Vata Pitta Pacifying Diet

Vata Pitta Diet: Everything You Need To Know

It might be interesting for you to know that the dual Prakriti 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 Vata Pitta diet can be a bit confusing. Don’t worry however!

This article covers everything you need to know about the Vata Pitta diet:
Vata Pitta Pacifying Food Chart
The Vata Pitta Diet (All The Tips You Need To Do It Right)
Vata Pitta Diet Suggested Meal Plan
Vata Pitta 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?

READ MORE: 37 Tips To Fight Inflammation Caused By Pitta Dosha

The Vata, if in balance, subtly ignites the digestive “fire” just as air would help a fire to start. But if it gets aggravated due to any cause, it can make the digestive fire or agni go haywire and become irregular. On the other hand Pitta being composed of the fire and water element supports your agni if it is in a balanced state. In an aggravated state it will either give you ravenous hunger or will give you indigestion due to an increase in its fluid and sour properties.

So if your physiology is dominated by two dosha, you need to take care that your diet should fulfill the requirements of the two and should not aggravate either of them. There are no absolute foods to avoid but there are definitely foods which are more likely to suit you over others and hence should be preferred more. The other, less suitable ones, should be taken less frequently.

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 Vata Pitta Diet: Tips To Do It Right

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 Vata Dosha in your Prakriti demands warm and fresh food, but the Pitta being hot, may prompt you for a cold beverage. You need to primarily follow with the Vata Dosha and eat warm, easily digestible and freshly cooked food whenever possible. To be in tune with Pitta the food needs to be low on spices, sour and pungent tastes and should include ingredients with an inherent cooling property like cooked zucchini and a plate of rice which will pacify Pitta even if they are served hot as they are cooling by nature. Similarly too much of raw foods, and food directly from the refrigerator, without warming, is to be avoided as it will aggravate Vata. In peak summers you may go for cool and sweet natural drinks like sherbets, coconut water, sweet lemonade or a sweet butter milk, that are not icy cold in any situation to avoid aggravation of Vata. Smoothies that follow certain guidelines are also acceptable.
  • Eating small quantities of food at regular intervals instead of big meals in one sitting, is particularly good for your digestion as it will ‘accommodate’ all states of your digestion as explained above.
  • Ayurveda gives importance to not only what you eat but also how you eat it. So 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 Vata Pitta types are prone to and also aggravates Vata.
  • 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 over raw food as stated earlier. Use spices like fennel, cumin, coriander seeds, garlic, turmeric and ginger. Ginger being hot in property should be used in small quantities.
  • Use oil and ghee in cooking. However intake may be restricted to 6-8 teaspoons per day if you gain weight. Ghee (clarified butter) is particularly good to pacify Vata and Pitta and will help you feel more grounded.
  • White meats, egg whites, and dairy are good sources of proteins for your Dosha type. Yogurt is also all right but should not be combined with fruits and also not taken every day and never at night.
  • Vata gets aggravated with astringent, pungent and bitter taste while sweet, sour and salty tastes pacify Vata. On the other hand pungent, sour and salty tastes aggravate Pitta, while bitter and astringent tastes (as in spinach) pacify it. So if both the constituent Doshas are aggravated then a sweet taste has to be used to pacify them. But sweet does not mean sugar. Wheat, barley, rice, zucchini, tapioca and squash all have sweet taste and are healthier options to have. So any food which is rich in carbohydrates is good for your Prakriti. But it is better to choose whole grains over refined starches and sugars as they will pacify Vata and Pitta and make you feel grounded. In other situations, specific taste as per the condition of the constituent dosha is to be used.
  • Oat, whole wheat, basmati rice, quinoa and amaranth are carbohydrate options you can choose from. These will serve the purpose of balancing as explained above.
  • Keep breakfast and dinner light and have dinner by 8.00 pm. Lunch should be the heaviest meal of the day.
  • Fruits and pre-soaked nuts (for about 8 -10 hours in water) and lightly sautéed seeds can be taken as snacks in between the meals.
  • All vegetables except ones that are too fibrous like artichokes and broccoli are good for you. Mustard greens, green peppers, aubergine and too much tomato may also be avoided as they have the potential to aggravate Pitta.
  • All fruits that are well ripened and sweet are good for you. Sour fruits taken in excess can aggravate Pitta and should be avoided.

