If you’re a Pitta dosha type, you might be wondering what foods you should eat to keep your energies balanced. Use the guidelines below to learn the specific Pitta food you should emphasize and limit in your diet.
Pitta Food List
In general, Ayurveda recommends that people with a Pitta constitution consume a Pitta diet of cooling, heavy, and dry foods and sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. That said, it may be helpful for Vata and Kapha types to embrace a Pitta diet if they are experiencing a Pitta imbalance, especially if it’s Pitta season.
Fruits for Pitta
Fruits that are best for Pitta types are sweet and ripe (as opposed to sour or unripe).
- Best: Apples, Apricots, Berries, Cherries, Coconut, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Limes, Mangos, Melons, Oranges, Papaya, Pears, Pineapple, Plums, Pomegranates, Prunes, Raisins, Strawberries, Watermelon
- Limit: 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 for Pitta
The only vegetables for Pitta to reduce are those that are particularly heating, spicy, sharp. Also, unlike the Vata and Kapha doshas, Pitta types can often fare well with raw vegetables and salads.
- Best: 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: Avocado, Beets, Corn, Eggplant, Spinach, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes
- Limit: Chilies, Horseradish, Kohlrabi, Leeks (raw), Mustard Greens, Green Olives, Onions (raw), Peppers, Radishes, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Turnips
Grains for Pitta
Pitta types do well with grains and should only limit the heating varieties.
- Best: Amaranth, Barley, Couscous, Durham Flour, Oats, Quinoa, Rice, Seitan, Spelt, Tapioca, Wheat, White rice
- Limit: Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Corn, Millet, Rye
Legumes for Pitta
Nearly all legumes are helpful in pacifying Pitta except soy.
- Best: All legumes except soy
Nuts & Seeds for Pitta
Since nuts and seeds tend to be oily and heating, most varieties should be limited or used in small quantities.
- Best: Flax, Pumpkin, Sunflower. Moderate: Almonds (soaked and peeled)
- Limit: Brazil, Cashews, Chia, Filberts, Macadamia, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine, Pistachios, Sesame, Walnut
Meat for Pitta
The types of meat best for Pitta types are ones that are drier in nature.
- Best: Buffalo, Chicken, Eggs, Fish (freshwater), Rabbit, Shrimp, Turkey, Venison
- Limit: Beef, Duck, Fish (saltwater), Lamb, Pork, Salmon, Sardines, Seafood
Dairy & Dairy Alternatives for Pitta
Dairy products tend to be grounding, nourishing, and cooling, so many of them are balancing for Pitta, provided digestion is strong.
- Best: Cow’s Milk, Butter, Ghee, Ice Cream, Soft Cheese. Moderate: Hard Cheese
- Limit: Yogurt, Sour Cream, Cultured Buttermilk
Fats for Pitta
Healthy fats are important for all dosha types. Pitta types should enjoy fats and oils in moderation.
- Best: Coconut, Flax, Ghee, Olive, Sunflower
- Limit: Almond, Corn, Safflower, Sesame
Herbs and Spices
Pitta types should try to favor cooling spices and avoid those that are too pungent and heating.
- Best: Cardamom, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Mint, Neem Leaves, Orange Peel, Parsley, Peppermint, Saffron, Spearmint, Tarragon, Turmeric, Vanilla, Wintergreen. Moderate: Basil, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cinnamon, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Rosemary
- Limit: Allspice, Anise, Cayenne, Cloves, Asafoetida, Mace, Marjoram, Mustard Seeds, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Pippali, Sage, Salt, Savory, Thyme
Sweeteners for Pitta
Since the sweet taste benefits pitta, most high quality sweeteners are well tolerated by Pitta.
- Best: Barley Malt, Maple Syrup
- Limit: Honey, Molasses, White Sugar
Beverages for Pitta
Keep in mind that Pitta diet guidelines extend to beverage choices. That means Pitta types should consume herbal teas and other drinks that have cooling and soothing effects. In addition, it’s important that Pitta types avoid caffeine or other stimulants as these can increase the fiery nature of Pitta. Instead, those looking for a gentle pick-me-up should consume Chyawanprash (off the spoon or in tea). Chyawanprash is made from adaptogenic herbs that provide stabilizing and gentle energy.
For more Pitta food inspiration, read about Pitta breakfast ideas.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)