Pitta Vata Diet: Everything You Need To Know (Ayurvedic Diet Types)

Pitta Vata Diet: Everything You Need To Know

It might be interesting for you to know that the dual Prakriti or body type is the commonest form of Prakriti. So if you’re wondering how to cater to two dosha which are opposite in nature, you’re not alone!

A Pitta Vata diet can be a bit confusing. In this article, you’ll learn…

The Pitta Vata Diet
Pitta Vata Pacifying Food Chart

Pitta Vata Diet Suggested Meal Plan
Pitta Vata Approved Recipes

When one dosha is a hot dosha and is responsible for the warmth in your body and the other dosha is a cold dosha that makes you sensitive to excessive cold, so many questions come to mind. Should you eat cold foods or warm foods? Should you have alcohol at all as it is supposed to be Pitta aggravating? Which oil is best for me?

Having a dual Prakriti, you need to listen to your body. The dosha which is aggravated or depleted will need your attention. Pitta dosha symptoms are different than Vata dosha symptoms and Kapha dosha symptoms. So when a dosha is aggravated, use foods which have properties opposite to that of the dosha in question. On the other hand if your body gives symptoms which point towards the depletion of a dosha, use foods with the same properties as that of the particular dosha.

The Pitta Vata Diet

However, if both of your constituent dosha are balanced, you need to follow certain guidelines which will keep the two in the desired state of balance. These guidelines will come in handy when you’re choosing a meal plan.

  • The Pitta in your Prakriti, having a ‘hot’ property will prompt you for cold food while the Vata demands warm and freshly cooked food. You need to primarily follow the Pitta Dosha while taking the Vata dosha also into consideration. Eat fresh, slightly warm and bland or mildly spiced food. Include foods with cooling properties like zucchini, rice and coconut. To accommodate the Vata properties, it ought to be easily digestible, cooked with some fat and not raw. Cold beverages tend to derange the digestion and aggravate Vata and should be avoided.
  • Eat small quantities of food at regular intervals instead of big meals at one go. This is particularly good for Pitta Vata types.
  • Sit and eat in a calm place and eat slowly, chewing the food properly. Eating while walking, working and talking is likely to cause gas, indigestion and acidity which you are easily prone to.
  • Liquids should be taken an hour prior or an hour after meals so as not to dilute the digestive juices. A few sips while eating though are all right.
  • Eat lightly cooked food.

Lunch should be the largest meal and breakfast and dinner should be lighter. You may take snacks in the form of fruits, seeds, raisins or nuts in between meals. Nuts should be pre-soaked in water for 8-10 hrs. Soups and fresh buttermilk (in the daytime) are also good choices.

READ MORE: Indian Spiced Buttermilk Recipe For Strong DigestionVata And Pitta Pacifying Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Lunch should be the largest meal and breakfast and dinner should be lighter.

