The Ideal Pitta Diet | Eating for Your Dosha

A balancing Pitta diet consists of (cooked and raw) fresh, whole foods that are cooling, heavy, energizing, and somewhat dry. These meals minimize internal heat, prevent inflammation, balance digestive fire, stabilize the body, and absorb excess fluids and oil.

In this article, we will unpack:

  • The Ideal Pitta Dosha Diet
  • Pitta Friendly Food Options
  • Ayurvedic Food Supplements For Balancing Pitta Dosha
  • Food And Lifestyle Tips For Pitta Dosha
a photo of a pitta diet balancing salad with a mixture of vegetables

The Ideal Pitta Diet

The following suggestions may assist you in choosing an effective Pitta-pacifying diet for yourself.

How To balance pitta dosha with your diet

Here are the qualities that you should prioritize in your diet, as well as those that will tend to aggravate Pitta.

Because Pitta is naturally oily, sharp, hot, light, penetrating, and fluid, ingesting foods that balance these qualities—dry, soothing, cooling, grounding, stabilizing, and dense—can help balance excess Pitta.

  • The cool characteristic can be enhanced by ingesting foods that are cool in temperature or have a cooling effect, as well as by using cooling spices abundantly.
  • Water or fluids are essential in a Pitta diet as they help to balance the excessive sweating in Pitta dominant people. Hence, liquid food like coconut water, milk, fruit juices are great for Pitta people.
a selection of bottles of fruit juice and fruit
  • However, avoid excess consumption of artificially chilled products like ice creams, and carbonated drinks. In fact, carbonated drinks can increase acidity and heat inside the body.
  • Raw foods are naturally cooling, and Pitta may tolerate them better than the other doshas. hence, try to consume a range of raw fruits and vegetables, especially during the summer months.
  • Avoid hot or heat producing foods like alcohol, tea, and coffee, as all these elements will increase internal body temperature.
  • Ground Pitta’s lightness (and heat) by consuming meals that provide stable, adequate nourishment and a naturally sweet taste, for example, rice, milk, and coconut oil.
  • Highly processed foods, such as canned foods, prepared meals, and pastries, are also heavy but they are devoid of prana (vital life force), so it is better to avoid them.
  • Pitta has a tendency for oiliness. Hence, dry (not too oily) foods are a great choice.
  • Pitta is acidic. Therefore, try to avoid using acidic foods, such as pineapple, pickles, vinegar, alcohol, and aged sharp cheeses. Instead, use foods with mild flavors and aroma.
a greek salad that is said to be part of the pitta diet
  • Pitta is calmed by sweet, bitter, and astringent flavors, whereas pungent, sour, and salty flavors aggravate it.
  • Sweet foods including sweet fruits, most grains, squash, root vegetables, milk, ghee, and fresh yogurt are great for Pitta.
  • However, avoid excess refined sugar or syrupy sweet foods; naturally sweet foods are a better choice.
  • Also, bitter and astringent tasting foods like green chili, black pepper etc are good for Pitta.
  • Avoid heat generating foods like red chilies, radishes, turnips, raw onions, and too much garam masala.
  • Too much salty food is also not great for Pitta digestion as it may cause digestive disorders like acidity, intestinal inflammation etc.

However, it may be difficult to always assess all the above factors in your food. So, here is a list of Pitta friendly food to get you started on your Pitta balancing journey –

Pitta Friendly Food Options

Fruits For Pitta Diet:

Most of the fruits are sweet and hence a great choice of Pitta balance. However, always choose naturally ripened sweet fruits over sour ones.

a selection of fruits that fall into the pitta diet reccomendations

Some of the good fruits for Pitta are:

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Coconut
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Limes
  • Mangos (ripe)
  • Melons
  • Oranges (sweet)
  • Papaya
  • Pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Raisins

Vegetables For Pitta Diet:

Most of the vegetables, cooked without too much oil and spices are great for Pitta. In fact, the best option is to consume roasted vegetables or in the form of raw salads.

a tray of oven roasted vegetables

However, avoid too much garlic, green chilies, radishes, onion, and mustard greens as they are extremely pungent, hot, acidic, or sour.

Most suitable vegetables are –

  • Cauliflower
  • Coriander
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Green Beans
  • Leafy Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Mint
  • Green Peas
  • All gourds
  • Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin

Grains For Pitta Diet:

Pitta-balancing grains are cooling, sweet, dry, and grounding. However, avoid too much of grains that are heating (such as buckwheat, wheat, corn, millet, brown rice, and yeasted breads).

three spoons of quinoa in different shades

Here are some optimal grains for a Pitta diet:

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Quinoa

Legumes For Pitta Diet:

Legumes are typically astringent in flavor and are consequently primarily Pitta-pacifying, so feel free to indulge in a wide variety. Some of the best legumes for Pitta are:

  • Kidney Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Mung Beans

Dairy Products For Pitta Diet:

Dairy products are typically grounding, nutritious, and cooling; therefore, most of them are Pitta-balancing.

ghee in a jar with some scooped out onto a spoon
  • Butter (unsalted)
  • Cheese (soft, unsalted, not aged)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Milk
  • Ghee
  • Cream

Oils For Pitta Diet:

Try to use cooling oils such as:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Ghee
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Olive oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil

Herbs And Spices For Pitta Diet:

Most spices are naturally hot and can consequently worsen Pitta. Therefore, try to use more cooling spices.

a selection of different spices

Some of the best options are:

  • Tulsi
  • Green Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Mint
  • Neem Leaves
  • Saffron
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla
  • Ajwain
  • Anise
  • Bay Leaf
  • Kalonji
  • Cloves
  • Fenugreek

Cooling Food Preparations For Balancing Pitta:

