How to balance your health this fall according to Ayurveda
It’s getting colder and Starbucks PSL is out. Trader Joe’s has their shelves loaded with a pumpkin spice flavor, you know it: Fall is here! Besides the beautiful colors of nature and sweater weather, fall brings a variety of super healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables you should take advance of while they are in season. It’s not only time to change your wardrobe with warmer clothes, it’s also time to change your fridge and pantry with delicious and cold fighting foods that will keep you warm and healthy.
Why is it so important to eat seasonally, after all? In Ayurveda, ancient Indian tradition of whole-body medicine, fall is associated with Vata Dosha because they share the same characteristics: cool, dry, rough, windy. Balancing your Vata also means to balance your health and immune system and get yourself ready for the winter.
Why seasonal routine is essential?
Ayurveda considers we should adapt our habits and routine specific to every season. Eating seasonally is the best way to get ourselves ready for cold weather. Ayurvedic wisdom claims that we must eat locally and seasonally warming foods to keep our health and body in balance during fall and winter. In the same way as smoothies and salads were perfect for a hot summer day to cool your body, so fall foods are ideal to help your metabolism work harder so you can stay warm and healthy.
Despite Ayurvedic wisdom, there are dozens other ones for eating seasonally. Here are the most important ones:
Better taste, cheaper prices.
When you buy foods that are in season, everything will be fresh because there is plenty of supply of everything. Producers don’t have any reason to import fresh fruits and vegetables from overseas if they’re also growing here too. Seasonal foods are always cheaper as import is not needed.
More vitamins, more benefits.
It’s a fact: the longer the fruits and vegetables stay on the shelf, the more vitamins and quality they lose. This is another reason to eat seasonally: food is picked up and goes straight to the store; this doesn’t apply for products that come from import and spent days in trucks to be delivered. Take advantage of fresh food which are abundant in vitamins and minerals and eat as many as you can when it’s their time.
Eating seasonally means less out of season produce and import, which also means more support for local farming in your area. So, less transportation, less refrigeration, less import, less irradiation of produce, less mass-consuming. Good for your body, good for our planet, good for your local farmers.
Support your body’s natural needs
As seasons change, our body needs change too. For example, you cannot stay warm in the winter if you eat tropical summer fruits, because your body needs are simply different. Seasonal fruits and vegetables fulfill all your body needs, as Mother Nature let them on this planet. As the nature arranged everything for us, we shall just listen to it and seasonally foods are like a natural prescription from nature to us to stay healthy and strong.
BEST FALL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
Now you know why eating seasonally is best for optimal health, now let’s see what are your must-eat foods this fall.
This one needs no introduction. Fall is pumpkin season and we all know. Grab your best pumpkin recipe, turn on your ovens, and let’s spice this autumn already!
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These warming potatoes are not only delicious but also simply to make and rich in vitamin A and C. Eat them with one of your main meal or as a dessert with butter and cinnamon on top.
Have you ever noticed how your body get warms instantly when you eat chili peppers? Because capsaicin, a substance found in chili peppers is speeding up your metabolism and warming your body.
Beets and other root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, are essential in cold seasons and you can always use them for your soups to add more flavor and a creamy texture.
If you haven’t tried this one, it’s a must! Try to steam it in a hot pan with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and it will be ready within minutes.
One of the most delicious spices, cinnamon works best in chai latte, hot tea, pumpkin pies, porridge, sweet potatoes … well, this one goes pretty much with everything, warms your body and makes everything tastier. Don’t forget to include it in your daily drinks.
Spices are highly important in Ayurveda and turmeric is known to fight inflammation, colds and boost your immune system. You can use it daily by adding it on your veggies or make turmeric latte.
This one is one of your immune system’s best friends. When you feel a little cold or your energy is low, add squeezed ginger in your drinks to fight infections, inflammations, colds and flu.
Butter, ghee, nuts, seeds
Fats are more important during cold seasons than ever, because they provide good fuel for your metabolism to keep you warm. They are also nourishing because fats have more calories than carbs and proteins and according to Ayurveda adding some healthy pounds during winter is considered healthy as fats protects your body from cold weather.
As you may see, it is essential to balance your body according to the Doshas for optimal health, good mood, strong mind and soul. Each season is different as our body has different needs specific to every season. The nature left all good things as we need them: cooling watery fruits for summer to cool us off and warming foods for fall and winter to keep us warm and healthy. All we need to do is to listen to our body, listen to Mother Nature and live according to its laws.
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