Ayurveda is based around the concept that health and wellness can be improved and maintained by balancing the mind, body, and spirit. This holistic health system originated thousands of years ago in the Indian subcontinent. In the practice of Ayurveda, physiological equilibrium can also be upheld through the balancing of doshas, or your own particular pattern of energy.
The excess of one dosha, be that Pitta, Vata, or Kapha, can cause physical or emotional turmoil and other adverse repercussions due to the imbalance of energy. What role does the Pitta dosha play?
The Pitta dosha is composed of fire and water elements and is the energy of metabolism.
“[Pitta] governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature.”
- Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic doctor, BAM&S, MASc
When in balance, Pitta types are intelligent, quick, and ambitious. When agitated, those with excess Pitta may become short-tempered and easily frustrated. Since the Pitta dosha is usually associated with hot, reactive attributes, avoiding heat in both the environment and in your diet may help improve equilibrium. Since people with Pitta as their primary dosha are known for their large appetites and high metabolisms, eating satiating foods should be a priority.
So, which foods should you be eating and which should you be avoiding to pacify Pitta and maintain proper equilibrium?
Pitta Dosha Diet
Since those with strong Pitta dosha tend to gravitate towards hot, salty, and pungent foods, they may experience adverse effects involving excessive heat or a disturbed digestive system. In order to maintain balance, those with excess Pitta may want to avoid consuming heavy and pungent foods including meat, eggs, and salt, and instead favor cool, bitter, and astringent foods.
To relieve the body of excess heat and maintain equilibrium among the other doshas, try incorporating some light refreshing foods that have a cooling effect, or sweet foods that satisfy while keeping the internal fire placated. It can also be helpful to use mild as opposed to hot spices to keep Pitta in balance.
Some foods that you may want to try when on a Pitta diet are:
- Mild and refreshing vegetables
- Cooling fruits such as pears and honeydew
- Oils that don’t interfere with digestion such as coconut oil
- Bitter greens such as kale
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grains
- Spearmint tea and black tea
Those who are Pitta dominant may want to avoid:
- Hot spices
- Sour fruits and vegetables
- Fried foods and low-quality oils
A great meal or side dish to make is sweet potato with kale and ginger. Take about a half-pound of kale and two cups of diced sweet potato and boil them separately. Once the kale is a bright shade of green and the sweet potato is soft, remove them from the heat and drain them.
Next, sautee your preferred amount of grated ginger in a healthy natural oil such as sunflower oil for about 30 seconds, and then add the sweet potato and kale. Be sure to mix well and add mild spices if desired.
This mixture of sweet and bitter flavors is sure to satisfy and relieve the heat that comes with excess Pitta.
Learn your unique Mind-Body type and receive recommendations for looking and feeling your best.
To find out what your Dosha (Mind-Body Constitution) is,
click here to take the Ayurvedic Perfect Health Dosha Quiz
and learn how to incorporate lifestyle, diet and exercise changes based on your unique Dosha for optimal health and well-being.