What is the Pitta Diet | Foods to Eat for Pitta Diet | Foods to Avoid on Pitta Diet | Pros and Cons of Pitta Diet | pitta diet while intermittent fasting | Pitta Diet Recipe Ideas
While traditional medicine has been practiced for thousands of years, it has only been in recent years that mainstream Western culture has recognized some of its benefits to our health and well being.
One type of traditional medicine practice that has gained popularity is the practice of Ayurveda. Focusing on whole-body health and well being, an Ayurvedic diet promotes a balance of foods to support your personalized energy type.
A subtype of the Ayurvedic diet is the pitta diet, which is based on particular physiological and personality traits of an individual. According to Ayurvedic principles, certain foods support the particular traits of pitta while other foods contribute to imbalance which can lead to problems such as digestive issues or other illnesses.
Below, we will explain more about what the pitta diet is, the pros and cons of the pitta diet, as well as whether or not the pitta diet can fit with an intermittent fasting schedule. We will also include some delicious pitta diet recipe ideas to help get you started. Let’s dive in!
What is the Pitta Diet?
Before we look at the pitta diet, we need to understand a little background as to what pitta is and how it could relate to our diet and lifestyle. The pitta diet is based on the idea of pitta dosha which is a principle in the belief of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a type of traditional medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. Originating in India, Ayurveda promotes a whole-body approach to physical, spiritual, and emotional well being.
The basic principle of Ayurveda is that the universe is composed of five elements including earth, water, fire, air, and space. These five elements are the components that make up doshas.
Doshas are described as different types of energy within a person. They can also be thought of as different humors of the body. Ayurvedic practice states there are three primary types of doshas including: vata dosha, pitta dosha, and kapha dosha. The doshas are responsible for physiological functions of the body.
The belief is that everyone has each type of dosha within the body, but there is one dominant type for each person. Each type of dosha is differentiated by several characteristics including body type, sensitivities, and personality. An ayurvedic practitioner can help someone determine what is their dominant dosha.
The pitta dosha is made up of the elements of fire and water and the warmer months of summer time is known as pitta season. Doshas are further divided into subtypes as well. For example, there are five different pitta types which reside in certain locations within the digestive tract.
The goal of Ayurveda practice is to promote well-being for the whole body and overall health. This can be accomplished by keeping your dominant dosha in balance and correcting any imbalance through diet and lifestyle practices.
Someone who practices Ayurveda may follow an Ayurvedic diet in order to achieve optimal health and well-being. Ayurvedic medicine is very personalized, so someone following an Ayurvedic diet would eat certain foods and avoid certain foods according to their dosha. There are plenty of ayurvedic recipes available online and you can even take an ayurvedic cooking course.
For each dosha, there are specific foods to eat (and foods to avoid) in order to maintain balance. For example, the pitta diet is a diet specifically tailored for those with a dominant pitta dosha.
The pitta diet encourages sweet, bitter foods, an raw foods such as cold and room temperature fruits, vegetables, and fresh herbs. It is recommended to avoid certain foods that would cause pitta imbalance such as spicy, heavy, or sour foods.
Since the pitta dosha is associated with excess heat during late summer, it is recommended to avoid hot or spicy foods in order to prevent pitta imbalance. Below is a brief list of what someone would eat and not eat according to the pitta diet:
Foods to Eat for Pitta Diet
- Bitter foods such as non-starchy vegetables, cabbage, Brussel sprouts
- Sweet fruits like oranges, pears, pineapple, bananas, mangoes
- Green smoothies
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
- Coconut milk and coconut oil
- Flax seed
- Herbs and spices such as fresh cilantro, black pepper, fennel seeds
Foods to Avoid on Pitta Diet
- Red meat
- Sour cherries
- Brown rice
- Sesame seeds
- Chili peppers
Pros and Cons of the Pitta Diet
Now that we know what the pitta diet is, we’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of the diet. In general, the recommended foods are mostly whole foods and minimally processed.
