The energy of autumn in your diet
If you walk in the fall, you will see the seeds ripen and the leaves fall. Nature dies and with that, she forms a new beginning in a seed. The seasons give us what we need, not only in impressions but also in edible products.
When we include seeds (grains and nuts) in our diet, the body develops forces that are very similar to the forces that formed the seed. For example, they give us a basis for developing inner activity. In the fall we need more warming food; autumn vegetables and autumn fruits (drinks with berries) are suitable for this. In this way we prepare for the coming cold.
The Energy of the Seasons in Ayurveda: Doshas
In Ayurveda, the different seasons, the phases of the day, the cycles in life, and body types are divided into three doshas. The doshas are the three vital energies pertaining to the specific combinations of these five elements. Those combinations are known as vata , pitta and kapha . The doshas create and govern many levels in the body, from the physical to the psychic.
The doshas and the seasons
A dosha naturally becomes stronger in season with the same properties. Keep this in mind in your food choices, especially in the season that boosts your dominant dosha. In winter you eat warmer and heavier food than in summer, unless your constitution or the balance of your doshas demands something different. In general, salads are more appropriate in summer, to cool pitta, while ginger tea is more appropriate in winter, to warm vata and kapha.
The best fall food
Nutritious soups and stews prepared with a lot of fat and root vegetables will nourish, hydrate and ground you this season
Vata is associated with the seasons in which change and movement are dominant, especially autumn – the season of high winds, settling cold and rain. The vata time of life is old age, and like its corresponding time of year – autumn and winter – it is cold, light and dry, nourishing soups and stews prepared with a lot of fat and root vegetables will nourish, hydrate and ground in this season.
These are the seasonal rules for the vata (autumn) time according to Ayurveda:
- We recommend using warm food and drinks, which are heavier and oilier than during the rest of the year.
- Make sure your food is well cooked and easy to digest.
- Drink plenty of hot drinks (warm water or vata tea is best).
- Eat more foods with a sweet, sour, or salty taste.
- Eat fewer foods with a bitter, astringent, or pungent taste.
- Avoid dry or uncooked foods, salads, and raw fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t worry if your appetite increases. This is a natural tendency in winter, which helps to calm the vata dosha. However, make sure you don’t eat more than you can easily digest.
- Eat fresh produce, preferably grown on-site (applies to all seasons).
- Avoid foods that are out of season locally, eg fewer tomatoes or lettuce in winter, fewer grains in summer, no fruits shipped half-ripe from other locations, and so on.
Do you want to apply these insights right away? Try this delicious (and healthy!) warm apple crumble or warming pumpkin-ginger soup (with anti-inflammatory properties) to get the taste of fall.