  • Fats like sunflower, olive oil, coconut oil and ghee are recommended. Ghee is best for Pitta and Vata as it is pacifying for both. Intake can be between 4-8 teaspoons per day as per need. If Vata is causing dryness, you can take the upper limit.
  • Dairy is recommended to keep the Vata under balance. If you do not want to take milk then alternatives like coconut milk or almond milk can be taken. This is highly recommended for Vata. Avoid sour yogurt and sour butter milk. Yogurt should never be taken after sunset according to Ayurveda.
  • Sour and salty tastes pacify Vata; however, they aggravate Pitta. Bitter and astringent tastes (as in salads) pacify Pitta but aggravate Vata. So if both the constituent dosha are aggravated then a sweet taste has to be used to pacify them. Sweet taste does not necessarily mean sugar and sugary food. Foods like barley, wheat, brown rice and zucchini all have a sweet taste. In other situations, specific tastes as per the condition of the constituent doshas are to be used.
  • Use of Pitta pacifying teas like jasmine, rose petal and lavender tea is highly recommended and can replace regular tea or coffee. In fact taking too much of tea and coffee aggravate both Pitta and Vata and thus should be taken in moderation and preferably with milk.
  • Grains like wheat, rice, barley, oats, wild rice, amaranth and quinoa can be taken. Avoid millets and rye in any form and take corn in moderation and less often.
  • Most of the animal meats and seafood are ‘hot’ in property and may aggravate Pitta in excess. Turkey and goat’s meat however are good. So intake of animal proteins should be moderated. Egg whites and milk can replace them.
  • Fruits that are raw and with a too sour taste should be avoided. Sweet and well ripened fruits are good for you.
  • All vegetables are good for you. Preference should be given to watery vegetables like zucchini, squashes and gourds. Too fibrous vegetables like artichoke, broccoli and leafy greens are Vata aggravating and should be taken in small amounts and less frequently. Mustard greens are best avoided as they aggravate both Pitta and Vata.
  • Spices which are not too hot like cumin, fennel, dill, basil, mint, turmeric, coriander, cardamom and garlic can be used while more hot spices like peppers, ginger and nutmeg should either be avoided or taken in small amounts.
  • Alcohol should be avoided as far as possible. Milder versions like beer and wine should be preferred over hard liquor.
  • Have at least 3-4 pints of water every day. This amount can go up in summer or if you are sweating it out at the gym.

Pitta Vata Diet Suggested Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • You can start your day with one tablespoon of honey dissolved in a glass of room temperature water followed by 10 almonds and 10 raisins that are soaked overnight. Honey water is particularly beneficial to Pitta Vata types that have gained weight over the years, a deviation from the typical characteristics of Pitta Vata dosha. Then have a piece of fruit like an apple and some herbal tea.
  • Breakfast can be a glass of milk / milk alternatives with any of the above mentioned cereals. Have another fruit with herbal tea or fresh buttermilk in midmorning.

READ MORE: An Ayurveda Breakfast: 10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas From Ancient Indian Wellness

Lunch

Lunch can be a mix of cereals, suitable vegetables and suitable animal proteins. Turkey, moong beans and yellow lentils along with vegetables and salads are good choices. Salads being raw should only be eaten in the daytime and in summer season. They should be dressed with fresh cream, olive oil or a little butter. Vinegar-based dressings should be avoided. Fresh lime juice may be used if you do not have acute acidity. Favor cooked vegetables over raw vegetables at all times.

If you take a late afternoon snack, you may have herbal tea again with steamed sprouted moong or two egg whites with buttered whole wheat toast.

Dinner

Dinner can be a cereal, bean or lentil dish along with vegetables or vegetable soups. Lean meat is also a good choice for Pitta Vata types. You could also have a cup of warm milk or coconut milk with raw sugar.

READ MORE: Golden Milk For Arthritis Recipe (Turmeric Milk For Arthritis), How Golden Milk Benefits MemoryButternut Squash Benefits + Pitta And Vata Pacifying Soup Recipe, Vata And Pitta Pacifying Pumpkin Black Bean Side Dish

mm
Deepak Bhanot, BAMS is a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner with 20 years of experience. He specializes in dietary and lifestyle consultation as per one's Prakriti. He has an advanced specialization in Nutrition and Health Education as well as Preventive and Promotive Health Care. He is a certified Panchakarma and Ayurvedic Acupressure therapist.

28 comments

  1. Hello dr.
    I m mrs. Khanna.i m 40 yrs and weight is 41 kg…I m suffering from amavata..ie. RA.
    I m in furst stafe…can ayurveda will help me to cure my dosha.
    What type of food I should prefer.
    Help me I m in trouble.

