Last week we learnt about the Ayurvedic Doshas and then, hopefully, you found out your Ayurvedic constitution- if you didn’t already know and did the test I suggested. If you haven’t read that one, go back to last weeks blog post and have a read so you’re up to date.
OK, hands up if you’re Pitta predominant? If so, this one’s for you! And if not, this one’s still for you. We are made up of all the elements and are a unique combination of all three Doshas (Vata= Air & Ether Kapha= Earth & Water, Pitta = Fire & Water), even though we usually have one or two that is more dominant.
So, even if you’re not Pitta predominant, you can still end up with Pitta imbalances and conditions- trust me, even though I’m predominantly Vata, I still aggravate my Pitta and suffer from Pitta conditions if I’m not careful. So take note of all three Doshas as we learn about them in the coming weeks.
The Pitta qualities are hot, light, intense, penetrating, pungent, sharp and acidic. Physically, Pittas are usually medium size and weight and sometimes have red or fair hair and skin. Their body is usually warm, with hot hands and feet, they have excellent digestion and a strong appetite. Pittas have a powerful intellect and when in balance they’re energetic, charismatic, decisive, and are great teachers and speakers.
When Pittas are out of balance they can suffer from skin rashes, acne, ulcers, heartburn, indigestion and excessive body heat. They can also be argumentative and short-tempered.
If you’re predominantly Pitta and/or suffer from any of the Pitta conditions (or know someone who does), take a look at the Ayurvedic dietary guidelines below and see if you can introduce more of these foods to help balance reduce excess heat and balance your Pitta. Bear in mind that red meat, artificial sweeteners, and processed ingredients are limited for all three doshas. Instead, the Ayurvedic diet encourages eating healthy whole foods.
PITTA – THE ENERGY OF FIRE – “That which digests things”
Pitta food qualities are hot, sharp, light, penetrating, acidic and slightly oily.
Treat Pitta with cooling, heat dispelling foods and herbs. Foods need to be drying, nutritive and calming.
The tastes that balance Pitta are Sweet, Bitter and Astringent
Suggested Food Choices for Pitta the Dosha
Grains: Basmati and white rice, wheat, barley, cooked oats, quinoa, spelt, barley, amaranth – all cooked until tender.
Vegetables: Asparagus, tender and bitter greens, bitter gourd, carrots, fennel, peas, green beans, zucchini, lauki squash, artichoke, parsnips, okra, celery, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, sweet potatoes, all cooked, small quantities of raw lettuce, carrots or cucumber
Fruits: Avocado, pineapple, peaches, plums, grapes, mangoes, melons, pears, pomegranates, cherries, all kinds of berries, apples, dates, fresh and dried figs, raisins (soaked), all ripe and sweet
Lentils: Mung beans, mung dhal, red or brown lentils, small portions of garbanzos, lima beans, black beans, all cooked until butter-soft
Animal foods: Chicken, egg white, rabbit, turkey and small amount of shrimp
Dairy: Unsalted butter, cottage cheese, milk, ghee
Oils: olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, soy
Herbs: Cilantro, curry leaves, parsley, fresh basil, fresh fennel, fresh mint, bitter herbs are good.
Nuts and Seeds: Coconut, Almonds (soaked and blanched), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
Sweeteners: Moderate sweeteners except molasses and honey (don’t cook with honey or put in boiling water)
Spices: No spices except turmeric, cumin, cardamom, coriander, fennel, small quantities of black pepper, Chinese cinnamon, mint, saffron, dill, sweet orange zest
Other: Rice milk, soy milk, date sugar, and tofu in moderation (diced small and cooked with spices)
We’ve covered a lot today, so start with this, pass it on to anyone else wanting to improve their health and next week I will give some lifestyle recommendations to support and balance Pitta.
Stay healthy and happy!