“You are what you eat”. This oft-quoted adage, although a simple piece of wisdom that originated in an ancient era, holds immense significance in modern times, particularly now when the world is still battling the raging COVID-19 pandemic. And while it is indeed true that choosing nourishing foods, eating a balanced diet is of utmost importance for bolstering immunity and fighting infection, merely doing this does not ensure wellbeing. Proper digestion of the meals within the body is also necessary, for only then can the vital essential nutrients be absorbed by cells, tissues and converted to energy, to carry out numerous activities. This key biochemical process, known as metabolism, is dictated by one of the three energies or life forces as defined in Ayurveda – the Pitta Dosha, the other two vitalities being Vata and Kapha.
Also Read: Introduction To Ayurveda: Learn About Vata, Pitta And Kapha Doshas
An individual’s natural state of existence is termed as Prakriti in Ayurveda, that signifies which particular dosha among the three – Vata, Pitta and Kapha are most expressed in their system. Hence a person exhibiting predominantly Pitta body type, with subdued Vata and Kapha qualities, is designated as Pitta dominant. This unique aspect of Ayurveda aids in determining the appropriate diet comprising adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients, in addition to the pertinent method of preventing illness and treating diseases in a particular individual. Representing the elements of Agni i.e. fire and Jalam i.e. water, the Pitta Dosha is responsible for performing various bodily tasks, foremost among them being promoting digestion processes. It also aids in regulating body temperature, controlling appetite and thirst, enhancing eye health and uplifting brain activity.
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Read on, to gain insight into the distinguishing traits of a pitta body type, as well as the reasons that prompt a pitta imbalance in the system. Then, if you identify your body type to be Pitta dominated, foray through the detailed Pitta diet plan provided in this article, as entailed in the time-tested Ayurvedic scriptures, to synchronize the doshas and augment overall wellness.
Pitta Dosha Characteristics:
The principal attributes demonstrated by a person coordinated by pitta dosha comprise:
- Medium height with a fit, athletic build
- A tendency to sweat swiftly and profusely
- Skin with blemishes, acne and dark, strong, thick hair
- A sweet, melodious voice
- Possess optimal sleep patterns
- High level of intelligence, rational thinking and enhanced memory
- Fluent and clear speaking, conversation skills
- Inherent leadership qualities
- Prone to anger and disappointment in stressful situations
Causes Of Pitta Imbalance In The System:
The major factors that aggravate pitta dosha include:
- Eating pitta aggravating foods (pungent, sour, salty, very spicy, deep-fried, processed, red meat)
- Consuming caffeine (coffee), black tea, nicotine (smoking), alcohol
- Prolonged exposure to the sun
- Anxiety and depression
- Thyroid disorders
- Heartburn, acid reflux, peptic ulcers
Also Read: Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Symptoms Of Inconsistent Pitta Dosha In The Body:
The typical indications exhibited due to uneven pitta dosha consist of:
- Increased hunger, thirst
- Excessive hair fall
- Hormonal imbalance
- Vertigo and migraines
- Hot flashes
- Bad breath and body odour
- Heavy, painful menstrual bleeding
- Frustration, anger and resentment
- Instability in the mind
Pitta Dosha Diet:
As pitta dosha is stimulated by oily, very acerbic, sour and pungent meals, an overload of such dishes exacerbates this internal body status and gives rise to seasonal infections, troubling ailments and upon continuous unhealthy eating regimens, even chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. Hence consuming foods that carry an opposite flavour helps to balance the pitta dosha in the body and restore physical fitness and mental wellness. These include bitter and mildly sweet food items, with ample liquid intake.
Sweet and bitter veggies like asparagus, cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, green beans, lettuce, peas, potatoes, sprouts and mushrooms.
Barley, oats basmati or white rice and wheat.
Eggs, Poultry, Meat, Seafood:
Eggs are fine. It is suggested to otherwise stick to a vegetarian diet and steer clear of poultry, meat, seafood.
Dishes can be cooked with limited quantities of coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil.
Subtly flavourful condiments like cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, fennel, and black pepper can be added to salads, soups and cooked meals. It is advised to lower salt intake.
Sweet fruits like apples, avocados, coconuts, figs, melons, oranges, pears, plums, pomegranates and mangoes. Dried fruit should be avoided.
Brown sugar, honey.
Milk And Dairy Products:
Preferably unsalted butter, ghee, milk and cheese.
Although most foods derived from Mother Nature, be it fruits, seeds, nuts, vegetables or spices are loaded with copious health merits, Ayurveda recommends limiting the intake of specific dishes, while increasing the consumption of certain others, to balance an agitated Pitta Dosha. Upon identifying your specific body type to be Pitta dominant either by your own physical features, lifestyle habits and mental predisposition or by consulting with a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, adhere to the diet tips relevant to pitta dosha. This helps augment overall wellbeing and maintain the balance of the three doshas in the body.