This type of eating pattern that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean sources of protein has been shown to promote overall health and prevent the risk of certain diseases.
Proponents of the pitta diet maintain that eating according to this dosha is a great way to correct digestive issues as the pitta diet focuses on good digestion regardless if you have a medical condition or not.
While there is very little scientific evidence to support the claims of the Ayurvedic diet, proponents of Ayurveda state more research needs to be done in order to demonstrate the benefits of following these beliefs. Some of the principles such as eating certain foods based on your personality type or temperament are not based on scientific evidence.
Additionally, there are very specific rules as to what someone can and cannot eat, which also changes based on the time of year. This can be confusing and feel restrictive for many people. There are also many herbal teas, like ccf tea, that are recommended to consume on the pitta diet.
The Food and Drug Administration does not have to approve these types of teas but does monitor for safety. Even if you practice Ayurvedic medicine, the pitta diet may not be suitable for you if pitta is not your dominant dosha.
Can I practice the pitta diet while intermittent fasting?
Whether you practice intermittent fasting or the pitta diet, you may be wondering if these two eating patterns can be practiced together. The simple answer is yes! Similar to other diets such as vegan and keto, the pitta diet can work well with intermittent fasting and even enhance the benefits of each other.
Since intermittent fasting isn’t a strict set of rules as to what you can and cannot eat, it makes for a great addition to most other diets and eating patterns.
There are many benefits to intermittent fasting which contributes to overall health and improves certain diseases such as diabetes. Intermittent fasting can improve a medical condition known as insulin resistance and help prevent high and low blood sugar levels. The pitta diet shares a similar goal in that it aims to promote overall health.
As long as you are eating pitta balancing foods during your eating window and avoiding calorie intake during your fasting window, the pitta diet and intermittent fasting will work well together.
Pitta Diet Recipe Ideas
The pitta diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other fiber rich foods that can provide balanced and nutrient-dense meals.
Certain foods and drinks are optimal for all of the doshas, such as ccf tea. Below are a few recipes that can be used on the pitta diet.
Even if you don’t follow a pitta diet, these recipes can be a perfect way to incorporate fresh produce during summer time or hot weather.
Green Beans with Ginger and Turmeric
Recipe adapted from artofliving.org
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed and washed
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ lemon
- Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan
- Add green beans and cook until tender
- Drain water
- In a small saucepan, warm ghee, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper until aromatic
- Add spice mixture to green beans and mix well
- Squeeze lemon juice over beans and servePitta Diet Recipe Ideas
Kale & Carrot Soup
Recipe adapted from joyfulbelly.com
- 4 large carrots, diced
- ½ lb kale, washed and stems removed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- Over medium heat, saute carrots and kale in sunflower oil until tender
- Add fennel seeds, ginger, salt and lime juice to vegetables and cook for about 1 minute
- Cover with water and bring to a boil
- Allow to simmer until all ingredients are soft, about 10 minutes
- Serve and enjoy
Conclusion – Delicious Pitta Diet Recipe Ideas
Ayurveda has been practiced for thousands of years, but has recently gained more popularity in Western culture.
Known for its individualized approach to health and well-being, certain foods and lifestyle practices are recommended based upon the individual’s physiology and personality traits. There are three main types of energies or doshas and a person usually has one dominant dosha.
Someone with a pitta dosha would be encouraged to follow a pitta diet. The pitta diet includes cold, bitter, and sweet foods such as sweet fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and certain types of dairy and protein.
The pitta season is considered to be during the warmer months of the year and eating pitta supportive foods during this time would be important to someone following the pitta diet.
As with many other types of eating patterns, intermittent fasting works well with the pitta diet. The benefits of intermittent fasting align well with the overall goal of following the pitta diet: to promote whole body health and well-being.
While there is little evidence to support the claims of the pitta diet, consuming a diet filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean protein has been shown to contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Whether or not you practice a pitta diet, the recipes included above are both delicious and nutrient-dense which is a win-win for everyone!