    • The Ayurveda Experience

      Hi Mrs. Khanna,
      Please see if there’s anything you can learn in this article on Amavata (Rheumatoid Arthritis): https://bit.ly/2Ja5l7r
      Please also consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner near you regarding your health conditions.
      We wish you the best.
      Jennifer

  2. Sir, I am 38 years 5 ft and 78 kg. All three vaat, pitt and kapha are aggreeveted. And I have all 3 symptoms like whole body swells when travelling, bloating; so much excess of heat and it targets each time different…like calf muscle pain, red eyes, headache…..and kapha related is obesity, lethargy.

    I also have brain fog, forgetfulness, excessive thinking…..

    I don’t know how to tackle all at the same time. Please guide me with the foods and herbs…

    • mm

      Hi Shilpa, It would be useful to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner near you as sometimes the dosha envelop each other and produce symptoms. One has to read the pulse to ascertain, which dosha is most predominant. From you explanation, it seems that Vata and Pitta needs immediate attention. Again which dosha is to be targeted first out of the two should be decided by the Ayurvedic practitioner who sees you. We wish you health!

  3. Sir as per the tests i am vata at mental level and pita dosha imbalance at physical level . and unable to loose weight
    Whats your suggestions

    • mm

      Dear Amit, Weight gain is a Vikriti condition. Your Prakriti or inbuilt dosha constitution, though affects the presentation of a Vikriti ( Patho-physiological) condition, but the Vikriti is to be assessed independently of the Prakriti or your dosha constitution. See an Ayurvedic practitioner, who can assess your dosha imbalance and the state of digestive fire, elimination, state of dhatus or the tissue systems as they are called, diet and lifestyle and your medical history, so as to plan a diet chart and lifestyle modification for you.

  4. Hi Dr Deepak, please can you advise which herbs/medication you would recommend for Vata Pitta Dosha? Should rave fruits and vegetables be avoided completely? Many thanks

    • mm

      Hi Anita, Thanks for asking this wonderful question. Ayurveda is a complete system of health care with dietary and lifestyle guidance, purification therapies and herbs. Your constitution makes you prone to certain set of health conditions arising out of aggravation of your constitution dosha and hence the choice of herb is according to the presentation of that health condition. So most herbs are meant to set the imbalance right and not meant to be taken in health conditions. But there are some herbs which can be taken in very small aomounts like spices in food to keep the dosha in balance and there are other set of herbs called ‘rasayana’ which can be taken to promote health and longevity. The spices which would be good for you would be coriander seeds, and fennel, clove, small cardamon and in moderation mild spices like cumin, black cardamon etc. The rasayana best suited for Vata Pitta is AMLA. You may also take ‘chyawanprash’ ( an amla preparation containing other herbs also) if you have a strong digestion.
      Fruits are best eaten raw in most cases. Fruits that are sweet in taste pacify both Vata and Pitta. Fruits with too much of sour taste should be avoided , while fruits with astringent taste can be taken cooked like apple in form of baked apple with a dash of cinnamon and a little raw sugar. Vegetables taken as salads aggravate Vata but pacify Pitta. So in that case vegetables dressed in oily dressings may be taken but too much of sour and salt should be avoided. Thus even a food that is not so good for a dosha can be made congenial.

  5. Sir can you please tell me the cure of acidity, heartburn, gas and bloating?? i am suffering from last two months..and i have constipation and piles problem last 8 years…

    Please help me from this problem..thank you advance.

  6. Dr Deepak, you did your course with passion ! enjoyed reading your advises, I am a Pitta Vata pakriti person, i am over weight and finding it difficult to cut it down despite regular exercise and walks, i am 50 and with self analysis found myself gluten allergic but I need to keep my body fit as i have lots of ambitions to be fulfilled, please advise, happy to come for consultations if your could give the address

  7. What do I eat if my ecxema has been flaring up? Dry skin and stress causing thin hair? Please he’ll

    • The Ayurveda Experience

      Hi Jean,
      Please consult an Ayurvedic practitioner near you to determine the best foods, herbs and lifestyle for your particular condition.

