Cooling Pitta

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ID:	164This week we’re on to that dynamic dosha Pitta. That firey cosmic force that’s responsible for transformation, digestion and metabolism. Pitta needs to remain cool, calm and collected especially in Summer!

We have already covered grounding Vata and energising Kapha, feel free to pop over and review them if you need to!

Pitta is the dynamic force combining the water and fire elements. Pitta is a slave to summer. The sun is it’s ruler and keeping cool is all a Pitta can do from overheating everything including ones emotions. Pittas can complain about the heat (a lot) and with good reason. In summer the temperature outside increases putting our internal guages under a little more pressure to stay cool.

We opt for lighter meals in summer, cold fresh crunchy fruit and salads, ice-cold smoothies and even an ice-cream treat. Our body’s intuition takes the reigns before we even know what’s happening. The Ayurveda rule of ‘Like increasing Like’ is a good warning for Pitta to be careful in summer. They need to drink cool drinks like coconut water and lime, and use coconut oil as an SPF and a coolant for the skin and try to stay out of the sun between 12 and 3pm if posbible. Especially as Pitta are prone to sunburn, heat rashes, acid reflux and sensitive eyes.

Qualities: hot, oily, smooth, mobile, sharp

Locations: liver, eyes, skin, brain, small intestines.

Balanced: independent, goal orientated, good leader, practical, ambitious, witty, brave.

Imbalanced: egotistical, critical, short tempered, anger, irritable and frustrated.

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ID:	165When Pittas are balanced, they are very very balanced! They are witty and charming and full of questions, they show you they care by taking care of things. They are do-ers. Pitta gets your computer fixed, they mow the lawn, they re-organise the fridge and they book you a weekend break-away because they love you and that’s just one day. They are super organised and really quick to the mark, that’s why they make great lawyers, doctors and athletes! But when Pittas are imbalanced they are very very imbalanced. They are short tempered and can be a bit of a bully, especially to sensitive Vatas! They get easily irritated by mess and anything that’s not organised the way they want it. The don’t suffer fools gladly and will tell you so if they think you are wrong and they are right. Pittas can often be seen running up moving escalators.

Pittas are lucky they have a really strong digestion thanks to all that fire. Pittas need to stay sweet (not the refined sugar type) and cool especially in summer. They do well with timed meals because if they don’t get fed on time they can become irritable until they eat again. They can eat mango and drink fresh coconut water and eat sweet fruits like grapes and berries. Spicy food can aggravate Pitta, as do fried foods, alcohol and fermented foods (yep even yoghurt sorry).

Factors for Pitta Problems:

  1. Spicy food: excess chilli, cayenne, ginger, garlic, pepper.
  2. Oily food: deep fried/pan fried food in hydrolised/low grade cooking oils.
  3. Anger: it can be suppressed anger, ignoring a situation, rejecting someone, inability to communicate, gives someone the cold shoulder, passive aggressive.
  4. Frustration: inability to do anything about a situation, feeling powerless.
  5. Over ambitious nature: Pitta want everything in a certain period of time; unrealistic expectations. Aquiring too much but can be devastating to health, leads to nervous break-down. Can be directed towards other people, high expections of others (partners/parents).
  6. Heat: Temperature/fire/tomatoes/acidic food
  7. Alcohol: Too acidic
  8. Caffeine: Too acidic, use sparingly with two cardamom pods to negate the acidic effect.
  9. Late night jobs and parities: good night sleep is important for Pitta. The brain must shut down and relax for a healthy pitta.
  10. Excessive sour/acidic food: Fish and chicken is acidic for the blood, so are cereals. Fruit is alkaline but some are acidic for the stomach, for e.g. berries and lemons.



Healing Pitta Nutrition
The Pitta diet is an alkalising one which is good for moderately active people. The Pitta diet has two formats. One for the healthy Pitta (liberal diet) and one for the acute illness Pitta (strict).

Pitta Rules:

  1. Avoid excess salty, oily and spicy foods.
  2. Avoid sour fruits and tomatoes.
  3. Avoid excess red meat (only organic and very occasionally)
  4. Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day.
  5. Starting the day with hot water, lemon and honey.
  6. Make your foods sweet and cool to balance your dosha.
  7. Eat more raw cold salad and concentrate on cooling and sweet tastes. The aim is to keep the body cool, calm and sweet.
  8. Avoid excess exercising especially in the sun. (Hot yoga is not advised!) Swimming and bike rides are perfect for Pitta early morning or later in the evening.
  9. Practice Nadi Shodhanam (alternate nostril) breathing technique.
  10. Burn Sandalwood incense for hormone balancing, Lavender for anger and Rose for jealousy.



Pitta nutrition balancing group 1 – Fruit

Enjoy: apples (sweet variety), pomegranate (sweet), figs, dates, grapes, melon, coconut, orange, mandarins, blueberries.

Limit: lemon and lime, peaches, apricots.

Avoid: grapefruit, papaya, strawberry, cherries.

Pitta nutrition balancing group 2 – Vegetables
Healthy Pitta can eat a lot of raw vegetables because you have lots of acid to digest. Imbalanced Pitta has to eat steamed.

Enjoy: cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, celery, cabbage, pumpkin, cucumber, all greens, fresh peas, zucchini/courgette.

Limit: avocado, carrot, beetroot, spinach, radish, seaweed.

Avoid: green chilly, raw onions, tomatoes.

