Naini Setalvad explains the Pitta Dosha type according to ayurveda and recommends appropriate foods for this type of person, along with a wholesome recipe
I have always given great importance to ayurveda—the ancient Indian scientific wisdom. In the pursuit of good health in ayurveda, the first step is to find out your body type. I too follow this with all my clients. Every person has a unique psychophysiological body type, and this is formed the minute we take birth, as our DNA is made up of the five great elements of the universe, i.e., earth, water, air, space, and fire. In short, these are the controllers which decide whether we have a healthy body or not. Remember one thing; the forces of nature work in our body as well as outside it. The more we recognise their great power within us, the more we tend to harmonise with the outside world.
‘Intense’ is the best word to describe a Pitta Dosha type, as they are mostly controlled by the fire element and its various qualities. All transformational changes in the body and mind are affected because of the dynamic nature of fire.
Dosha can be understood as a word meaning ‘that which changes.’ It is a vigorous life force which establishes your biological and psychological characteristics. So, the three dosha types—Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha, and Kapha Dosha—apply to both, your body and mind, and each dosha is linked to two elements. Thus, to understand the difference between the three doshas is to become aware of the degree to which the three forces interact with each other.
Even though there are 10 basic body types, I am only going to educate you about the main three body types. Last month, we discussed Vata Dosha; this time, I am going to talk about Pitta Dosha. Once you figure out your body type and how to handle it, you will be able to map your way towards good health.
What is Pitta Dosha?
Pitta Dosha is located in the central region of the body, near the solar plexus region. ‘Intense’ is the best word to describe a Pitta Dosha type, as they are mostly controlled by the fire element and its various qualities. All transformational changes in the body and mind are affected because of the dynamic nature of fire. All feelings and emotions are also a function of Pitta Dosha. The location of the Pitta Dosha influences this type to intuitively reach for pure foods, clean air, fresh water, and meaningful relationships with friends who are supportive. When Pitta Dosha people have these around them, they are able to remain balanced in their physical, mental, and emotional needs.
People who are, for the most part, the Pitta Dosha type are physically well proportioned with an athletic body but of medium size. Their hair is not pitch black; it tends to have shades of light brown or maybe even red. They could also be the first to go grey or bald. Their fire personality ensures that they rarely feel cold, even in the winters. However, the heat is bothersome, so their fair, warm, and soft skin gets covered with freckles and moles, and they tend to break out in a rash quite easily. They tend to eat more when stressed.
Just as we draw energy from fire, Pitta Dosha types draw energy from the fire inside their body and use this to convert any ideas into solid realities. Confident people are generally more likely to be Pitta Dosha types as they have superb focus, vision, and insight, and have dynamic personalities. They get things done, which makes them very efficient people. Pitta Dosha types have appealing traits, and they follow fashion trends. They can splurge on expensive clothes. Pittas tend to wear white, blue, lavender, and green.
Only if they have a balanced dosha can they tap into these qualities. An unbalanced Pitta Dosha mind can make them lose control. Their main trait is anger due to the fiery nature; thus, they become jealous, scornful, and egotistical.
Eating foods laden with chemicals as well as consumption of alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, soft drinks, and other processed foods leads to an imbalance in the Pitta Dosha, causing acidity and stomach disorders, fistulas, and haemorrhoids, which are all common.
I always emphasise that since our body is made from the five elements of nature, we should eat what is available from nature. Human food is defined in the Vedas as that which is rooted in the earth. So that is what we need to eat as this food has self-supporting principles of life. Thus, foods from the plant kingdom can also be used to bring back an imbalance in the Pitta Dosha type body.
So, let’s look at foods that are beneficial to Pitta Dosha types:
Vegetables: Cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, bitter gourd, lettuce, carrots, and pumpkin.
Fruits: Apples, coconuts, dates, fresh figs, grapes, mangos, melons, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, lemons, and sweet strawberries.
Grains: Basmati rice which is brown or white, barley, oats, and wheat germ.
Proteins: Most lentils soaked or sprouted, then cooked. Chickpeas and moong beans are easily assimilated as well as peas and tofu.
Dairy products: Cow’s milk, unsalted butter, and paneer.
Fats: Cow’s ghee, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and soy oil.
Nuts: Coconut, roasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted sunflower seeds.
Spices: Black cumin, turmeric, coriander, peppermint, saffron, and curry leaves. Choose natural salts over commercial salts as commercial salts cause water imbalances.
100 gm Jau atta
100 ml water
½ chilli paste
½ cup chopped coriander
Salt to taste
• Take water in a vessel
and put it on a medium
• As it starts boiling, add jau
atta, chilli paste, and coriander,
Sweeteners: Sugarcane juice and dates.
Avoid red meat and its products. Reduce the consumption of nuts and heaty grains like bajra, and spices like clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. White sugar is very difficult for the pitta
type to digest and should be eliminated. Out goes alcohol, aerated drinks, and energy drinks too.
and leave it for two to three minutes. Do not stir.
• Take it off the flame.
Stir with a wooden spoon
so that lumps are not
• After it is mixed
well, cool for five
minutes, and transfer
it to a flat plate.
• Knead well.
• Roll it into rotis
just like thin wheat rotis.
• Apply a teaspoon of
ghee on each roti. Serve hot.
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