  8. What to eat and avoid. When I have bloated and stiff stomach.
    And o have bulgy stomach what to do for that.

    • mm

      Hi Ruchita, The best food to take when you have bloated and stiff stomach is a watery gruel /soup made of vegetables like bottle gourd,snake gourd,spinach etc or a very thin lentil soup seasoned with rock salt and asafoetida and cumin. If the condition persists, it could be a disease condition for which you should see a doctor. A bulgy stomach ( i think you mean abdomen)
      in an otherwise healthy person could be due to constipation, flatulence or sheer deposition of fat. The management is as per the cause.

      • Thanks Dr.
        However sometimes water also give feeling of fullness n bloating.

        I have a vata prakruti.

        • mm

          Well observed Ruchita,
          Ayurveda believes that even water needs agni or digestive fire to ‘Digest’ it properly.
          So If the Agni is very low and Vata high, It is useful to drink boiled and cooled water instead of the raw water at all times. Try this.
          You may even boil some cumin seeds( say 1 tsf in a liter of water) in the same and see the result. It should be helpful. Regarding the gruel, you should take it the spices like asafoetida, cumin, carom seeds etc. A small amount of ghee should also be added. Talk to a practitioner to diagnose your condition and advice accordingly. We have to rule out underlying acidity as well.

          • thanks Dr. this is very useful , now onward I will not have raw water ,will try to put some into it, may be mint leave or lemon slice,jeera .as I dont like raw water taste as well.
            thanks for useful suggestion.

  9. I’m a Pitta Vata but have an imbalance of Vata Pitta. I am severely underweight. Is it ok to take honey for its benefits or would it be too depleting for someone like me? What is the best amount to take and when, if allowed? I have read it is good to take with milk to gain weight but I have digestive issues and am currently not able to digest cows milk even though I used to drink it before.

    • mm

      Hi Arpana, Honey has a scrapping action on the fat tissue and thus is not for you.
      You should not take it even with milk. Try to work on your Agni ( digestive fire) first.
      Include ghee in your diet as it is appetizing and increases the agni. But be sure to begin with small quantities and then increasing up to 4-6 tsf per day.
      At present you can follow the Vata Pitta Diet till you recover the balance. It is available in the blog section. Hope to hear form you soon.

      • Thank you doctor for getting back to me. I have been cooking all my meals with a little ghee for a few years now. I am generally following the Vata Pitta diet but will take a closer look at the page, thank you.

        I have been suffering with digestive issues for around 7 years and have seen many Ayurvedic Doctors over the years who help with increasing my weight and Agni slightly temporarily but
        the weight goes back down. Currently no one has been able to help so I am trying alone now.

        My weight is too low now, I’m 5 feet 5 and weigh only 35kg. I really want to increase my weight but I have a poor appetite so am not able to eat much in one go. I also get lower abdominal pain from gas so it interferes with my appetite. By trying to eat balanced diet meals, I end up feeling heavy. I read on the Vata Pitta page that it is helpful to eat small frequent meals, would that be every 3 hours or so? Would you recommend that for me? I know eating frequently disturbs Agni but with I am not able to have 3 decent sized meals. I ensure I follow all the rules on eating in a relaxed way, drinking water at the right time etc.

        Are soaked dry fruits ok? I feel they help with constipation.

        I keep on reading that wheat is heavy to digest because of the gluten. I have recently gone from eating wheat and white rice to cooked oats and quinoa hoping I will digest these better. Is that beneficial?

        I would be really grateful if you could please give me tips to help.

        I have also had many months of disturbed sleep where I just wake up between 12 and 3am, which doesn’t help.

        I have things like chywanprash, ashwagandha lehya and shatavari lehya at home which are meant to help build the body and give energy but I feel these are too heavy to have with a low Agni, would you agree? I used to have chywanprash and hingvastak churna before but now everything seems to be causing a slight burning sensation in my abdomen.

        Hope to hear from you soon Dr.

