Winter is a time of eating more, sleeping longer, and moving less. This makes us feel guilty. The best strategy, however, is to just relax and enjoy. According to Ayurveda, it is the body\’s way to keep itself warm. Of course, it doesn’t mean endorsing an unhealthy lifestyle!
Nature in winter provides the antidote for cold and dryness in the foods and are abundant this time of year. Early winter is the season of Vata (air) dosha. This means qualities like dryness, lightness, chill is increasing in nature. Hence you want to eat more nuts, seeds, grains, soups, stews, higher protein, higher fat foods that are denser.
Ayurveda divides the winter season as early winter (Hemant) and late winter (Shishir). This is the season of kapha when the cold and heavy weather slows the pace of life. A balanced kapha is responsible for lubrication of joints, softness of the skin and immunity. However, excess of this dosha leads to dullness, weight gain, mucus-related illnesses and negative emotions.
Another aspect of winter is that the dry, cold weather aggravates vata which leads to joint pain, indigestion, and other issues. Ayurvedic winter diet aims to pacify both vata and kapha in winters.
Foods that will help you warm up for winter and reconnect with the circadian cycles of nature.
1. \”Underground\” veggies All the squashes, beets, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes that grow underground all summer are heavy and denser, which make them ideal for vata season
2. More fat Higher-fat diet provides nutrients you need to repair, rebuild, and rejuvenate before nature\’s new year, come spring. Also, try cooking with more olive oil, coconut oil, butter, and ghee
3.More protein If you\’re not a vegetarian, it\’s good to eat a little bit more animal meat. This helps you meet your requirements for more protein in winter. You could also meet this requirement with nuts, seeds, Spirulina, yogurt, and eggs.
4. Fermented foods Fermented food supports gut microbial immunity during the winter. Try eating more fermented cheese, yogurt, and sauerkraut.
5. More fiber Fiber-rich foods are abundant in the fall and winter to support better intestinal health. Fiber is purgative, which means it helps you go to the bathroom. Ayurveda sees better elimination, or looser stools, as the body\’s way of getting rid of the heat that accumulates at the end of summer. You can get your fiber from wheat, seeds, most grains, rye, and rice.
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