Vata Pitta Diet Suggested Meal Plan 

You can start your day with a few almonds and raisins which have been soaked in water overnight. This may be followed by an herbal tea like Coriander Tea. To make Coriander Tea boil one teaspoon of coarsely ground coriander seeds in a glass of water and reduce to half. Strain and enjoy luke warm. You may also enjoy rose petal tea or mint tea.

Breakfast

Breakfast can be cereal with milk or milk substitutes like coconut milk or almond milk.

READ MORE: An Ayurveda Breakfast: 10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas From Ancient Indian Wellness, What’s So Amazing About Raisins + 3 Delish Raisins Recipes

Lunch

For lunch you can have cooked vegetables, a little salad and a carbohydrate and protein source. For carbohydrates you may have any of the above mentioned cereals, tubers like sweet potato and for a protein source you can have white meat (well cooked), eggs, moong beans or a lentil. Kichadi is a convenient and easy-to-prepare meal which you may be try for lunch. Just add a dollop of ghee while eating it. Mix in a few finely chopped boiled vegetables to make it a complete meal.

Dinner

The dinner can be the same as lunch but you can have soups too. The beans and lentils may prove gassy for a Vata dominated person. So they can be consumed by adding appropriate spices like cumin seeds, coriander, garlic and a dash of lemon juice and taken in small quantities to begin with.

  • You may chew upon half a teaspoon of lightly roasted fennel seeds along with a few crystals of sugar to aid digestion.
  • A warm cup of milk sweetened with a few raisins boiled in it may be taken for supper. A teaspoon of almond oil or ghee may be mixed into it. This will help you to feel balanced and will also balance the Vata.

READ MORE: Butternut Squash Benefits + Vata And Pitta Pacifying Soup Recipe, Vata And Pitta Pacifying Pumpkin Black Bean Side DishVata And Pitta Pacifying Pumpkin Soup Recipe, Vata Pitta Pacifying Beetroot And Carrot Soup

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.

45 comments

  1. Hi. Thanks for this advice. I have a vata-pitta combo. What supplement can i take? Is triphala or something else?

  2. Hi, thank you for a great article. I am very much a Vata body… very thin, easily dried out and prone to constipation. Fall/winter foods help to combat that beautifully. But I have a Pitta mind and approach to the world, and in the heat and humidity of this summer, I’m finding that when I eat fall/winter foods, I have loose bowels. I’m thinking my Pitta is out of balance. But I’m not sure what to eat to get it back in balance. I’m fearful of eating too many “drying” foods, as I can get out of Vata balance quite easily. Any suggestions for what foods I should focus on during the heat of the summer? Thank you!

    • mm

      Hi Jeanne, Very good observations indeed. You being a part Pitta, your Pitta dosha has a tendency to get aggravated in summers which is the season for accumulation of Pitta.
      In view of your primary dosha Vata and the Pitta dosha, I would suggest that you may chose to have more of well cooked watery vegetables like melons and gourds and watery vegetables like Zucchini. In fruits you should have juicy and sweet fruits. Grains like rice, wheat and oats taken well cooked shoudl benefit. Milk is particularly good if it suits you or other alternative is freshly made coconut milk. Avoid meats as most of them are heating. For proteins you can take well cooked moong beans. Avoid fermented food and beverages and also alcohol as far as possible. Have enough water.

  3. Hi Sir, I’m suffering from Crohn’s. I would want to know whether the above mentioned diet fits in for Crohn’s. Also kindly suggest some specific measures to be taken for faster recovery. Thanking you.

