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Cooling Foods in Ayurveda

Updated: 3 days ago

Cooling foods to reduce Pitta, heat in your body and mind. Learn how to eat and drink your way out of excess Pitta. Food IS medicine.

woman with an armful of freshy picked zucchini

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Cooling Foods in Ayurveda

It’s been a long, sweaty, smokey, hot summer and Pitta may have accumulated in your body and mind.

It’s time to alleviate that excess heat with cooling foods in Ayurveda. Before we learn how to to reduce excess heat from the body and mind with Ayurveda, let's learn about where this heat comes from and how it manifests in the mind and body.

Which Dosha is Responsible for Body Heat?

In Ayurveda, Pitta dosha is responsible for body heat. Pitta is described as hot, sharp, oily, and penetrating. When fiery Pitta flares up – we burn up and burn out. That’s why reducing body heat with Ayurveda starts with reducing Pitta dosha.

Pitta heat manifests in many ways, including inflammation, skin conditions, migraines, acid reflux, loose stools, nausea, constipation, body odor, excessive sweating, unpleasant menstrual cycles, burn-out, and more. Beyond physical symptoms, Pitta shows up as mental heat – think short-fuses, hot tempers, burn-out, and fatigue.

Signs of Pitta Imbalance in the body and mind:

woman with facial acne


1. Red, burning, or irritated skin including eczema and dermatitis

2. Headaches with burning sensation and migraines

3. Rashes, response to insect bites

6. Inflammation or any of the "itis” conditions

7. Acne

8. Stomach heat increases, causing heartburn, acid reflux, GERD and ulcers

9. Hyperthyroidism

10. Loose stools (soft serve ice cream consistency) or diarrhea

11. Overactive metabolism

12. Nausea or discomfort upon missing meal

13. Heat avoidant or intolerant

14. Heavy, clotty cycles

15. Interrupted sleep

17. Inflammation in the body can lead to joint pain

18. Increased sweating and sour or foul body odor.

19. Increased hunger and thirst

21. Excessive thirst, unquenchable thirst

22. Autoimmune disorders

23. Fevers

24. Acute inflammation of the joints

26. Sun avoidant

27. Heavy, clotty cycles

Feeling the heat? Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today.

woman frustrated


30. Workaholic tendencies

32. Jealousy

33. Impatience, criticism, and intolerant

34. Overly attached to goals

35. Ego inflamed

36. Controlling, fiery personality

woman overheating and fanning herself

Believe it or not, it’s easy to get heat out of the body with Ayurveda. Here are some ways to eat your way out of excess Pitta.

How to Cool Pitta and Reduce Body Heat with Ayurveda

Eat Cooling, Pitta-Reducing Foods

Your diet is one of the best ways to reduce body heat with Ayurveda. Foods with high water content, like watermelon and cucumber, can be both cooling and hydrating. You may want to start making your own green juices as well. Make a point of eating around noon, when your digestive fire is strongest. It's important to feed that fire, so you don’t burn up!

Along the same lines, you'll want to avoid foods that will heat up your body. Ingredients that can warm your body include chili, garlic, and most citrus fruits. If you normally enjoy hot beverages like tea, allow them to cool to room temperature before you drink them. While ice-cold drinks may seem like a great way to cool off, you should stay away from these beverages as well. Overly cold beverages can inhibit digestion, which can lead to overheating and discomfort.

More on Pitta:

bowl of zucchini pasta

What foods cool down the body (and mind) by reducing Pitta dosha?

Here's What to Eat to Reduce Heat in Body Ayurveda:

List of Cooling Ayurvedic Foods

  • Water-Rich Foods (Cucumber, asparagus, squash, zucchini, celery, etc.)

  • Beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cilantro, green beans, okra, parsnip, peas, potatoes, and rutabaga

  • Bitter greens (Dandelion greens, kale, spinach, chard, and beet greens. Avoid mustard greens)

  • Juicy Fruits (Mango, Papaya, Grapes, etc.)

  • Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries, Cherries, etc.)

  • Melon (Watermelon, Muskmelon, Cantaloupe)

  • Whole Grains (Rice, Quinoa, Oats, etc.)

  • Dairy (milk, butter, ghee)

  • Almonds (soaked and peeled)

  • Moong dal (sprouted whole green moong makes a great cooling snack, or yellow moong dal)

  • Flax seed

  • Cooling Herbs (Dill, Cilantro, Corrainder, Rose)

rose pistachio kheer pudding

List of Cooling Ayurvedic Recipes

mango smoothie

Foods can be cooling for Pitta. Here are our client's favorite heat reducing, delicious, easy-to-make, and even easier to drink, beverages.

List of Cooling Ayurvedic Drinks

cucumber limeade

“I was inflamed. I had trouble keeping weight on, I was diagnosed with incurable ulcerative proctitus, my energy was very low, and I was taking medications daily for a skin condition, and I had severe migraines.

