- Aging & Longevity
The Best Diet For Pitta Dosha Type In Ayurveda
The Three Doshas
In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements namely air, earth, ether, fire and water combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called 'doshas'. Dosha literally means "that which changes." The word is derived from Sanskrit, 'dus', which is equivalent to the English prefix 'dys', such as in dysfunction, dystrophy, etc. Here, dosha can be regarded as a fault, mistake, error, or a transgression against the cosmic rhythm. In Ayurveda, dosha is also known as the governing principles as every living being in nature is characterized by 'doshas'.
In Ayurveda, people are classified according to the three 'doshas' namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. But it's important to understand that although we may be dominant in one dosha, we actually have all three present in our body. Most people will actually be a combination of two of these doshas, with the third only playing a minor role. But because we all contain the three, any of them can get out of balance. Their combinations are as follows:
Vata :Air and Ether
Pitta :Fire and Water
Kapha :Water and Earth
Here, I will be going into some details of 'Pitta Dosha' only, as it will take volumes to write about them all!
Pitta is the force created by the dynamic interplay of water and fire. These forces indicates transformation. They can't be changed into each other, but they influence or control each other and are vital in life processes to occur. For example, if the fire is too much it will result in water getting boiled away. If the water is too much it will result in the fire being put out.
Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.
The main characteristics of Pitta dominant body types are determination,strong willed, good digestion, initiative, energy, about many things etc.
Things that can imbalance Pitta body types are excess heat, hot climates, and hot times of day, humidity, vacations and times when there is increased mobility, excess oil in the diet, too many hot foods, including spicy foods. But this can also mean too many cooked meals, excess caffeine, salt, red meat and alcohol
The Ayurvedic Diet
FOODS SUITABLE FOR PITTA TYPES
You can balance excess pitta with foods that are cool, dry and heavy with a mild, naturally sweet, bitter or astringent taste. For example, milk, rice, beans, steamed vegetables and fruit are good for pitta dosha type.
Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Green beans, Green (sweet) peppers, Leafy green vegetables, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Okra, Parsley, Peas, Potatoes, Sprouts, Squash, Sweet potatoes, Zucchini
Sweet Fruits:, Apples, Avocados, Cherries, Coconut, Figs, Dark grapes, Mangoes, Melons, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins.Just make sure that fruits are sweet and ripe.
Barley, Oats, Wheat, White rice (preferably basmati rice)
Chicken, Shrimp and Turkey but all in small amounts only.
Butter, Egg whites, Ghee (clarified butter )- unless you are watching cholesterol, Ice cream and Milk
Chickpeas, Mung beans, Tofu and other soybean products
Nuts and Seeds
Coconut, Pumpkin seeds and Sunflower seeds
Coconut, Olive, Soy and Sunflower
Herbs and Spices
Spices are generally avoided as too heating. In small amounts, the following sweet and astringent spices are ok. Cardamom, Cilantro(green coriander), Cinnamon, Coriander seed, Dill, Fennel, Mint
Saffron, Turmeric. Plus small amounts of cumin and black pepper
All sweeteners are acceptable except honey and molasses
FOODS THAT ARE NOT FAVORABLE FOR PITTA
Pungent and oily foods such as curry, fried foods and spicy condiments, as well as spices such as cayenne, garlic and dry ginger, should be avoided by pitta types. Stimulants like smoking, alcohol, coffee, pickles, vinegar, fried foods, spicy foods, fermented foods, curds, almond, corn, til, mustard oil shouls also be avoided or reduced.
Vegetables like Beets, Carrots, Eggplant, Garlic, Hot peppers, Onions, Radishes, Spinach and Tomatoes should be avoided or reduced. Avoid or reduce the consumption of Apricots, Bananas, Berries, Cherries (sour), Cranberries, Grapefruit, Papayas, Peaches and Persimmons. Avoid fruits that come to market sour or unripe. Also avoid fruits such as green grapes, oranges, pineapple and plum unless they are sweet and ripe.
Brown rice, Corn, Millet, Ry, Buttermilk, Cheese, Egg yolks, Sour cream, Yogurt, and red meat and seafood in general should be avoided. Lentils, oils made from Almond, Corn, Safflower and Sesame and sweeteners based on honey and molasses also should be avoided or reduced.
All pungent herbs and spices except the ones mentioned above should be avoided. If at all you want to use take only the minimal amounts of the following: Barbecue sauce, Catsup, Mustard, Pickles, Salt, Sour salad dressings, Spicy condiments and Vinegar
Avoid processed and fast foods as they tend to be heavy on salt and sour tastes. Japanese and Chinese food are good choices. Avoid highly spicy food such as is found in Mexican restaurants. To bring down aggravated Pitta, take two teaspoons of ghee (clarified butter) in a glass of warm milk. (Avoid taking the ghee if you have problem with high cholesterol). Pitta dosha is aggravated and increased during summer. During hot, dry seasons, all mind-body types can choose some of the above foods and decrease others. Mental and emotional peace and constructive lifestyle routines are important to restoring and maintaining balance between all the doshas.