Pitta nutrition balancing group 3 – Grains
Only 2 meals a day should contain cereals. Best added to lunch or early dinner up to 7pm.

Enjoy: basmati rice, semolina, suji, wheat, oats.

Limit: brown basmati rice, buckwheat.

Avoid: corn, rye.

Pitta nutrition balancing group 4 – Dairy

Pitta should consume as little as possible as excess oils can imbalance Pittas easily. Oil stresses out the liver. If you have liver problems you must eliminate oil and only eat boiled/steamed food until healed.

Enjoy: ghee (cooling amazing butter), unsalted grass fed organic butter, organic cold pressed coconut oil.

Limit: soy oil, sunflower oil.

Avoid: peanut oil, sesame oil, flax seed oil, mustard seed oil.

Pitta nutrition balancing group 5 - Beans

All the beans are good except yellow and black lentils (both acidic). Baked, soups, with vegetables, stir-fried are all Pitta friendly.

Enjoy: pumpkin seeds and sunflower seed snacks 30g a day max.

Limit: 6-8 soaked and peeled almonds in the morning to kick start metabolism.

Avoid: All the rest is mucus forming and is kapha increasing.

Pitta nutrition balancing group 6 - Seeds and Nuts

10-12 pieces per serving (30gms). They have high protein but more so are a great source of fat. Because Pitta has problems with fatty food you should strive to get your protein from less fatty sources. Best to eat fresh nuts instead of salted, fried or roasted nuts. Nuts are Pitta increasing so only eat more if you exercise regularly.

Enjoy: all nuts and seeds.

Limit/Avoid: peanuts, salted, roasted or fried (peanut butter) nuts

Pitta nutrition supporting group 7 – Dairy

Fresh is better than fermented for Pitta Reverse for Vata.

Enjoy: fresh cows milk (raw), fresh cream, ghee, fresh white butter, cottage cheese, any salt free cheese.

Limit/Avoid: yoghurt, sour cream, salted cheese, sour butter, salty butter, labane.

Soft cow cheese is ok for Pitta.

Kapha nutrition balancing group 8 - Spices

Spices are not the best for a strict Pitta diet. They heat up the body and increase Pitta’s fire.

Enjoy: Fresh coriander/cilantro, fennel, cumin, mint, rosemary, saffron, cinnamon, clove, turmeric, oregano, thyme.

Limit: basil, soy sauce, nutmeg, vinegar.

Avoid: red and black pepper, chilli, garlic (max 3 pods daily), wasabi, mustard, cayenne.

Pitta nutrition balancing group 9 - Meat

Regularly eating meat’s not good for Pitta mind because it can increase the anger emotion. Ayurveda recommends max once a week. Organic, grass-fed and locally sourced is best.

Enjoy: steamed and grilled lean chicken, steamed fish, turkey.

Limit: lamb, pork, beef.

Avoid: eating any meat too regularly.

Pitta nutrition supporting group 10 – Sweets
Natural sweets are ok for Pitta and best eaten after food not as a replacement for a meal.

Enjoy: Molasses, honey, rice malt syrup.

Limit: jaggery, coconut sugar.

Avoid: refined sugar, ice-cream (occasionally)

Sample Diet: 3 meals and 2 snacks

Sample Diet for 1. ulcer suffering pitta and 2. healthy Pitta

1. Pitta imbalanced person with ulcer – diet recommendations

Wake up: 6-8 almonds soaked and peeled, mint tea.

Breakfast: Fruit salad (apple, grape, melon, pomegranate) with fresh cream.

Lunch: Steamed celery, broccoli and pumpkin parcels with fresh coriander and lime topped with cottage cheese. Serve with basmati rice and saffron tea.

Snack: Blueberry shake

Dinner: Lentil soup with millet noodles, cauliflower and greens, turmeric and thyme with ghee.

2. Pitta healthy: diet recommendations

Breakfast: Porridge with honey and sesame seeds. And fennel tea.

Snack: Grape and unsalted cheese skewer

Lunch: Organic wheat bread with unsalted butter and mixed salad cucumber, greens & celery with lime juice & coriander.

Snack: Glass of milk and soaked dates

Dinner: Steamed fish and veg parcel (onion, peas, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower) add lime and turmeric to taste. Serve with baked potato topped with unsalted cheese. Baked in oven together in baking paper/tin foil for 15 mins.

N.B. Pitta needs more protein in their diet than Vata and Kapha because of their muscle mass. The amount you need is according to your bodyweight around 2g protein/per kg of bodyweight. Natural sugars and raw food is also essential for Pitta. Steamed veg for sick Pitta is good for alkalisation. But don’t panic! The ‘limit/avoid’ food lists are there for the effects they have on the diseases of the dosha. So you can be a lot more liberal with the recommendations when you are healthy and balanced.

If you want to take charge of healing your gut, shed excess weight or clear up some unwanted skin issues like rosacea, I invite you to experiment with your nutrition by following the guidelines above, invest in a cookbook for more ideas, contact me for a consultation and join a non competitive yoga class or walking club to get your body and mind in sync this summer. Pitta are vibrant charismatic individuals that people love to be around! Take care of yourself this summer stay calm and keep cool…ooh and tell me how you’re doing it, I love to hear from you!

Comments

  1. Ano Nymous's Avatar
    Dear Niamh,

    Why are peanuts pitta aggravating? I'm trying to understand.
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