Eating Along With The Cycles of Nature
The most simple, basic and never followed the wisdom of nature is exercising the choice of food and lifestyle based on the changing rhythms of seasons. The juncture of every season brings along with it certain diseases and imbalances during its transition from one season to another. Ayurveda recommends, making right food choices based on the dominant dosha during that cycle. These doshas are responsible for the physical and emotional attributes in the human body. The combinations of these doshas within an individual determine the characteristics of that individual. Any imbalances in these doshas cause diseases. Just as every person is dominated by a dosha, every season is also dominated by a dosha. Therefore, it is very important to tune ourselves to the rhythms of nature by following season specific diet and activities in order to avoid imbalances. This goes a very long way in maintaining your body’s balance and harmony with nature.
Different doshas are dominant in different seasons. Vata is characteristic of fall and early winter (Mid July- Mid November). Falling temperatures demand the need for nourishing Ojas (Sanskrit word meaning vigor or strength) developing food. Therefore, it’s that time of the year when you need to keep yourself warm and binge on warm, well-cooked, organic, fresh foods. Some of the nourishing foods include lemons, ghee, sweet potatoes, apples (if you live in regions that produce apples locally) and almonds. Sip on plenty of warm water every half hour to eliminate impurities from the tissues.
Kapha characterizes late winters and early spring (Mid Nov- Mid March). Keep yourself warm by favoring detoxifying food with hot spices during this season. Spices like cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and cardamom help tackle the runny noses and sore throats that develop due to the cold temperatures. Go easy on heavy, fried, sweet and salty food. Do take some time to indulge in some sort of physical activity in order to keep oneself active.
Pitta signifies the onset of summers. The bright sunny weather makes you feel more energetic. However,the soaring temperature also kills your appetite. Beat the summer heat by consuming juicy, organic and cooling Pitta pacifying food. Include fresh seasonal fruits, rice, pulses and milk products in your diet. Water is the best for cooling Pitta. Hence, do not forget to keep yourself well hydrated.
The chart below gives a rough guideline diet for different seasons. Please consult a good Ayurvedic practitioner before making any major changes to your diet.