Pitta Dosha Diet
Summer- It’s Pitta Season
Best Foods for Pitta Season
The Summer Season welcomes long days, sunshine and bursting color and energy! It feels vast, exciting and sometimes overly stimulating and exhausting!
The past few months have been focused on supporting the body by clearing out stagnation that may be lingering from Winter. You may have participated in our Seasonal Cleanse Program. Now is the time we reap the benefits of this preparation, enjoying the peak of vibrant color and experience while giving yourself space to cool off and relax.
With the sharpness, heat, intensity and heightened experiences bursting forth through all of our senses during the summertime, balance can be achieved with cooling practices, shady afternoons, moonlit walks, swimming; and by eating foods that are easy to digest and light on the system which calm, cool and ground us throughout the day.
Pitta Reducing Foods
The list below reflects Pitta reducing options to incorporate in the Summer. Remember this does not take into account your personal constitution, but rather seasonal eating. Try incorporating these in your Summer garden or seek them out at a farm stand or market. Contact us for consultation that includes individual recommendations.
Each dosha has predominant tastes (rasa) that reduce the quantity of the elements that have accumulated. Due to the hot, sharp, oily, mobile nature of Pitta, tastes that are sweet, bitter and astringent help cool the system, add moisture and keep the digestive agni feeling balanced throughout the Summer heat.
Seasoning food in the Summer can be exciting with fresh herbs available. These are ideal choices for reducing Pitta as they tend to be less pungent and drying on the body than other spices. Foods that are sour, salty and pungent should be minimized during this time as they increase heat, aggravating Pitta dosha especially during very hot times of year.
amaranth, barley, bran, granola, quinoa, cooked oats, basmati rice, white rice, rice cakes, wheat
sweet fruits, apples, berries, cherries, dates, figs, purple grapes, limes, melons, sweet oranges, pears, plums, prunes, raisins, mango, papaya, soursop
sweet and bitter vegetables, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, leafy greens, lettuce, cooked onions, bell pepper, potatoes, sprouts, squashes
Beans & Legumes
black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, mung dal, navy, pinto, soy milk, soy cheese, tempeh and tofu in moderation
unsalted butter, soft cheese, cows milk, ghee, goats milk, ice cream in moderation, fresh yogurt diluted as takra
sweet mango chutney, mint chutney, lime in moderation, himalayan salt
Nuts and Seeds
almonds soaked and peeled, coconut, flax, psyllium, pumpkin and sunflower in moderation
for internal and external ghee, sunflower, canola, olive, coconut
barley malt, maple syrup, rice syrup, natural sugar, coconut sugar
Local Foods = Best Foods
There is a common misconception in Ayurveda that you have to consume only Indian foods and herbs. Not true! Ayurveda focuses on finding balance in Nature and specifically within your close environment. An important practice emphasized repeatedly is to eat locally grown seasonal foods. Summer offers great abundance in most regions of the world. If you do not have a garden yourself seek out the local farmers market and try what is growing near you!
Garden foods like tomatoes and chili peppers can be enjoyed fresh in moderation, however if you have a tendency towards excess heat and acidity in the body they may want to be avoided except on cooler days.
One additional add- on to the seasonal plate is flowers! Many flowers are medicinal and a beautiful and gentle enjoyment adding a delicate offering to the Summer plate. Borage, rose, pansies, nasturtium and hibiscus are a few examples of some of our favorite edible flowers.
Summer Season Practice
Due to the natural accumulation of Pitta Dosha heat increases over the season. This is the time to enjoy cooling practices like swimming, gentle movement, moonlit walks, cool river baths, shady forest walks and gentle meditation or breathing practices. As the season intensifies energy may reduce, exhaustion may set in and our digestive fire may be depleted as we feel squeezed by the suns hot rays. There are many ways Ayurvedic practices offer support. You could visit us for Pancha Karma or work with Seasonal Practices. We offer various seasonal outlines including free guides, workshops and longer programs to help you maximize self-care year round.
Summer Smoothies for Pitta Dosha
In the Ashtanga Hridayam, one of the main texts of Ayurveda, Vagbhat outlines the Rutacharya or seasonal recommendations. In this he shares not only the recommended tastes for each season, but a few tips on what to consume. For summer he mentions Panakam, or Ayurvedic Smoothies!
These smoothie recipes look quite different than the protein packed powerhouse drinks we often see today. Modern smoothies tend to be quite nutrient rich, but are also very heavy to digest when taken cold with hard to process ingredients or combinations. Vagbhat suggests a much simpler approach, offering light and sweet smoothie suggestions that are easy to digest, cool the system down and provide a delightful afternoon refresher or pick-me up in the heat of the season. He recommends that in the peak of the heat, take a cool bath or swim in streams or rivers (lakes, pool or ocean will also do) and follow that by sipping your light smoothie in a comfortable area.
Some of our favorites are Cardamom Rose Date Smoothie and the Sweet Summer Berry Smoothie. If you have an abundance of roses we highly recommend you try making your own Rose Water for an afternoon cooling spritz that also creates a lovely base for the smoothies shared. Try our easy recipe!
Some of our other favorite recipes for the season include our Coconut Mint Chutney, Chickpea Flour Pancakes and Summer Squash Fritters. If you come visit us for an in house program, most likely you will experience some of these delights.
Looking to learn more? Register for our Summer Rutacharya (Seasonal Regimen) for the full outlines of lifestyle, movement and skincare. In the meantime keep considering the qualities of nature and how you can cultivate the opposite to create gentle coolness and ease during this beautiful Summer season. Enjoy the process!