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Pitta Dosha Food Plan List

How this food chart is broken down

In Ayurveda, they rarely ever say to never eat something. Instead, they say “try it and see how you feel after”. This food chart is only a rough guide and based more on how Ayurveda tends to classify various ingestible items. Some classifications are slightly different based on who you talk to, and can be based on subtle differences seen in different parts of the world or where something is grown (as where something originates does have subtle influences on it. For example, lavender from the mountains is going to have more Vata qualities, whereas lavender grown in a midwestern field during a drought might have a slightly more heating and drying effects versus the norm).

In each segment (Dairy, Sweeteners, Oils, Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Beans & Legumes, Nuts & Seeds, Meats & FishHerbs (Cooking Spices) & Condiments, Beverages, Alcohol) is broken down into:

  • Favor: these are things you want to incorporate the most of into your diet
  • Reduce or use in Moderation: incorporating some is fine, but not a lot. Maybe having once a week, or once every other week
  • Avoid/Aggravating: best not to have, or maybe very rarely, like once every few weeks or once a month. You might need to do some things to counterbalance its effects on the system

Additionally, behind most items, I’ve added some notes as there are some people who are dual or tri-dosha, or they might want to incorporate more foods that are also better for a specific season, or they might have some “excesses” that they are working on or trying to address.

  • V = Vata, P = Pitta, K = Kapha,
  • ama = subtle toxic buildup,
  • “+ in excess” means if you overdo something it can throw it out of balance
  • + means it increases (may aggravate), – means it decreases (or pacifies), = means it is generally neutral or balancing
  • I.E.: P- VK+ means Pitta balancing or reducing, increases Vata and Kapha

 

Dairy

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Whole Cows Milk (VP- K+) Sour Yogurt (V- PK+ ama+, has B9, K, Calcium)  Very Sour Yogurt (V- PK+ ama+)
Ghee (Clarified Butter) (VP- K+ mildly) Ice Cream, preferably softened (P- VK+, ama+)  Hard Cheeses (V- PK+)
Butter, unsalted (VP- K+) Goat Milk (K- VP+)
Sweet Yogurt (VP- K+, has B9, K, Calcium) Kefir (V- PK+)
Cottage Cheese (VPK=) Sour Cream (V- P+, ++in excess, K+)
Soft Cheeses (VP- K+) Buttermilk (V- PK+)
Heavy Cream (VP- K+)

 

Sweeteners

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
*Most are cooling Jaggery, Guda (V- PK+) Beet Sugar
Cane Sugar (VP- K+) Brown Sugar Molasses (V- PK+)
Maple Sugar (VP- K+) Honey (VK- P+) Processed Sugars (VPK+, aggravating)
Fruit Sugars (VP- K+) Corn Sugars
Lactose / Milk Sugar
Maltose/Malt Syrup

 

Oils

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Sunflower (VPK=) Sesame (V- PK+, sattwic)* Mustard (VK- P+)
Coconut (VP- K+ in excess) Corn (VPK+) Canola (VK- P+)
Hemp Flaxseed/Linseed (VK- P+, K+ in excess) Almond (VPK+)
Evening Primrose Margarine (depends on vegetable oil used) Peanut (V- PK+)
Olive (VP- K+) Safflower (V- P+ K= mildly)
Soy (PK- V+)
Borage
Avocado (VP – K+)
Castor (VP – K+ in excess)
Neem Oil (PK- V++)

* Sesame Oil = It can aggravate Pitta skin and eye issues.

 

Grains

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
White Rice (VPK=, K+ in excess, sattwic – preferably Basmati/easiest to digest) Brown Rice (V- PK+) Buckwheat (K- VP+)
Oats (VP- K+) Millet (K- VP+ mildly) Bleached/Refined Rice (K+, ama+)
Barley (PK- V+) Sweet Corn (K- VP+ in excess) White Wheat/Gluten Flour (PK+ ama+)
Wheat (VPK+, sweet & astringent) Blue Corn (K- VP+, better for Pitta)
 Rye (PK- V+, can ferment)

*Note: Pasta eaten without protein is said to increase serotonin in the brain and is linked to calmness and cheerfulness.

