In Ayurveda, people are classified according to their predominant dosha: Vatta, Pitta or Kapha. According to this theory, we all have all three doshas in different amounts, but most of us have a predominant dosha. Some people have two doshas in equal proportions. This is called a dual doshic constitution. This article will focus on the Pitta Dosha and what people can improve their health and overall well being by taking steps to balance their Dosha through their diet.
Physical characteristics of Pitta
Pittas are usually of medium size and weight. They often have good digestion and strong appetites. They tend to be very energetic people. They sleep soundly except for when they are under a lot of stress. They do not tolerate direct sunlight and heat too well.
Mental characteristics of Pitta
Pittas tend to like order and the feeling of being in control. They have sharp minds and are normally assertive and self confident. They can easily become angry or irritated when under stress. Pittas are good decision makers and have very active imagination. They are brave, determined, and they can be very direct and outspoken.
Diet for balancing Pitta Dosha
Foods that are cooling, dry and heavy will help balance a Pitta Dosha. Here is a list of food straditionally recommended for Pitta Dosha:
- Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, okra, peas, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, sweet peppers, leafy green vegetables (except for spinach), potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini. Try to avoid tomatoes, hot peppers, carrots, beets, eggplant, onions, garlic, radishes, and spinach.
- Fruits: Apples, avocados, coconut, grapes, mangoes, melons, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, raisins. Try to avoid unripe and sour fruits such as berries, grapefruit and sour oranges.
- Grains: White rice, oats and wheat. Try to avoid brown rice, corn and rye.
- Dairy: Butter or ghee, egg whites, milk. Try to avoid buttermilk, sour cream and yogurt.
- Meat: Try to stay away from red meats and favor leaner meats such as chicken and turkey.
- Beans: Chickpeas, soy beans. Try to avoid lentils.
- Nuts: Try to avoid all nuts except for pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Spices: Try to favor sweet and astringent spices such as cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, mint, saffron and turmeric. Avoid heating and pungent spices.
Balancing an aggravated Pitta Dosha
To balance an aggravated Pitta, take two teaspoons of ghee in a glass of warm milk. Routine and a mentally and emotionally peaceful and stable lifestyle are also important to maintaining balance between the doshas.