    • The Ayurveda Experience

      Hi S Kumar,
      Sorry to hear about your condition. The above diet is for those people that need a diet for Vata and Pitta dosha. You can take our dosha quiz to determine your body type (click here to take the free quiz: https://goo.gl/uD5voi). Please also see a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to determine the best diet and lifestyle for you.
      Best of luck to you,
      Jennifer

  4. Eugenia Papadopoulou

    Hello. I’ve been diagnosed with samaja vatha kaphaja bhramam, kaphaja krichrouneeianam, sama vatha kaphaja kadeegraham. My dosha is vata-pita.I found these tips very useful and I would like to ask you if the above diet is suitable for me. I live in Greece and access to an ayurvedic doctor is not very easy. I would particularly appreciate your answer. Thanks

    • mm

      Hi Eugenia, These are broad guidelines which are useful for Vata Pitta dosha type as well as Vata pitta disorders.
      As per your submission there is involvement of Kapha and may be ‘Ama’ in your current state of health. So following this diet might not be appropriate.
      First you may need to take care of Kapha and ‘Ama’. For that you need to work closely with an Ayurvedic practitioner in person to get the current imbalance corrected and then follow this diet.

  5. Sir i have been diagnosed with ibs(sangrahini). Can i follow the diet mentioned above?

  6. I see Chickpeas are put into minimize category. But what about Indian brown chanas? Are they same as chickpeas? Should they also be avoided by somebody with vata-pitta body?
    I know a lots of desi phelwan eat brown chanas to get strength as brown chanas are known for being good source of protein and strength for phelwan or somebody who is in sports. What is your advise on this sir? Should one eat brown chanas to get protein or should one just stick to green mung beans for protein content in their diet? Please advise

    Thanks

  7. I have a vata body type so i thought of making “overnight” oats which is basically milk and fruits and oats soaked overnight and eaten the next day.Is it advisable to do so because i have heard you should not eat milk and fruits together? Also can we soak just oats and milk instead of water overnight so that it would be easier to cook the next day?I am confused and new to this.

  8. I have high RA factor which is causing leg pain and I find difficult to walk, especially in the morning. Can you please suggest some dietary restriction / medication for this problem

    • mm

      Hello Mr. Kumar, RA comes under the purview of Ama-Vata in Ayurveda. You need to avoid foods that cause Vata aggravation and are heavy on digestion, and/or those causing indigestion ( as per your individual suitability) so that they do not produce ‘Ama’ The morbid material formed in the intestines out of impaired digestion. The Ayurvedic way of eating should also be followed e.g eating with full concentration at a calm place in a seated posture etc. etc. Stay away from cold food and beverages. Warm water is beneficial. A complete advise cannot be given here , so kindly see a local Ayurvedic practitioner. we do have a course on ‘Ayurveda and auto immune diseases’ by Dr Akil Palanisamy which you can consider for having useful information.

  9. I have high RA factory which is causing LEG Pain. Could kindly kindly suggest some proper diet and medicine for this

    • mm

      Hi Mr. Palat, The RA factor being positive is indicative of immune system being active and is generally is a result of “ama’ production. Ama is generated in the digestive tract due to impaired digestion and a weak digestive fire ( called agni in Ayurvedic terms). Pleaase see an Ayurvedic practitioner near you for further guidance and advice. The diet should include freshly prepared warm, easily digestible foods in general. Refrain form cold beverages and foods.

  10. Dear Dr. Bhanot,

    Thank you for your wonderful article. I have found it most beneficial.

    Where would you say fermented vegetables (i.e. sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles..) would fit into this diet? Also, where would root vegetables such as celeriac, chicory (or chicory tea), daikon radish, jicama, kholrabi and parsnip fit in? And finally, what about rhubarb?

    Thank you very much!