Following Veena’s guidance, all these conditions have been nearly eliminated! The incurable ulcerative proctitus was given a Mayo Clinic Score of 0, normal or inactive disease.

I’m very grateful to Veena for the wonderful results and the healthier quality of life we have attained together. Without reservation, I highly recommend Veena at Saumya Ayurveda.”

---Christopher Schirber, Yoga Teacher, Minnesota


Cooling Foods in Ayurveda can help reduce Pitta, and help you start feeling your best. Fiery Pitta is best balanced through naturally sweet foods like sweet fruit, most grains, squash, root vegetables, milk and ghee. The best tastes for balancing Pitta are sweet, bitter, and astringent. Sour, salty, and pungent tastes should be minimized.

Ayurveda's best tastes by dosha graphic

Tips to Cool Pitta and Reduce Body Heat with Ayurveda

  1. Eat Cooling, Pitta-Reducing Foods

  2. Do Light Exercise in the Morning or Evening as part of your Ayurvedic daily routine

  3. Reduce Pitta with Ayurvedic Oil Massage

  4. Dress in Pitta-Cooling Clothing

  5. Hydrate with Cooling Herbs

  6. Reduce Intensity in the Mind and Life

  7. Find Relief and focus with our Nasya Oil

How to Reduce Pitta in the Liver?

The liver performs over 500 vital functions. Concerned about cholesterol? Having hot flashes? Irritable? General sense of warmth or heat? Acne? Heavy cycles? Disrupted sleep? Click here to read about 35 signs of excess Pitta, heat.

It's time to love up your liver. Learn how to Liver Cleanse with Ayurvedic Food


“A year ago, after some lab tests, I was told I had an "abnormal" liver. I thought of my mother, who had died young from liver disease. Veena's Ayurveda recommendations, which included herbs and healthy foods, turned things around in less than six months. My liver was retested, and each lab result was in the "normal" range. This testifies to my longstanding mantra: In Veena I Trust.”

-- Don, Golden Valley, Minnesota

Saumya Ayurveda's 3 step s for transforming your daily life image of a woman meditating by a lake

There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 step meditation process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.

"The breath is the connection between the mind and body, so by training the breath, we become calm, focused, and grounded, we slow down the aging process by decreasing stress. These practices are so simple and easy to have as part of our daily life. We actually feel and look younger."

- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

1. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. When we re-learn to breath diaphragmatically, we move from the flight-fight-freeze mode, to rest, restore, relaxation mode from where we want and need to live.

2. Daily Guided Practices: 11 minutes in the morning and in the evening, as anchors of your daily Ayurveda routine.

"Choose a couple of practices from the routines that provide you with the greatest support. Perform them while applying our two minute meditation technique and your mundane tasks, just transformed into a mellifluous meditation. This is meditation applied to daily life." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

Certain pranayama practices (breathwork) can support balanced Pitta dosha and cool the body and mind. It is best to be guided individually by an experienced teacher, click here to explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today.

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“I have suffered from chronic headaches and migraines for as long as I can remember. I had talked to multiple PCPs and specialists about these issues, had been prescribed a variety of medications that never really fixed the issue.

Veena promptly put together a plan of action. Right away I noticed a significant decrease in the number of headaches I was getting, and when I did get them, they were much less severe than they had been in the past.

This is certainly the headache treatment plan that I have seen the biggest benefit from, and I plan to continue my new regimen moving forward.

I am very thankful for Veena's knowledge and advice and would not hesitate to recommend her services to friends and family alike.” -Adrienne Sobering, Albuquerque, New Mexico


“I was dreading and anticipating hating a weeklong outside summer event. I’ve always hated summer. Hate being in the heat. Hate being in the sun. I am SO surprised! I enjoyed being there, being outside. I tolerated the high heat well and enjoyed the whole week. I was and am in a good mood. I was not affected by the heat and sun. And, for the first time in 46 years, I didn’t get sunburnt—I tanned!” -- A.D., USA

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Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way

We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.

Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.

Saumya Ayurveda provides concierge, top-notch, award-winning Ayurveda care. We strive to keep it simple, so you can focus on you! Opt for virtual consultations and we'll come to you.

Our practice model is client focused, we’re not in the retail herb business. We’ll guide you where to order herbs directly online. Our top-shelf Ayurveda oils and herbalized ghees are the best in the land and we’ll ship your care package right to your doorstep.

Our effective multi-appointment consultation packages provide you with experienced Ayurveda care, enthusiastic guidance, and inspiring support.

Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today. Psst! Our clients say it best – so read and watch our client's stories.

Veena at Saumya Ayurveda

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.

She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.

Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.

These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.

She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.

An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.

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