The world around us is fast realising the secrets of Ayurveda and that it holds the key towards living happier, healthier, and more balanced lives. The truth to this is provided in the three doshas called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We are all composed of varying quantities of these doshas but generally one or two of these doshas takes the prominence in our body much like a zodiac sign for our personality. Following the lifestyle guidelines for our dominant dosha is the best thing that we can do to maintain bodily harmony and balance.
Pitta Dosha – Fire and Water
This has the qualities of being hot, sharp, light, liquid, and mobile. This means that Pitta type people require activities that are calming, cooling, softening, and relaxing.
Do’s for Pitta:
- Spend time in the moonlight, as lunar energy is cool and calming.
- Schedule your deadlines to avoid time pressures.
- Spare time for fun and play as this de-stresses and helps the mind to relax.
- Eat healthy cooked foods with tastes that are sweet, bitter, and sharp as this soothes a Pitta.
- Drink plenty of water in room temperature as cold water is bad for digestion.
- Nature helps balance in all of the doshas so do spend time in nature, especially near water bodies. The added element of the water helps calm and cool Pitta.
- Be in bed by 10pm when the evening Pitta cycle begins or we can get into our second wind and stay awake and be productive for hours. But it is much better to be asleep by then.
- Keep physically cool. Keeping physically cool will help your to maintain your mental calmness.
- Engage in team building activities rather than individual competitions as competitiveness is sharp and aggravates a Pitta.
- Eat when you are hungry it keeps the digestive fire from overheating the body.
Don’ts for Pitta:
- Don’t spend time under the midday sun. Instead get out early or wait until the moon comes out.
- Don’t consume coffee or alcohol as they tax the liver that already tends to be overheated in a Pitta – Don’t eat lots of spicy foods, it builds up heat in the body.
- Don’t drink ice water with meals, it tampers with your digestion and will cause issues later.
- Don’t take showers that are too hot. Pitta skin is sensitive and overheating it can exacerbate any skin issues.
- Don’t take hot yoga, you will be more relaxed when you aren’t adding all of that extra heat.
- Don’t work 7 days a week, even if you love your job, this doesn’t give you time to relax.
- Don’t eat salty snacks as its very heating.
Foods to eat and avoid
| ||Foods to eat|| ||Foods to avoid|
| ||Major||Minor|| |
|Vegetables||Artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, bitter gourd, green beans, jicama, landcress, okra, parsnips, peas, potatoes (white), sprouts, watercress, winter squash||Bamboo shoots, radish, plantain, pokeroot, burdock root, carrots, celery, corn (fresh), parsley, turnip greens, spinach, pumpkin, mustard green, escarole, kohlrabi, cassava||Beets, hot chili peppers, taro root, mushrooms, beet green, egg plant, Swiss chard, onion (raw), tomatoes, turnips, radishes|
|Fruits||Apples, apricot, berries, grapes, mango, melons, oranges (sweet), pears, dates, coconut, figs (fresh), pears, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, raisins, watermelon||Avocado, dried fruits (sweet), kiwi, limes, lemons, strawberries (sweet), tamarind||Bananas, papaya, berries (sour), soursop, grapefruit, peaches, rhubarb, persimmon|
|Grains||Barley, brown rice (sweet), wheat, basmati rice (brown or white), oats (whole)||Sushi rice (white), brown rice (long and medium-grain)||Amaranth, millet, rice (in excess), rye, corn, quinoa, buckwheat|
|Legumes & beans||Aduki beans, black beans, chickpeas (black or yellow), soya beans, split beans, mung daal (split or whole), lentils (brown)||Tempeh, tofu (cooked), urad dal||Lentils, toor dal|
|Nuts and seeds|| ||Coconut, pumpkin seeds (roasted), water chestnuts (cooked), sunflower seeds, poppy seeds||All nuts, sesame seeds (black or white)|
|Dairy products||Butter (unsalted), cottage cheese, cow’s milk||Cheese (mild or soft), yoghurt (sweetened), goat’s milk, homemade ice cream||Buttermilk, dairy products, goat’s cheese, sour cream, cheese (hard)|
|Animal products||Chicken, pheasant and turkey||Eggs||Beef, seafood|
|Oils / fats||Canola, soy, sunflower, coconut||Olive, walnut, safflower, avocado||Almond, corn, sesame (dark), mustard, animal fats or lard, vegetable (mixed)|
|Sweeteners||Barley malt, brown sugar (unrefined), dates, maple syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrates (apple, pear, mango, fig, apricot, grape), sugarcane juice, sweet fruits, sucanat||Amajake (rice milk), brown rice||Honey, molasses, sugar substitutes (saccharin, sweet’n Low, NutraSweet), white sugar|
|Herbs, spices, and flavourings||Black cumin, cilantro, coriander, cumin, curry leaves, dill leaves, fennel, kudzu, mint, peppermint, saffron, turmeric, wintergreen||Basil (fresh), black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, dill seeds, garam masala, ginger, nutmeg, parsley, tamarind, vanilla, orange peel, mace||Ajwan (carom seeds), anise, asafoetida, basil, bayleaf, fenugreek, garlic, oregano, paprika, pippali, rosemary, thyme, onion (raw), mustard seeds, horseradish|
|Condiments||Chutney (coconut or mango), coconut milk, mint leaves, rose water, cilantro,, coconut (grated or roasted)||Black pepper, orange peel, vinegar, yoghurt (spiced or sweetened), sea salt, rock salt, pickle, sweet ginger, olives (black)||Chili peppers (hot), pickles (sour), salt (iodised), soy sauce, mustard, garlic, ketchup, gomasio, preservatives and additives, chemicals|
|Seaweeds (Use seaweeds sparingly. Soak and rinse thoroughly before use.)|| ||Agar-agar, hijiki, riverweeds, seaware, kelp, arame, dulse, kombu, wakame|| |
|Brews and beverages||Aloe vera juice, apple juice, apricot juice, berry juice (sweet), carob drinks, coconut milk or shakes, cow’s milk (cool), date shake, grape juice, mango juice, peach juice, pear juice||Almond milk, chicory blends, lassi (sweet yoghurt drink), soy milk (spiced), carrot-vegetable juice, orange juice||Alcohol, banana shake, caffeinated drinks, carbonated drinks, cranberry juices, frozen drinks, grapefruit juice, chocolate drinks, papaya juice, salted drinks, sour fruit juice, tomato juice|
|Teas (Do not use chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed)||Twig, barley, blackberry, chamomile, chicory, chrysanthemum, comfrey, dandelion, fennel, jasmine, lavender, lotus, marshmallow, saffron, spearmint, violet, wintergreen, peppermint, passionflower, wild cherry bark||Alfalfa, borage, cardamom, cinnamon, grain tea, hibiscus, strawberry||Parsley, cloves, corn silk, eucalypts, ginger (dried or fresh), ginseng, hawthorn, mormon tea, pennyroyal|
|General considerations||Foods of sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes, cold, heavy and dry foods|| ||Foods of sour, salty, and pungent tastes, warm, light and oily foods.|