 

Fruits

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
most Sweet, Ripe Fruits *Sour Fruit, add Sugar to help negate P+ Guava, unripe
Strawberries (VP- K, K+ in excess) Plums, sour (V- PK+) Pineapples, unripe/sour (V- PK+)
Coconut Olives
Pears (PK- V+ unless baked, K+ sweet) Papayas (V- PK+, P+ in excess)
Cherries, sweet (V- K+, P+ in excess) Cherries, sour (VK- P+)
Melons (P- K+, V+ in excess) Oranges (V- K+ P+ in excess)
Grapes (V- PK+, though great for thirst, red/black better for Pitta) Mangoes, green/unripe (VK- P+, except in chutney)
Pomegranates (PK- V+, P+ sour) Lime (VP+ in excess, K+)
Mangoes, yellow/ripe (VP- K+) Bananas (V- K+, P+ in excess)
Apples (PK-, V+ in excess, if cooked with cinnamon then =) Peaches (V- or V+ PK+, 1 peach daily K-)
Raspberries (PK- V+) Grapefruit (V- P+ K=, or K+)
Blackberries (PK- V+)  Pineapples, juice (V- PK+)
Blueberries (PK- V+)
Guava, sweat/ripened
Tangerine/Mandarin Orange (VP- K+, P+ in excess)
Pineapples, ripe/sweet (VP- K+)
Plums, sweet (VP- K+)
Avocado (VP- K+)
Figs (VP- K+)
Bananas, unripe (PK- V+)
Dates (VP- K+ in excess, dry V-)
Cranberries (V+, PK-)
Apricots (VK- P+ in excess)
Most Fruit Juices, sweet (P-, KV+)
Bitter Melon (PK- V+)
Aloe Vera Juice or Gel/Meat (PK- V+)
Lemons (V- P+ in excess, K- fat, K+ plasma)

*Notes: Normally, fruits should be eaten by themselves or as a snack, though can be eaten with grains, especially rice. Best time to eat fruit is in the afternoon. In the morning increases Kapha more. If you’ve eaten too much fruit, try warming sweet spices like ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, or nutmeg.

Vegetables

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Asparagus (VPK=) Sweet Bell Peppers (K- VP+, nightshade) Hot, Red, or Chili Peppers (VK- P+)
Cucumber (VK+ P-) Artichoke, Jerusalem (PKV+) Tomatoes (VPK+, steamed, VK-P+, VPK= with cumin, turmeric, and mustard but only on occasional ingestion)
Cabbage (PK- V+) Mung dahl bean sprouts (PKV+ in excess) Mustard Greens (VK- P+)
Sweet Potatoes/Yams (VPK-, PK+ in excess) Beets (V- PK+ in excess) Eggplant (VK- unless long then VK+, P+)
Green Leafy Vegetables/Lettuce (PK- V+) Sweet Corn (K- VP+ in excess) Radishes (V-, PK+)
Arugula (PK- V+) Potatoes (PK-, V+, P+ in excess-nightshade, K+ in evening, for V, use ghee/butter) Beet, juice (PK aggravating)
Pumpkins (P- VK+) Spinach (K- VP+) Mushrooms (PKV+, ama+)
Rutabaga (VPK=) Turnips (K- VP+)
Broccoli (PK- V+) Watercress (K- VP+)
Cauliflower (PK- V+) Garlic (VK- P+)
Celery (PK- V+)  Onion (VK- P+)
Okra (VPK=)
Zucchini & Yellow Squash (VP- K+, V+ in excess)
Peas (PK- V+, Sweet Peas VP- K+)
Green Beans (PK- V+ in excess)
Artichoke (PK- V+)
Avocado (VP- K+)
Brussel Sprouts (PK- V+)
Summer/Acorn Squash (VPK=, winter VPK+)
Kale (V+ PK-)
Cilantro (VPK=, V+ in excess)
Parsley (VPK=, P+ in excess)
Seaweed (VPK=, VP- K+ in excess)
Burdock Root (PK- V+)
Carrots (VP- K+, P+ in excess, V+ juice)

 

Beans & Legumes

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Mung Dahl (VPK=, VK+ in excess) Soy (PK- V+) – females (phytoestrogens, endocrine disruption) Soy (PK- V+) – males (phytoestrogens, endocrine disruption)
Green Peas (PK- V+) Navy (PK- V+) Peanuts (VPK+)
Lima Beans (PK- V+) Kidney (PK- V+)
Split Peas (PK- V+) Tofu (VP- K+) (phytoestrogens, endocrine disruption)
Chickpeas/Garbanzo (PK- V+, easy to digest) Lentils (K- VP+, high in uric acid)

 

Nuts & Seeds

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Sunflower (VPK=) Almonds (VPK+, soak overnight preferred)
Coconut (VP- K+) Brazil Nuts (V- P+ K++)
Flaxseed/Linseed (VP-, K+ in excess) Cashews (VPK+)
Lotus Seeds (P- VK+ ama+) Hazelnut (V- PK+)
Psyllium (VPK=) Macadamia (V- PK+)
Pumpkin Seed (PK- V+ in excess) Pecan (V- PK+)
Pinon (V- PK+)
Pistachio (V- PK+)
Sesame Seeds (V- PK+)
Walnuts (V- PK+)

