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Dallas, Texas

Tastes of Summer

June 29, 2016


Summer time is the season of Pitta. It is hot and sunny (fire) and therefore the pitta energy in everyone increases. The sun rules pitta and during summer, there is more heat outside and therefore the heat in us increases. Summer Season or Grishma Ritu usually is from mid-May to mid-July but in Texas it can continue as long as mid- September due to the dry and hot summer months. Every place has a different timing for each season, so one must closely observe the changes that indicate the shifts from one season to another.


A balanced diet according to Ayurveda is one that contains all the six tastes in appropriate quantities. A pitta pacifying diet for the summer months favors foods that are sweet, bitter, astringent and limits pungent, sour and salty tastes in general.



Favor and Include Often more of these Foods:


Drinks and Beverages:  Cool to lukewarm drinks, according to preference, almond milk, tea or chai with spices, aloe vera Juice

Grains: White Rice (basmati, jasmine, etc.), barley, oats (cooked), quinoa, kamut, amaranth, sprouted wheat bread (toasted), whole wheat – as tolerated

Legumes: Black Beans, Moong Beans, Tofu is okay, Split Peas, Red and Brown Lentils

Dairy: Unsalted butter, soft and fresh cheeses like paneer, cottage cheese, Ghee, Cow’s milk, Goat’s milk, Yogurt ( freshly made and diluted)

Other Animal Foods: Chicken, Egg Whites, Fresh water fish, shrimp, turkey

Nuts and Seeds: Soaked and peeled Almonds, Coconut, Charole, Flax, Popcorn, Pumpkin, Sunflower

Oils and Fats: Ghee, Coconut, Olive, Walnut, Sunflower

Sweeteners: Maple syrup, Turbinado, Sucanat, Honey (okay in moderation)

Fruits: Ripe fruits in season such as apples, avocado, sweet berries, dates, figs, grapes, pears, sweet pineapple, prunes, raisins, watermelon, limes (in moderation)

Vegetables: In general, Sweet, Bitter vegetables, asparagus, beets (cooked), bitter melon, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, leafy greens in season, okra, black olives, sweet peppers, cilantro, fennel, zucchini, summer squashes


Reduce the Intake of Following Foods


Drinks and Beverages: Alcohol, wine, carbonated drinks, caffeinated drinks, coffee, icy cold drinks, tomato juice, V-8 juice, sour juices

Grains: Corn, rye, buckwheat, brown rice, yeasty breads, polenta, rye

Legumes: Soy sausages, Tur Dal (Pigeon Peas), Urad Dal (Black Gram Dal), Soy Sauce

Dairy: Salted butter, Buttermilk, Hard and aged cheeses, Sour cream, Yogurt (frozen or with fruit)

Other Animal Foods: Beef, Dark Chicken, Duck, Egg Yolks, Seawater fish, Lamb, Pork, Tuna fish, Dark Turkey

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds with skin, Black Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pine, Chia, Sesame, Tahini

Oils and Fats: Almond, Apricot, Corn, Safflower, Sesame

Sweeteners: White sugar, , Jaggery, Molasses

Fruits: Most sour fruits such as grapefruit, sour oranges, lemons, peaches, kiwi, Tamarind, Cranberries (fresh), sour cherries

Vegetables: In general, Pungent vegetables, beet greens, daikon radish, garlic, eggplant, green chilies, horseradish, mustard greens, onions (raw), green olives, hot peppers, tomatoes, turnips, turnip greens


Resource for the above list: Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad


A pitta pacifying diet favors juicy, cooling foods with high water content while avoiding hot spices, alcohol, vinegar, fried foods, tomatoes, yogurt and cheese. Foods should be fresh and organic, if possible. Avoid leftovers, packages, canned or bottled foods, processed foods, preservatives, artificial ingredients and salty foods.

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