    Sincerely,
    Sarah

    • mm

      Hi Salewei, I am sorry for taking long to reply to your query. The western vegetables you mentioned in your query except radish, have not been mentioned in Ayurvedic literature. However some eminent western Ayurvedic practitioners have tried to allocate properties to the locally available vegetables and hence their actions on dosha. Thus, I have tried to classify these vegetables as per the information available.
      Fermented pickles etc, can be taken in moderation and should be avoided if you have pitta aggravation.
      Chicory is cold, bitter astringent in taste, aggravates vata, pacifies kapha pitta. So, it can be taken occasionally only.
      Celery is light, dry, mobile, hot in potency and pungent, bitter in taste. Pacifies kapha, aggravates vata and pitta, so should be minimized in the diet.
      Radish is mobile, hot. Taste pungent, bitter. pacifies kapha, aggravates vata pitta. So, should be taken minimally.
      Diakon is dry, mobile, liquid. Pacifies Kapha and aggravates vata and pitta and hence taken occasionally only (minimize).
      Jicama is cold. Tastes Sweet, astringent. Pacifies vata and pitta, aggravates kapha, Can be taken often.
      Kohlrabi is sweet in taste, light, pacifies pitta, kapha and aggravtes vata. It is milder than broccoli so less vata aggravating. Can be taken in moderation.
      Parsnip is hot, light, dry. Bitter sweet taste. Aggravates Vata and pitta, pacifies kapha, so should be minimized.
      Rhubarb is highly mobile, drying, cold, subtle, heavy, dense, solid, hard, stable (both and air and earthy quality). It is astringent, sour, sweet and bitter in taste. Pacifies Vata, pitta and kapha. So, can be taken more often. Thank you.

  11. Hi i am raj is ashawgandha capsule is good for pitta dosha

    • mm

      Hi Rajwant, The ashwagandha which is for ingestion called ‘Nagauri Ashwagandha’ is hot in potency( pitta aggravating) but sweet in taste ( pitta pacifier). So, if taken with milk, it may not aggravate Pitta that much. But, individual response may differ. People having a Pitta Dosha prakriti, in general, should be cautious while taking ashwagandha ( even with milk) and should discontinue it if they experience Pitta aggravation symptoms.

  12. Dr. Bhanot, I would like to ask you whether milk should be taken boiled or not. Milk comes already pasteurized so I understand it would not be necessary to do so. But I read in some books on Ayurveda that boiling milk is a must. Thank you.

  13. I am working to pacify my Vata at the moment and told to have soaked and peeled almonds with raisons for my snacks during the day. Do I also soak the raisons?
    Thanks

    • Hi there, Soaking the raisins is not mandatory. But as per my experience ( borrowed from my mother),soaking the raisins as well, makes them more digestible. So, no harm doing that provided you like the taste!

  14. Maria Lucia Thomas

    Hello there. I’m reading that cereals and legumes can me combined. But what about digestion. How can I balance carbs and proteins when I don’t do well at eating both combined?

    • Hi Maria, This is a very common situation in a Vata Pitta body type. As ideally, taking cereals and legumes together is good for nutrition, you can use spices to improve your stomach’s capacity to digest the combination meal. Use strong spices like ginger, garlic asafoetida, if Pitta is in balance, But if Pitta is also aggravated, go for milder spices like coriander, fennel, bay leaves ( 2-3 leaves whole) , cumin, cloves. Use mint and coriander sauce with meals. If nothing works, space legumes and cereals by 4-6 hrs and consult an Ayurvedic doctor to suggest a digestive aid . Once the digestion gets up to the mark, incorporate legumes in your cereal meals slowly. Generally two 1 ounce ( dry weight) servings are optimum.

  15. Sir, I am troubled by aggrevated vata and pitta dosha.i can’t drink milk,any heavy food.my bowel movement is not proper.and I always feel urge to go.mucus is form very high quantity.please suggest me.

