Conscious eating for Pitta Dosha (Oily skin); How to create your diet plan!
All the body constituents—dosha, dhatu, and mala—are formed from a proper wholesome, and balanced diet. Food is an essential component that determines your physical, mental, and emotional health.
We truly are... Undeniably... What we eat!
Needless to say, we must be incredibly mindful of what we eat, and Ayurveda has answers along with ways that prove to be fruitful.
How? If you ask, Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old Indian science of wellness, and its traditional methods of food habits and dietary preparations, have proven their effectiveness over time.
By the time you reach the end of this page, you will be able to make your own Pitta pacifying meal plan! According to your taste, just the way you like!
Let's waste no time and start from the basics to brush up on our knowledge!
The Pitta Body Type And Its Potential Needs
Nutrition is one of the most important factors in our lives. It is not only essential for our physical well-being but also for our emotional and mental health.
One more thing that is equally important is understanding the fact that our bodies are different and uniquely built, and they have unique requirements depending on their type.
Pitta is one such body type!
Pittas are usually of medium size and weight, have a warm body temperature, and excellent digestion. When this dosha is in balance, they have a lustrous complexion, abundance of energy, strong appetite, and perfect digestion. But when it is out of balance, Pittas can suffer from skin rashes, excessive body heat, heartburn, and indigestion.
How can I balance an aggravation in Pitta Dosha?
The basis of any Ayurvedic diet and therapeutics is the rule of opposites and similarities.
Pitta is... hot, sharp, fluid, sour, and pungent. To balance excess Pitta, one must neutralize it! But how?
By including food items with properties opposite to that of Pitta.
Pitta balancing food cools and hydrates the tissues, balances moisture, and maintains an optimum body temperature while also supporting proper digestion and elimination.
Depleted Pitta is generally observed in Kapha and Vata aggravation, which can concurrently happen in a Pitta body too.
On the other hand, if Pitta needs to be strengthened, foods with similar properties to Pitta have to be included in the diet until it comes into a balanced state.
What are the best food choices for Pitta?
Cold antagonizes hot and the hydrating property antagonizes the drying tendency of fiery Pitta.
In case of an aggravated Pitta, it is best to avoid foods with hot and sharp properties like ginger.
Some food items like coconut milk and spices like fennel seeds make even the Pitta aggravating foods (like tomatoes) congenial to a Pitta prakriti or Pitta body type. So, adding coconut milk to a spicy curry makes it digestible and assimilable for a Pitta prakriti person without aggravating the Pitta, which can cause acidity.
Pitta dosha types should not eat hot foods. But if you are not a fan of hot food then keep in mind that it is also not good to have cool or chilled food items.
So, the middle spot, warm food, is the best for Pitta doshas!
Let's address this Pitta confusion!
Many foods which do not appear hot and sharp to taste can still aggravate Pitta if taken in excess. Examples are fish and nuts. These foods are hot in potency and aggravate Pitta.
On the other hand, fennel seeds when chewed give a sharp taste in the mouth but due to its cooling property, pacifies Pitta.
One common question that arises is,
What if I only eat foods with cooling and hydrating properties?
Overeating foods with cold properties like cold milk-based beverages do pacify aggravated pitta for the moment.
But, if consumed in excess for a long time, they disturb the optimum level of Pitta that is needed for maintaining digestion.
As you can see, it might be a little complicated to figure out what food items to consume and what to avoid. That is exactly why we have prepared a Food chart customized specifically for Pitta Dosha, save it as a reference for when you plan your meals!
Tastes That Pacify Pitta Dosha
Our diet has six tastes in all.
Pitta is pacified by the sweet, astringent, and bitter tastes and is aggravated by the pungent, salty, and sour tastes.
Hence, knowing about these tastes will allow us to design a diet that is perfect for pacifying the Pitta dosha.
Guidelines for 6 tastes that you can keep in mind before creating your recipes
1. The Sweet Taste
Sweet is cooling, nourishing, strength-building, and grounding in nature. It is the most important constituent of a Pitta pacifying diet.
Taken in moderation, it promotes longevity, strength, and healthy bodily fluids as well as tissues.
Found in foods with a naturally sweet taste, and/or a sweet post-digestive effect like sweet potatoes, white rice, most fruits, most grains, root vegetables, milk, ghee, fresh yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds, and most oils except mustard.
Ayurvedic tip! Eat dessert first as an appetizer when the digestive or metabolic fire is at its peak. The heavy, oily, moist qualities of the sweet taste tend to slow down digestion.
