One of the easiest ways to maintain balance for your dosha is through your diet. For Pitta 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.
Choose Cool Over Hot
It’s best for Pitta dosha types to avoid excessive heat in their meals. Although Ayurveda typically recommends warm meals since cold temperatures can interfere with digestion, Pitta types can 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.
Incorporate Heavy & Dense over Light & Liquid
Because the Pitta dosha is characterized by light and liquid qualities, Pitta dosha types should incorporate heavier and denser foods. Grains and root vegetables are examples of foods with grounding and stabilizing qualities.
Select Dry over Moist or Oily
Pitta types are encouraged to choose drier foods over moist or oily foods. Potatoes, beans and most vegetables are excellent choices for drier foods as long as they aren’t cooked with lots of oil.
Favor Sweet, Bitter & Astringent Tastes
Ayurveda recommends that Pitta types favor sweet, bitter and astringent tastes over sour, salty and pungent flavors.
Sweets aren’t universally bad for your health. You simply need to eat the right ones. Apples, melons, oranges, and similarly 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.
Limit Sour, Salty And Pungent Tastes
It’s advised that Pitta types limit sour, salty and pungent foods in their diet. Foods such as vinegar, some cheeses, sour fruits (such as green grapes), and spices can have an aggravating effect on Pitta energies.
Pitta Foods List
Use the chart below to see the types of foods that pacify the Pitta dosha and the foods Pittas should avoid:
|Fruits||Apples, Apricots, Berries, Cherries, Coconut, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Limes, Mangos, Melons, Oranges, Papaya, Pears, Pineapple, Plums, Pomegranates, Prunes, Raisins, Strawberries, Watermelon||Unripe fruit and certain types of fruit that are sour, including Apples, Apricots, Berries, Cherries, Cranberries, Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Lemons, Mangoes, Oranges, Pineapple, and Plums|
|Vegetables||Artichoke, Asparagus, Bell Peppers, Bitter Melon, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cilantro, Collard Greens, Cucumber, Dandelion Greens, Green Beans, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Leafy Greens, Leeks (cooked), Lettuce, Mushrooms, Okra, Black Olives, Onions (cooked), Parsley, Parsnips, Peas, Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Spaghetti Squash, Sprouts, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Watercress, Wheat Grass, Zucchini|
Moderate amounts: Avocado, Beets, Corn, Eggplant, Spinach, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes
|Chilies, Horseradish, Kohlrabi, Leeks (raw), Mustard Greens, Green Olives, Onions (raw), Peppers, Radishes, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Turnips|
|Herbs and Spices||Cardamom, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Mint, Neem Leaves, Orange Peel, Parsley, Peppermint, Saffron, Spearmint, Tarragon, Turmeric, Vanilla, Wintergreen|
Moderate Amounts: Basil, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cinnamon, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Rosemary
|Allspice, Anise, Cayenne, Cloves, Asafoetida, Mace, Marjoram, Mustard Seeds, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Pippali, Sage, Salt, Savory, Thyme|
|Grains||Amaranth, Barley, Couscous, Durham Flour, Oats, Quinoa, Rice, Seitan, Spelt, Tapioca, Wheat, White rice||Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Corn, Millet, Rye|
|Legumes||All legumes except soy||Soy|
|Nuts & Seeds||Flax, Pumpkin, Sunflower|
Moderate amounts: Almonds (soaked and peeled)
|Brazil, Cashews, Chia, Filberts, Macadamia, Peanuts ,Pecans, Pine, Pistachios, Sesame, Walnut|
|Meat||Buffalo, Chicken, Eggs, Fish (freshwater), Rabbit, Shrimp, Turkey, Venison||Beef, Duck, Fish (saltwater), Lamb, Pork, Salmon, Sardines, Seafood|
|Dairy||Milk, Butter, Ghee, Ice Cream, Soft Cheese|
Moderate: Hard Cheese
|Yogurt, Sour Cream, Cultured Buttermilk|
|Oils||Coconut, Flax, Ghee, Olive, Sunflower||Almond, Corn, Safflower, Sesame|
|Sweeteners||Maple Syrup||Honey, Molasses, White Sugar|
Herbs & Spices for Pitta Dosha
Herbs and spices are a great way to introduce balancing elements into your diet. Pitta would naturally want to eat lots of soothing and cooling spices. Good examples of soothing spices include cilantro, coriander, saffron, and fennel.
Pitta Teas and Drinks
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. Avoid anything with the sour taste, and make sure that you use sweeteners in moderation. Consider the following Pitta drink ideas:
- Water infused with mint, lime and/or watermelon
- Herbal teas such as mint, chicory, dandelion, licorice, fennel, rose and hibiscus
- Cucumber milk
- Milk boiled with ghee, saffron, cardamom and sugar
- 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 summer – 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)