Pitta Pacifying Food


Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet to maintain good health. According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas or energies that govern the human body – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Pitta dosha is responsible for digestion, metabolism, and body temperature regulation. When Pitta is in excess, it can lead to inflammation, acidity, and other digestive issues. Therefore, it is important to include Pitta pacifying foods in the diet to balance the Pitta dosha and maintain overall health.

Pitta is responsible for governing metabolism, digestion, and transformation in the body. When Pitta is balanced, we experience good digestion, a healthy metabolism, and a calm, focused mind. However, when Pitta becomes imbalanced, we can experience symptoms such as inflammation, acidity, heartburn, and irritability.

One of the best ways to pacify Pitta is through diet. Choosing cool, calm, and hydrating foods can help to balance Pitta and promote overall health and well-being. Here are some of the best Pitta pacifying foods that I will recommend to include in your diet:


Fruits that pacify pitta will generally be sweet and somewhat astringent. Dried fruits are typically also acceptable, but are best in small quantities, so as not to further accelerate pitta’s tendency toward rapid digestion. Fruits to avoid are those that are exceptionally heating or sour (like bananas, cranberries, and green grapes). And remember, fruits and fruit juices are best enjoyed alone—30 minutes before, and ideally at least 1 hour after, any other food. This helps to ensure optimal digestion. Note: this rule does not apply to fruits we typically consider vegetables (avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.). You will find these fruits listed among the “vegetables.”

Favour Avoid
  • Apples (sweet)
  • Applesauce
  • Apricots (sweet)
  • Berries (sweet)
  • Cherries (sweet)
  • Coconut
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes (red, purple, black)
  • Limes
  • Mangos (ripe)
  • Melons
  • Oranges (sweet)
  • Papaya
  • Pears
  • Pineapple (sweet)
  • Plums (sweet)
  • Pomegranates
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Apples (sour)
  • Apricots (sour)
  • Bananas
  • Berries (sour)
  • Cherries (sour)
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes (green)
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Mangos (green)
  • Oranges (sour)
  • Peaches
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple (sour)
  • Plums (sour)
  • Tamarind



Vegetables that pacify pitta will generally be somewhat sweet and either bitter, astringent, or both. Many vegetables include some combination of these tastes; so experimenting with a wide variety of vegetables is a great way to diversify your pitta-pacifying diet. Pitta can usually digest raw vegetables better than vata and kapha, but midday is often the best time of day to have them because digestive strength is at its peak. The only vegetables for pitta to reduce or avoid are those that are particularly spicy, heating, sharp, or sour—like garlic, green chillies, radishes, onion, and mustard greens.

Favour Avoid
  • Avocado
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Beets (cooked)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bitter Melon
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Burdock Root
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots (cooked)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Green Beans
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Kale
  • Leafy Greens
  • Leeks (cooked)
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Olives (black)
  • Onions (cooked)
  • Parsley
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Peppers (sweet)
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes (cooked)
  • Rutabaga
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sprouts (not spicy)
  • Squash, Summer
  • Squash, Winter
  • Spinach (raw)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watercress
  • Wheat Grass
  • Zucchini
  • Beet Greens
  • Beets (raw)
  • Corn (fresh)
  • Daikon Radish
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green Chilies
  • Horseradish
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks (raw)
  • Mustard Greens
  • Olives, green
  • Onions (raw)
  • Peppers (hot)
  • Radishes (raw)
  • Spinach (cooked)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip greens
  • Turnips



Grains that pacify pitta are cooling, sweet, dry, and grounding. Grains tend to be staples in our diets, and overall, pitta benefits from their sweet, nourishing nature. You’ll also notice that many of the grains that benefit pitta are rather dry; this helps to offset pitta’s oily nature. When it comes to balancing pitta, avoiding grains that are heated (like buckwheat, corn, millet, brown rice, and yeasted bread) is the most important guideline.

Favour Avoid
  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Couscous
  • Crackers
  • Durham Flour
  • Granola
  • Oat Bran
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (basmati, white, wild)
  • Rice Cakes
  • Seitan
  • Spelt
  • Sprouted Wheat Bread
  • Tapioca
  • Wheat
  • Wheat Bran
  • Buckwheat
  • Cereal
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Muesli
  • Pancakes
  • Polenta
  • Rice (brown)
  • Rye
  • Yeasted Bread



Legumes are generally astringent in taste and are therefore largely pitta pacifying, so feel free to enjoy a wide variety of them. Beans that are not appropriate for pitta are those that are especially sour or oily and, not coincidentally – also heating.