Constitutionally the sweet taste has the elements of Kapha, water, and earth, and hence aggravates Kapha the most.
2. The Bitter Taste
Although generally lacking in our diet due to its unpalatable taste, it is extremely helpful when there is an aggravation of Pitta.
The bitter taste is cooling, rough, drying, light, and possesses all the qualities that tend to pacify Pitta.
Spices like turmeric and fenugreek, as well as bitter gourds (in small quantities), can add a bitter taste to food whenever it’s needed.
It is beneficial when an excess of Kapha causes indigestion or acidity or when Pitta has gone sour.
It’s also useful when Pitta aggravation affects the blood and causes inflammatory disorders.
3. The Astringent Taste
This taste is dry, cold, and heavy and pacifies Pitta.
Artichoke, beetroot, raw banana, or jack fruit are examples of astringent taste.
4. The Sour Taste
It awakens the mind and senses, stimulates digestive juices, improves digestion, and eliminates excess wind or gas.
Lemon juice, tamarind, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, and sour-sweet fruits like orange, pineapple, and kiwi are a few examples.
Can be Pitta aggravating, if taken in excess.
Sour foods due to their appetizing effect can be included in the diet in forms that do not aggravate Pitta. A mint coriander dip made sour with pomegranate juice or Indian gooseberry (amla) is a good example.
5. The Salty Taste
- It stimulates the appetite and digestion
- It helps retain moisture and supports proper elimination. It also improves the flavor of many foods.
- Sources- Sea salt, rock salt, and common table salt should be used in very small quantities.
- Constitutionally, it is composed of fire and water and hence can aggravate Pitta moderately.
- It can alter the properties of the foods and can turn Pitta pacifying foods into Pitta aggravating foods. For example, dressing salads in excess salt.
So, the salty taste should be consumed in moderation by those with a Pitta body type or Pitta prakriti.
6. The Pungent Taste
Pungent spices are Pitta aggravating due to their hot property.
The drying qualities of the pungent taste can antagonize the fluid property of Pitta. Dried ginger powder is a good example.
It has the potential to aggravate Pitta if taken in excess. A small quantity though is good to aid digestion in a Pitta person.
Even after following a Pitta pacifying diet, you may at times still encounter a Pitta disorder. The reason could be bad eating habits!
When it comes to pacifying Pitta, how and when you eat may be just as important as what you eat.
Pitta diet rules that you must follow for thriving health!
Pitta gets pacified if you make it a point to eat in a peaceful environment, allowing enough time to chew the food.
Keep a balance between hydrating and drying as well as cooling and heating foods.
2. Eating three meals at regular intervals further reduces Pitta and helps to calm fiery digestion.
3. Cook With Balance
It can be a little difficult to completely avoid all Pitta aggravating foods. So, simply cook Pitta aggravating foods in Pitta pacifying mediums or combine them with appropriate Pitta pacifying foods and spices. Use a sweet taste to help digest them properly without causing any aggravation.
Here is how you can go about a normal day of nutrition to calm Pitta dosha!
- If Pitta is elevated, breakfast should not be skipped. Use of grains and dairy with sweet nuts like almonds and raisins are good options
- Carbohydrates provide a sustained release of sugar in the blood. Barley, oats, and whole wheat are good choices to include in a Pitta pacifying diet
- Egg whites can also be taken along with bread, and reserve meats for lunch. If you are not that hungry a platter of sweet fruits is a good choice
Ideally, lunch is the main meal of the day
Pitta in terms of quantity and richness is at its peak at midday and more so in a Pitta dominant person
A wide variety of appropriate grains like barley, quinoa, wheat, and rice can be used in various forms. Beans and vegetables also make the main contribution to a Pitta lunch and can be complemented with suitable meats
However, pungent spices should be avoided or used in very small quantities
- Dinner is ideally a smaller and lighter version of lunch. But it also needs to sustain Pitta’s active metabolism
- A simple but nourishing meal like a kitchari, pasta, or a slightly smaller serving of lunch can work well
- Soups and boiled vegetables can be taken as starters so that it satisfies the Pitta digestive fire, and keep the calorie intake low
What foods do you incorporate into your daily routines that help pacify your dosha? Share with the community in the comments!
Take the natural and nutritional route to good health by embracing proper guidelines and rules for your specific dosha. Leave the rest to Ayurveda!