pitta types because they have astringent qualities. For Pitta types, astringent-tasting foods balance out the intensity of the Pitta energy, guarding against the potential consequences of overactive Pitta.
It’s advised that Pitta types limit sour, salty and pungent foods in their diet. Foods such as vinegar, some cheeses, sour and unripe fruits (such as green grapes), and spices can have an aggravating effect on Pitta energies.
Pitta Teas and Drinks to Favor
The guidelines for Pitta eating also extend to what we drink. Try to avoid drinking hot drinks too often, instead opting for cool or room temperature. Consider the following Pitta drink ideas:
- Water infused with mint, lime and/or watermelon
- Pitta teas such as mint, chicory, dandelion, licorice, fennel, rose and hibiscus
- Cucumber milk
- Smoothies made from coconut and avocado
- Chyawanprash melted in warm water
It’s important to note that if a drink is too cold, it will extinguish the digestive fire (agni) and spoil digestion, so avoid iced beverages, especially during meals.
It’s also important for Pittas to avoid stimulants, like coffee and alcohol. Stimulants increase Pitta’s hot and fiery nature, which can cause irritability and indigestion issues.
Pitta Diet Tips
Keep in mind that while what you eat is crucial to balancing your energies, your eating habits also play an essential role.
Don’t skip meals
Pitta types tend to have strong appetites and don’t do well with skipping meals.
Eat at consistent times
Do your best to adhere to a consistent meal schedule. Eating similar amounts of food at similar times of day is key to balancing your Pitta energies.
Eat your largest meal at noon
When the sun is shining at its highest point. This is when your agni will be strongest and your digestion will be optimal.
Raw foods are okay
Although Ayurveda typically recommends cooking foods, the Pitta dosha can tolerate raw foods better than the other types. Raw foods tend to be naturally cooling so enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables – especially in Pitta season – will generally be supportive. However, try not to mix raw and cooked foods in the same meal.
Remember that what you eat has a direct impact on the function of energy in your body and mind. If you have a Pitta dosha, focus on consuming the right sweets, all legumes, and bitter leafy greens, while avoiding the kinds of foods that don’t align with your energy type. If you do this successfully, you’ll be much more likely to enjoy a life of wellness and vibrancy.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)