*Note: While the oiliness in the Nuts can be good for Pitta, better in the Fall and Winter, and better at controlling the Vata (air) that can stoke the fire to burn hotter or to cool it. Unroasted and soaked overnight is better for Pitta. Normally best to avoid during the spring (increases Kapha which can block the flow/proper disbursement of Pitta) and summer months (can increase Pitta). Best eaten in smaller amounts.

 

Meat & Fish

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Chicken (V- PK+) Pork  (VPK+, clogs subtle channels) Bacon (VPK+, P++)
Turkey (V- PK+) Beef (V- PK+, aggravates toxic blood) Animal Oils/Fats (PK+, ama+, toxic blood)
Venison (V- PK+) Egg Yolk (V- PK+) Lard (V- PK+, ama ++)
Freshwater Fish (VPK=, PK+ in excess, Trout is best)  Ocean Fish (V- PK+) Lamb (VPK+, and never with garlic)
Egg Whites (VPK=)
Duck (V- PK+, harder to digest)

 

Herbs (Cooking Spices) & Condiments

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Mints, Peppermint, Spearmint, etc (VPK=, V+ in excess) Salt (V- PK+) -> good for electrolyte balance & help maintain hydration when used in moderation Spicy things
Cardamom (VK-, P+ in excess), in hot months Asafoetida/Hing (P+ VK-) Catsup / Ketchup
Cinnamon (VK- P+), in cold months Milk Chocolate Vinegar (V- PK+)
Coriander Seed (PK= V+) Fenugreek (VK- P+) Cayenne (VK- P+)
Cumin (VPK=) Ginger, wet (VK- P+), less aggravating Ginger, dry (VK- P+)
Fennel (VPK=) Ginger with Rock Candy (P-) Sour Salad Dressings
Turmeric (PK-, V+ in excess) Poppy Seeds (VP+ K-)
Dill (VPK=) Thyme (VK- P+)
Saffron (VPK=) Marjoram (VPK+)
Black Pepper (VK- P+)ॐ , in moderation Garlic (VK- P+)
Bay Leaves (VK- P+) Clove (VK- P+, V+ in excess)
Sage (VK- P+) Horseradish (VP+ K-)
Licorice (VP- K+)  Pickles
Hibiscus (P – VK=)  Oregano (VPK+)
Nettle (PK-, V+ in excess)  Dark Chocolate
Rose (VP- K+)  Most Fermented Foods
Sarsaparilla (P- VK=)  Mustard
Tulsi (VK-, P+ in excess)

Note: Herbs & Spices tend to normally be heating. Many of the herbs listed here help with circulating the Pitta (), while some help to cool. Wet or even fresh herbs are better for Pitta, while Dry Herbs have stronger Pitta increasing qualities.

Beverages

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Water, room temp or slightly cool Soda (because normally ingested cold, natural sweet/cane sugar sodas better) Soda with corn products
Coconut Water Coffee (antidote with cardamom & add jaggery and cream) Tomato Juice (P+, blood aggravating)
Whole Cows Milk (VP- K+) Goat Milk (K- VP+)
Mineral Water
Wheat Grass Juice (PK- V+)
Carrot Juice (VP- K+) – tends to be very sweet
Heavy Cream (VP- K+)
Cranberry Juice (PK- V+)
*Herbal Teas – check herbs used
Cold water for excess Pitta & alcohol intoxication

 

Alcohol (overall VPK+)

Favor Reduced or use in Moderation Avoid/Aggravating
Sweet White or Blush Wines Sweet Red Wines (Fall/Winter) Dry Red or Dry White Wines
Fruity Mixed Cocktails Rums (the herbs used can aggravate or balance Pitta) Meads (Honey Wine)
Sangria (more Fall/Winter if using Red Wine) Vodka made from corn or potatoes (potatoes are a nightshade)
Mojito
Tequila
Pina Colada (with sugar)
Mojito (the mint is a great Pitta balancer!)
AVIV Vodka (made from fruits, and other awesome stuff)

*While technically alcohol does aggravate all the doshas, there are better alcohols versus others for each of the doshas. Alcohol is best consumed during a celebration or joyous occasion. Also, check out the Grain section above. Issues with alcohol, try chewing cardamom or cumin seeds.

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TCM Healing Secrets
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