Favour Avoid
  • Adzuki Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima Beans
  • Mung Beans
  • Mung Dal
  • Navy Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Split Peas
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • White Beans
  • Miso
  • Soya Beans
  • Soya Cheese
  • Soya Flour
  • Soya Meats
  • Soya Milk
  • Soya Powder
  • Soya Sauce
  • Urad Dal



Dairy products tend to be grounding, nourishing, and cooling, so many of them are balanced for pitta. Those to avoid are exceptionally sour, salty, or heating. As a rule, dairy milk (cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, etc.) should be taken at least one hour before or after any other food. For this reason, avoid drinking milk with meals. Almond and rice milk are good substitutes, if you need to combine milk with other foods, or if you don’t digest dairy milk well.

Favour Avoid
  • Butter (unsalted)
  • Cheese (soft, unsalted, not aged)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ghee
  • Goat’s Milk
  • Goat’s Cheese (soft, unsalted)
  • Yoghurt (homemade, diluted, without fruit)
  • Butter (salted)
  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese (hard)
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Cream
  • Sour Cream
  • Yoghurt (store bought, or with fruit)


Nuts & Seeds:

Nuts and seeds tend to be extremely oily and are usually heating, so most of them are not terrifically balancing for pitta. That said, there are a few types of nuts, and several seeds that are acceptable in small quantities; these varieties tend to be less oily and are either mildly heating or cooling in nature.

Favour Avoid
  • Almonds (soaked and peeled)
  • Charoli Nuts
  • Coconut
  • Flax Seeds
  • Popcorn (buttered, without salt)
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Almonds (with skin)
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Chia Seeds
  • Filberts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Tahini
  • Walnut

Nuts and seeds

Meat & Eggs:

Pitta does best with animal foods that taste sweet, are relatively dry (like rabbit or venison) and are either mildly heating or cooling in nature. Meats that don’t work are those that are especially oily, salty, or heating (things like dark chicken, beef, salmon, or tuna).

Favour Avoid
  • Chicken (white)
  • Eggs (white only)
  • Fish (freshwater)
  • Rabbit
  • Shrimp
  • Turkey (white)
  • Venison
  • Beef
  • Chicken (dark)
  • Duck
  • Eggs (yolk)
  • Fish (saltwater)
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Seafood
  • Tuna Fish
  • Turkey (dark)

Meat & Eggs


Despite being oily, pitta does well with a moderate amount of oil – as long as it is cooling. The very best oils for pitta are sunflower oil, ghee, coconut oil, and olive oil. It’s also important to keep in mind that toxins tend to concentrate on fats, so buying organic oils may be more important than buying organic fruits and vegetables.

Favour Avoid
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Ghee
  • Olive Oil
  • Primrose Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Walnut Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Apricot Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soya Oil



Since the sweet taste is one that soothes pitta, most sweeteners are well tolerated by pitta, but some are simply too heated or too processed for pitta. In general, naturally occurring sweet tastes are far more balancing than sugary sweets, so even the appropriate sweeteners should be used in moderation.

Favour Avoid
  • Barley Malt
  • Date Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Stevia and other Sugar substitutes
  • Maple Syrup
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sucanat
  • Turbinado
  • Honey
  • Jaggary
  • Molasses
  • White Sugar



Most spices are heated by nature and therefore have the potential to aggravate pitta. The spices to favour are only mildly heating, help to maintain a balanced digestive fire without provoking pitta, and, in some cases, are actively cooling. In particular, the cooling qualities of cardamom, cilantro, coriander, fennel and mint help to calm pitta’s heat. On occasion, these spices can be used to make foods that would otherwise be too hot for pitta more tolerable. Cumin, saffron, and turmeric, though heating, also offer some particularly valuable pitta pacifying properties.

Favour Avoid
  • Basil (fresh)
  • Black Pepper (small amounts)
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon (small amounts)
  • Coriander (seeds or powder)
  • Cumin (seeds or powder)
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Ginger (fresh)
  • Himalayan / Pink Salt
  • Mint
  • Neem Leaves
  • Orange Peel
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Saffron
  • Spearmint
  • Tarragon
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla
  • Wintergreen
  • Ajwain
  • Anise
  • Basil (dry)
  • Bay Leaf
  • Caraway
  • Cayenne
  • Cloves
  • Fenugreek
  • Garlic
  • Ginger (dry)
  • Hing (Asafoetida)
  • Mace
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Pippali
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savoury
  • Thyme
  • Trikatu




In conclusion, including cooling, calming, and hydrating foods in your diet is an important step in balancing Pitta and promoting overall health and well-being. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, and oils to support a healthy, balanced diet. Consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to develop a personalized diet plan that is tailored to your individual needs and health goals.