Beautiful Health Wellness Notes
Ayurveda strongly emphasizes the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health and preventing and treating disease. Under Ayurvedic medicine, the belief is that disease results from an imbalance of the doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha), which Ayurveda believes are the life energies inside all of us.
Per Ayurveda, cooler weather is actually the best in season to improve immunity. The flu season, cold weather, weakened immune system, dry skin, and on top of that the inevitable cold season weight gain. According to Ayurveda, winter is one of the best times to strengthen immune system and lose or maintain weight.
Ayurveda identifies 3 different levels of immunity:
Hereditary (Sahaj) - the innate level of immunity which you are born with.
Seasonal (Kalaj) - fluctuating levels of immunity due to the change of seasons, different stages of life, and planetary cycles.
Established (Yuktikrit) - a balanced, permanent level of immunity that can be realized by following an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle.
Ayurveda focuses on strengthening the second type of immunity, which fluctuates with the seasons, age, and planetary cycles.
One reason that winter is a good season for building immunity is that the digestion is stronger in cold weather. Just as your home's heating system works harder in cold weather, so your inner digestive fire stokes up when the air turns chilly.
Fall and Winter are the seasons when nature is ready to nurture us. Due to the digestive level being very high, people feel hungrier. Food can be digested better in winter, thus nourishing the body more. It's more important that people eat immunity-boosting foods in winter, and that they follow the Ayurvedic daily routine. This should be your goal during winter - to nourish the mind and body by eating well and getting proper rest.
In general, immunity-boosting foods include those that are fresh, easy to digest, pure and wholesome. These include fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and Ghee (clarified butter). Foods that are hard to digest should be avoided if you want to increase your immunity. Commercially processed foods, as well as canned, frozen, and packaged foods are old and difficult to digest, so they weaken the immune system.
Foods that nourish and balance the body in the cold, dry season are the sweet, sour and salty tasting. It's best to eat less of the astringent, bitter, and pungent tasting foods in winter, although all six tastes should be included in your diet. Warm, home-cooked, unctuous foods are ideal, as long as they are not deep-fried and are cooked with easy-to-digest oils such as Ghee or olive oil. Avoid cold or ice-cold foods, as cold foods and drinks douse the digestive fire.
Cool Weather Grocery List
* Eat more foods that are Sweet, Sour, Salty / Heavy, Oily, Moist, Hot: soups, stews, steamed veggies, warm herbal teas.
* Eat less foods that are Pungent (Spicy), Bitter, Astringent / Light, Cold, Dry: salads, smoothies, cold foods and beverages, chips and salsa.