In Ajurveda, “Prakriti” refers to the individual’s unique constitution or natural physique. It is essentially a comprehensive description of the physical, mental and emotional characteristics of an individual, which provides guidelines to leading a healthy and balanced life. Our “Prakriti” or defining physical build is determined at the moment of conception and remains relatively stable throughout our lifetime. However, our mental and emotional constitution can alter as the balance of energies changes, so it is worth taking our extended dosha test if you feel out of balance and want to understand which energy is in excess and causing the problem.
In Ayurveda, each person’s individual constitution (Prakriti) is determined by the balance of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We all have all three! Some people may have one dominant dosha, you may have a dual dosha constitution, where you share the characteristics of two doshas, or in some cases your constitution may be a tridosa, meaning that the three energies influence your physique in equal proportions.
The pitta dosa (fire & water energy) is the only one in Ayurveda with fire as a component. Pitta is in charge of transformation, governing all chemical and metabolic processes of the body. It is responsible not only for the food we eat, but also for the absorption of our mental nourishment and processing our emotions.
Characteristics of Pitta: all physical characteristics are average to medium. They are medium height and weight with an athletic build. Their hair is medium thick, their arms and legs are medium size. Their head, forehead and neck are also average size, with narrow eyes and often red or brownish-blondish hair. Their skin is red, with a tendency to rosacea, they often have freckles.
Pitta people are keen observers, have excellent intellectual and logical skills, and argue persuasively. They are strong-willed leaders, articulate and fluent speakers. They are devoted friends and ruthless with their enemies. They are adventurous, resourceful and courageous. They have a ‘fiery temper’, are irritable and quick to anger.
Pitta (fire energy) is aggravated by hot spices like chilli, pepper or ginger. Excessive consumption of oily foods, summer heat and saunas are also harmful. Excess pitta is associated with burning sensation, hunger, thirst and acidity. Increased internal heat leads to inflammations, infections and fever. Yellow eyes, urine or stools indicate a pitta imbalance. Feelings of anger, irritation, envy, jealousy, aggression also indicate the accumulation of pitta.
Pitta, known for their appetite, require a cool, slightly dry and slightly heavy diet. The consequences of a poor diet are inflammatory diseases rather than the traditional stomach upset. The flavours that reduce pitta are sweet, bitter and astringent. Sour, salty and pungent flavours increase fire.
People with pitta type should avoid enhanced flavours. Ideally choose raw, cold and lightly seasoned meals. Avoid excessive use of oil, overcooking and frying food, that would overload your liver with indigestible foods. Only sit at the table when you have put aside your anger, irritability and annoyance. Three meals a day is usually enough, preferably avoiding late evening meals.
|Recommended||Should be avoided|
Most fruits are suitable due to their soothing, cooling effect.
|apples, cranberries, dates, figs, grapes, melons, watermelons, sweet oranges, pears, pineapples, pomegranates, plums, raspberries, mangoes||cherry, sour cherry, grapefruit, lemon, apricot, peach, banana, strawberry|
Most vegetables are also suitable raw for Pitta dosha. In winter, however, they are best eaten cooked. Steaming them in ghee is perfectly suitable, but frying in oil, especially in heavy oil, is best avoided.
|artichokes, asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, coriander leaves, fresh corn, cucumbers, green beans, kale, lettuce, okra, parsley, green peas, summer squash, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini||avocado, beetroot, carrots, Swiss chard, spinach, chilli peppers, onions, radishes, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, horseradish, kohlrabi|
Most whole grains are suitable for Pitta dosha, as they have a fortifying effect without being overheated.
|barley, basmati rice, couscous, millet, wheat, oats, muesli, quinoa, amaranth, tapioca||brown rice, buckwheat, maize, rye|
Pitta-types digest legumes the easiest, but it doesn’t hurt to cook them with a little spice.
|chickpeas, mung beans, tofu, kidney beans, lima beans, yellow peas||lentil, black lentils|
The seeds are oily and hot, increase the fire and are therefore unsuitable in most cases.
|coconut, sunflower seeds||almonds, tomatoes, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts|
Dairy products are most easily digested by Pitta type. Sometimes fasting from milk is good not only for the body, but also for the mind.
|cottage cheese, cream, paneer, milk, rice milk, soya milk, cheese (fresh cheese)||fermented cheese, kephir, sour cream, yoghurt, buttermilk, ice cream|
Oil is a pitta-quality food, so people with Pitta dosha should be careful.
|butter, coconut oil, ghee, sunflower oil, soya oil||almond oil, peanut butter, sesame oil, mustard oil, rapeseed oil, corn oil, linseed oil, olive oil, margarine|
|Sweeteners||raw sugar, fructose, maple syrup, fresh honey, cane sugar, rice syrup, date syrup||old honey, molasses, refined white sugar|
Spicy foods are the most likely to raise the pitta, so people with Pitta dosha should use neutral spices with a cooling energy.
|coriander leaves, coriander, dill, fennel, saffron, cumin, turmeric, rosemary, mint, cloves||asafoetida, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, mustard, oregano, chilli, tamarind, soy sauce, sage, cinnamon, fenugreek, bay leaf, basil, ginger|
Pitta type people need plenty of fluids, cool spring water is best. We recommend drinking tea with an astringent taste, such as raspberry leaf, dandelion, hibiscus, black carnation, mint, etc. Milk drinks are also beneficial, as is fruit juice, such as pineapple, pomegranate or blueberry juice. Alcohol and coffee are harmful.
Vitamins & minerals
Pitta type don’t need many extra vitamins, they need vitamin B, vitamin K, vitamin A, iron and calcium minerals. Because they digest raw vegetables easily, they can absorb the vitamins they need.
The key word is moderation.
They need to relax, to reduce stress.
The right form of exercise for them is hatha-yoga, martial arts, tennis, i.e. “explosive” sports.
Reduce the use of stimulants and drink soothing, anti-inflammatory teas.
Use green herbs and mild spices rather than strong spices.
Eat three meals a day, giving priority to bitter, sour and sweet flavours. Use spicy, salty and sour foods in moderation.