Pitta Season Diet & Recipes Recommended As Per Ayurveda
|Summer Foods to Beat the Heat|
Summer is the season of pitta, the body’s fire principle. Pitta’s qualities are hot, light, mobile, sharp, and oily. It governs the heat in the body and it is primarily responsible for digestion, transformation and intelligence. As it gets hotter, pitta-type physical imbalances such as inflammations, infections, skin irritations, hyperacidity, heat rashes and diarrhea are more c
ommon and pitta-type emotional imbalances such as impatience, anger and intolerance are experienced more often.
Ayurveda recommends eating local and seasonal foods as nature provides the right foods for the season. Here are a few recipes to get your started on eating according to the rhythm of nature. While all recipes should contain the 6 categories of taste (sweet, salt, sour, pungent, astringent, bitter), pitta season recipes emphasize sweet, astringent and bitter and are cooling to the body.
Pitta Season Recipes as per Ayurveda
Cucumber Raita To Cool Body1 cup fresh curd
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh chopped coriander leaves
Simply combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Cilantro Chutney1 head of cilantro – chop off the bottom thick stems, soak in a bowl of water to clean top [keep in mind the size of a cilantro bunch may vary, you may want to use two bunches if they are small - and adjust the liquid depending on the amount of cilantro]
1/4 cup dried coconut
1/2 inch of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 of a green chilie (optional)
Juice of 4 limes
Splash of filtered water (about 1/4 cup)
Salt to taste
Put all of the ingredients in blender and blend until smooth… adjust consistency with more or less water. This will store nicely in a glass jar in the fridge for 3 days.
1/2 cup split mung beans
1 cup basmati rice
Wash them both thoroughly, melt ghee and add spices: fresh ginger,turmeric (fresh or powdered), powdered fennel, cumin and coriander. Add rice, beans and 6 cups water, then bring to boil. Turn down to simmer for 45 minutes or until mung beans are very soft in pot on stove (or make in crock pot cooking overnight—be sure there’s plenty of water or you’re making a much larger batch to activate the heating elements in the crock pot). After cooking, add salt to taste. If you live at altitude, cook the mung beans for 45 minutes while soaking the rice, then add the rice and cook for 45 minutes more.
Cool Mint Tea1 cup fresh peppermint leaves or 1/4 cup dried peppermint
1 quart boiling water
1 quart cold or room-temperature water
2 Tbs. honey (optional, Pitta needs to drink this with rice syrup and Kapha with honey only)
Pour quart of boiling water over mint in teapot or other heatproof container. Cover; let steep for 20 minutes. Strain tea into pitcher or Mason jar; stir in sweetener. Add cool water, stir. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour, or serve immediately with a few ice cubes.
Comments: This is a great drink for aiding digestion and calming the nerves on a hot day. Spearmint or catnip can also be used. Good for people looking for flavorful non-caffeinated alternatives to juice or soda, also for those on their iced tea in the summer.
You can also follow these 10 basic pitta season diet tips as per Ayurveda:
- Liquids: Avoid iced drinks, as Ayurveda teaches that extremely cold or iced drinks extinguish the digestive fire. Instead, during the summer it is best to take all drinks cool, warm or at room temperature.
- Fruit: Enjoy sweet fruits like apples and berries rather than sour or citrus fruits.
- Vegetables: Eat plenty of sweet and bitter vegetables like cucumbers, spinach, celery and zucchini rather than pungent veggies like raw onions, hot peppers and tomatoes.
- Grain: Choose white, wild or basmati rice rather than brown rice and go for quinoa, barley and bran rather than rye, corn and millet.
- Dairy: If you can digest dairy products, use ghee, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, unsalted butter and unsalted cheese. Ice cream is ok, on occasion. If you are prone to congestion or weight gain it is better to avoid it. Sour cream, buttermilk, and salted dairy products are not recommended, especially during the summer, as they are more heating.
- Meat: If you eat animal products, do so moderately, and try to limit it to the white meat of chicken or turkey, freshwater fish or egg whites.
- Spices: Use an abundance of cooling spices like cilantro, dill, coriander and fennel. Avoid heating spices like cayenne, chili peppers and mustard seeds. Fresh ginger is ok, but do not use dried ginger. Sprinkling coconut on foods is also a cooling treat.
- Legumes: Beans in general are astringent, and balancing for pitta. If you eat nuts, choose almonds (as they are less heating than other nuts). Soak and peel them for healthiest results. Sunflower seeds are lighter and less heating to nuts.
- Alcohol: If you drink alcohol, choose beer and dry white wine, in moderation. Avoid hard liquor and red wine which are heating.
- Tea or Coffee: Chamomile, dandelion, fennel, licorice and mint teas are best. You can also make a cumin-coriander-fennel tea. Coffee is not recommended. If you drink coffee, add cardamom as an antidote.