    • Dr. Deepak Bhanot

      Dear Naveen, In this condition, it is mandatory for you to first take care of your digestion, then only you can make use of milk and milk products. Please take equal quantity of cumin and coriander seeds, lightly roast them and powder them coarsely.Take one teaspoon of the the mixture with 1/2 tsf of caraway seeds (ajwain) and a pinch of rock salt twice a day after meals with warm water. Do it for a month. Once the mucous in the stools stops coming and you have good appetite, then start adding a little ghee in your diet. Review with an Ayurvedic practitioner also for other herbal preparations if need be.

  16. Aren’t grains and carbs bad and toxic? While I need carbs due to adrenal fatigue too much carbs = fat accumulation = estrogen dominance.

    • The truth is whether you take proteins or carbs, body will need carbs for energy. The proteins also get converted to carbs. So we cannot escape from this. Ayurveda does not consider carbs as toxic. There is an old grandmother’s way of putting it: the ” Anna ( or grains) are prana ( vital energy)”. in fact carbs spares proteins for the repair and growth work that they are supposed to do. On the other hand proteins, help to add satiety and also help to regulate the glucose surge that occurs after a meal. The fats further augments these two actions of protein. So an ideal meal should have a combination of all three in right proportions as per your digestive capacity. Further the whole grains and legumes and/ or meats are to be preferred over ready source of simple carbohydrates (sugar, white bread, pasta, fruit juice etc). The choice of protein source depends upon your body’s compatibility and state of digestion. Further choosing the right type of carbs ( mainly the complex carbs with fiber is the key to healthy eating and will keep the side effects like an insulin surge, fat accumulation and estrogen dominance at bay.

  17. Great piece of work and very simply put Thanks Ashwani Windlass awoffice@ymail.com
    Can we talk sometime please

  18. Dr. Deepak Bhanot

    Dear Sunny, Our communications are getting interesting!! It will be useful ofr other readers as well. Ayurveda does not advocate taking of paneer ( cottage cheese) and curd ( yogurt) everyday as they are believed to block the channels ( ABHI- SHA-YANDI is the term used in the texts for this effect) . So you can take your daily quota of proteins either from milk as such or from a combination of grains like wheat or rice with lentils like moong dal ( best tolerated by a Vata Pitta) . According to modern dietetics, a combination of grains with lentils give you complete set of essential amino acids and thus can replace complete proteins like paneer , eggs and meats. You may also include eggs in your diet in a limited amount as per the state of your digestion.

    • Understood Sir. So I am guessing mung beans are the best option to go for as they are rich in carbs, proteins and have plenty of fibers too. Do you prefer green whole mung or split yellow mung?
      Another question I have is about eating in the evening or night before sleeping. For example let’s say if I have a game or practice late in the evening then is it still okay to have recovery meal with solid-foods or liquid-recovery drink as we mentioned earlier (boiled milk with ghee, turmeric, raisins and almonds) in the night time? I know Ayurveda doesn’t recommend eating heavy food or any food at all once the Sun is down because your Agni is interconnected with the Sun. How does this rule of Ayurveda of not eating anything heavy in the night applies to athletic person? Should one just go to sleep without eating anything and have big breakfast in the morning? Or If one is going to eat something then should it be in form of solid-food or liquid drink of milk as we mentioned earlier with ghee, raisins and almond? Once again Sir, I want to say thank you soo much for sharing your knowledge as it has clarified a lot of my confusions.

      Thanks

      • Bot whole and split green moong are equally good. Ayurveda wants us to sleep as the sun goes down and get up before it rises. Practically speaking this is not possible in modern times. So any food which you do not feel heavy after eating should be good. The heavy to digest foods are those which have been processed like sweets made of condensed milk, deep fried foods are to be avoided in any case. If you can digest almonds and milk at night without feeling heavy, you may take them at least 2 hrs before bedtime.