        • mm

          Hello Arpana, You need a proper Vat amanagement regimen and that may include daily massage followed by sudation ( sweating with the use of heat) or a bundle massage and Basti ( herbal enemas). Many Panchkarma centers offer these. But in case these are not feasible, you may go for a daily massage as advised and eat as per your appetite. The major meals containing proteins and grains and pulses will remain the same Bf, Lunch and Dinner, but in between you can snack on fruits ( which suit you), pre soaked nuts and snacks like a boiled sweet potato chaat. Do not worry about the quantities at present, just let the agni improve by itself. Taking soaked dry fruits like plums, figs ( anjeer), and Munnaka ( big raisins) and almonds are ok. Take wheat in small quantities. Use basmati rice likewise. Quinoa would be dry and is not suitable. Oats are oK. Lehams are to be taken only when the agni improves. Take a snack when you wake up at night like upma, oat porridge so that the Kapha increases and Vata decreases so that you go to sleep. Catch up on your sleep in the day time also ( as it is said that if you haven’t had a good sleep at night you can go for a nap in the day time). Last but not the least: Do some exercise, be it walking and light weight training. Yoga ccan also be helpful.

  10. What about dairy products like cheese?

    • Hi Mariah, Thanks for pointing this out as we seem to have missed on posting regarding Dairy products. We will update the chart soon. However her it is for your reference:

      Dairy and dairy products recommendations for Pitta Vata-

      Best- Ghee, Butter, Milk, fresh cheese like Cottage cheese, Mozzarella cheese.
      Small amounts- Other cheese, yogurt (fresh sweet to be taken either with sugar or yellow lentil soup ), fresh butter milk, cream.
      Minimize; Sour yogurt, Sour cream, Sour butter milk, highly aged cheese.

  11. mm

    Wow Thanks Kathy . I really appreciate your deep knowledge of Ayurveda!!! I am elaborating on the reason for inclusion of honey for the benefit of other readers also.
    Vatala means that which is slightly Vata aggravating. This property of honey is written in Charak Samhita , the book on Ayurvedic medicine. But his contemporary Sushruta , who belonged to the school of surgeons, considers honey to be pacifier of all three dosha ( reference: Sushruta Samhita, Sutra sthana, chapter 45 , verse 132). So as both were legends, I believe Charaka also knew that and thus he just consider it to be slightly Vata aggravating and termed it Vatala and not Vata kara which means one that aggravates Vata to a great extent.So my thought process while suggesting honey in morning was three fold:
    1) it is Kapha time and honey is good at pacifying Kapha and keeping it in balance.For Pitta and Vata a sweet taste is the best. So instead of recommending something sugary, honey , which is not necessarily Vata aggravating, and is majorly sweet, it seemed a good choice. The intake of almond and raisins also will negate its Vatala effect, Foods if combined appropriately, can complement each other. For example the gas producing effect of lentils can be reduced by soaking them before cooking and cooking them with spices such as asafetida, cumin, garlic etc.
    2) Secondly, it is not necessary to always take antagonizing foods and follow lifestyle that pacify your constituent dosha. Vata gives you action and a Pitta Vata person if take something which is slightly Vata aggravating ( Vatala and not Vata Kara) will give him/her a kick to start the day, by pacifying Kapha which is aggravated in any case during this time of the day.
    3) In my experience of dealing with many people having Pitta Vata prakriti ( dosha type), I have noticed that due to the dominant Pitta, which empowers the digestive fire, they tend to overeat and gain weight. Though this is a deviation from their nature or Prakriti, but it does happen. So honey is a good food to start the day with as it has ‘Lekhan’ (anti fat) properties as well. So while going for a chart for your Prakriti, it may be necessary for a possible deviation form your Prakriti as well which is called Vikriti and in case of PV , weight gain is a common Vikriti.

  12. The texts say that honey is vatala–increasing to vata

  13. Appreciated the deep knowledge of content

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