Pitta dosha is the biological energetic force that stems from the fire and water elements. It is hot, sharp, penetrating and spreading by nature and therefore any excess of this dosha will bring on similar qualities to the individual, eventually causing imbalance, disorder and disease. According to Ayurveda, diet can be a powerful tool in treating and preventing disorder and disease.
Common Symptoms of a Pitta Dosha Imbalance
- Excessive heat in the body
- Inflammation in the body
- Rash, hives, urticaria
- Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
- Liver conditions
- Temporal headaches
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Sharp, large appetite
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Easily irritated, frustrated or angered
- Critical or judgmental
In Ayurveda, diet is a vital tool for fighting disease, preventing disease and finding balance in your daily life. If you currently have increased Pitta in the system, here are some key dietary guidelines to follow:
Pitta Diet DO’s
- Pitta should favor the sweet, bitter and astringent tastes in the diet.
- Make use of healthy, cooling oils. The best Pitta options are coconut, sunflower and ghee.
- Cooling condiments can be used to cool a heat-inducing food. These include lime, cilantro, coconut oil, ghee and aloe vera.
- Use cooling spices. The best spices for Pitta are: fresh ginger, fennel, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cilantro, parsley, cloves and mint.
- Sweet fruits are very good for cooling Pitta including apples, sweet mangos, figs, dates, coconut and avocado.
- Coriander, fennel, cumin tea is great to sip on before a meal to balance the digestive fire without creating too much heat.
- Coconut water, cucumber juice or watermelon juice is a great way to reduce the Pitta and keep hydrated during the brutal summer months!
- Eat on a consistent schedule. Here is a Pitta-specific eating chart: 7-8am breakfast; 11-1pm lunch; 6-8pm dinner.
- Do NOT skip meals! Pitta types tend toward low blood sugar and skipping meals can lead to shakiness, crankiness and irritability.
- A small snack between meals is recommended, however, do not graze!
- Follow the proper Food Combining Guidelines.
Pitta Diet DON’Ts
- Avoid the sour, salty and pungent (spicy-hot) tastes in the diet.
- Avoid fatty, fried foods.
- Avoid red meat.
- Avoid nightshades, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. These increase heat and cause inflammation in the body.
- Avoid all citrus except for lime.
- Avoid fermented food and beverages with the exception of homemade yogurt and sweet lassi.
- Avoid nuts, especially when roasted and salted.
- Avoid heating oils, such as sesame, safflower, peanut and almond.
- Avoid refined sugar, refined grains and processed foods.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco as these all create excessive heat and inflammation in the body.