  19. What about eating almond milk yogurt (non dairy) and having fruit with that? I’m a Vata-Pitta type.

    • Technically speaking both milk yogurt and almond milk yogurt have the same properties. So the same rules apply to both. Hence it also should not be combined with fruits

  20. If somebody, is Vata-pitta dosha and play running sport where a lot of physicality is involved. Will his/her diet be any different than the one above. What do you recommend to eat after training to recover well according to Ayurveda principles?

    • Thanks Sunny for asking a good question.The broad guidelines will remain the same. Only that an atheletic person will require more quantity. But as per Ayurveda you have to by the state of your digestive fire called ‘Agni’. If you are not feeling like eating any time,it means your agni is disturbed. Then you may choose to have a fruit meal or just some electrolyte drink til you feel hungry again. Further you need to eat till the point you feel that another helping will make you ‘Full’. Stop at that point. Your body will guide you. Avoid taking raw sprouts and indiscriminate use of protein shakes. For recovering from a work out a warm milk with almonds or a protein powder ( if you want to take it) will go well with your body type. The quantity of the powder has to be as per your agni. If you feel gassy and heavy after a particular amount of protein powder, you may need t decrease the quantity. Wish you health!

    • The broad guidelines will remain the same. Only that the quantity will increase for an athletic person like yourself. But you need to take the digestive capacity into consideration. It is good to eat till the point when you feels that one more serving will make you full. To recover from a workout a warm protein shake or an almond shake will be good as per your body type. But the quantity of almonds or protein powder should be as per your digestive capacity. If you fell bloated or heavy after a shake, then you may need to alter the quantity of protein powder or nuts to an optimum level. For other meals always have a combination of carbs and proteins.

      • Understood. Thanks for replying and clarifying it for me Sir. I usually do not like taking artificial protein powder after workout. My current recovery drink after workout is boiled milk with 3-4 dates, few raisins, little bit of cardamon and ginger. Then I add half spoon of turmeric and 2 spoon of desi-ghee into it and drink it. This recipe is just my own imagination. Is it pretty good drink as per Ayurveda to drink after physical activity or is it too heavy for digestion?

      • Understood. Thanks for replying back and clarifying it for me sir. I normally do not like taking artificial protein-powder. My current recovery drink after workout is boiled milk with pinch of ginger, caradmon, few raisins and 3-4 dates. Then I add half a spoon of turmeric, and 2 spoon of desi-ghee. This drink is just my own imagination. Is it pretty good drink as per ayurveda or is it heavy for digestion? Would appreciate your thoughts on it
        Thanks

        • Dr. Deepak Bhanot

          Seems your agni is not up to the mark and that is why you do not feel like taking protein powder. But thankfully the ginger, cardamom and turmeric will do the trick for you and so will the desi ghee. You can take it after the exercise but give half an hour to your blood to return to the gut from peripheries
          so that it is digested properly. You may add a few soaked almonds to the routine if you feel that your agni is good enough to digest it.

          • Thanks for replying . To get good amounts of proteins in the diet, if one doesnt want to eat meat everyday then Is it okay to eat Paneer everyday in lunch? The way I take paneer is like soup (boil few cubes of already-made-paneer in water with few pinches of ginger, cumin and salt). Is it good way to take paneer or is there better way to take it for proper digestion? What are some other good sources of easily digestible protein you advise for Vata-pitta people?
            Thanks Sir for sharing your knowledge

  21. I have read in “Ayurveda to the Rescue” book that you should not eat yogurt with fruit ; both yogurt and milk has sour Vipak.

    • mm

      Both Milk and curd ( which is fresh and properly set) has sweet Vipak ( post digestive effect)- reference Bhavprakash Nighantu (one of the authentic and respected materia medica).
      Combining fruits and Milk or curd.yogurt is considered incompatible food combination as per Ayurveda. Incompatibilities are in turn of many types and have been explained in detail in Charak Samhita ( one of the most authentic book on Ayurvedic principles and treatment)

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