Traditional Indian food offers a long list of Pitta balancing food options that can help you to cool off with tasty options.

milk being poured from a glass bottle into a cup

Some of the most important Pitta balancing foods are:

  • Ilaichi milk
  • Coriander mint sharbat
  • Nimbu pani
  • Thandai (milk-based cooling preparation)
  • Kheer (milk and rice)
  • Sattu (to be consumed esp. during summer)

6 Ayurvedic Supplements for Balancing Pitta Dosha

Some cooling Ayurvedic herbs have a great Pitta balancing effect, so you can consider incorporating them into your diet. Here is a list of some of the best Pitta balancing Ayurvedic herbs:

#1: Brahmi

According to Ayurveda, Brahmi is known for boosting energy levels, improving immune function, and combatting mental fog.

a selection of different supplements

#2: Shankhapushpi

Shankhapushpi is said to support brain function, enhance dreams, and promote concentration, memory, and mental clarity.

#3: Bhringraj

Bhringraj, when extracted as an oil, is said to do wonders for hair and scalp health. It is known for preventing dandruff and dryness of the scalp, promoting hair growth and re-growth, and nourishing hair.

#4: Guduchi

Guduchi is an ancient plant with immune boosting effects. Said to support cell health, white blood cell count, and immune response. This ayurvedic supplement can be taken during seasonal changes.

spoons of different powdered supplements in different colours to balance the pitta diet

#5: Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a root with powerful stress-relieving and mood-enhancing properties. It supports the immune system and proper functioning of the thyroid glands.

#6: Shatavari

Shatavari is an ayurvedic root that is known to promote hormonal balance, supports a healthy menstrual cycle, and relieves inflammatory responses.

Dietary Habits for Balancing pitta Dosha

According to Ayurveda, the dosha have an impact on both the mind and the body. Food is very important. Our body is made of food.

Ayurveda says that even the way you eat contributes a lot to your overall wellbeing. Therefore, try to implement the following cooling and grounding lifestyle practices to balance both the Pitta mind and the body.

copper pots on a shelf
  • Drink water kept overnight in a copper pot. This water also produces a cooling and pitta balancing effect on the body.
  • Oil pulling with cooling oils like coconut oil is a great option for Pitta body type. It helps to prevent mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, and foul smell from the mouth as the pitta body type is most susceptible to these oral disorders.
  • Walk bear-foot on the dew-drops early morning (except in extreme winter). It helps to cool the entire body and helps to balance the strong Pitta digestion.
  • Try to eat only three meals at regular intervals during the day as too much food can increase the body heat.
  • Make your breakfast light and easy to digest. Eating fruits early morning for breakfast has an excellent cooling and hydrating effect on the Pitta body.
  • Have the heaviest meal (lunch) during midday. This is the best time for Pitta digestion.
  • Try to eat your dinner before sunset and keep it light, compared to lunch.
  • Try eating fruits or cooling drinks as snacks as they will naturally bring down the body heat. This is especially important in the summer season.
a mason jar with fruit salad in it and a wooden fork
  • Never skip a meal as it may lead to acidity and headache. If you are not able to go for a full meal, go for some cooling nourishing fluid like milk, coconut water, or some snacks.
  • Under-eating is a bigger problem for Pitta dominant people, so eat enough to balance the strong Pitta digestive fire.

Pitta Diet according to Seasons

Winter

Winter is a great time for Pitta dominant people as their digestive fire is at the highest. At this time, you should indulge in all types of heavy, oily, and cooling foods like kheer, milk (khoya) based sweets and cheese.

Late Winter

Follow the winter regimen for the season as well.

a cheese board on a wooden chopping board

Spring

This is time for cyclic Kapha imbalance in all creatures and Pitta dominant people may also experience a little lack of hunger and heaviness in this season. However, kindle your digestive fire with digestive spices like cumin, fennel, black cardamom, and bay leaves.

Keep your food moderately spicy but try to eliminate oil as much as possible as oil increases the Kapha dosha. Roasted food is the best option for Pitta dominant people in this season.

One of the best Ayurvedic snack in this season is Til laddu. It has a natural Kapha balancing effect that also helps to manage the Pitta in the body.

Also, this is a great time for fruit or milk fasting detox that may help to maintain the Pitta energy.

Summer

Pitta dominant people are especially prone to excessive sweating, sun-stroke and dehydration, and foul smell during the summer season. Therefore, try to consume hydrating and cooling food during summer.

slices of cucumber

One of the best food options in this season is sattu (made of barley, channa and green cardamom). It offers both cooling and re-hydration to the Pitta body.

Rainy Season

Rainy season is the time for cyclic Vata imbalance in all creatures. Vata dosha hampers digestion and may lead to digestive disorders and pain in the body. During the rains, preserve your health by including easy-to-digest, and hydrating food like moong dal khichadi cooked in ghee.

Early Winter

This is the time for cyclic Pitta vitiation in the body. Hence, you need to be extra careful with your diet in this season. Otherwise, you may face disorders like acne breakouts, hyperacidity, or internal inflammation.

Include more cooling fluids like coconut water to both balance the Pitta heat and detox the body.

coconut water in a glass on a coconut leaf and in front of two young coconuts

To Conclude

These are some of the crucial dietary tips to balance the Pitta energy. However, Ayurved says that everyone is a unique mind and body. Therefore, take the above guidelines as tentative directions that may be helpful to design your own personalized Pitta balancing dietary regimen.

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Dr. Kanika Verma

Dr. Kanika Verma

Dr. Kanika Verma is an Ayurveda physician from India, with 10 years of Ayurveda practice. She specializes in Ritucharya consultation (Ayurvedic Preventive seasonal therapy) and Satvavjay (Ayurvedic mental health management), with more than 10 years of experience.

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