Ayurvedic health tips for autumn

October 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Health


Our ancestors knew that autumn and winter were the seasons of hibernation and restoration, something that many animals do instinctively, and yet we keep up the same pace year round. This does not allow us time to slow down and recharge. In the Ayurvedic system from India, autumn is the time to deal with ‘Kapha’ accumulation, which is all the negative influences on our vitality, by supporting our immune system through this transition.

During the autumn and winter months it is best to avoid eating late, as the body will naturally slow down its digestion – something that is ‘scientifically’ proved in my next item. It is also advisable to stay clear of deep fried foods and cold food and drinks and if you want to aid your digestion and feel less lethargic then you also need to eat less dairy, cheese, red meat, shell fish and mushrooms.

So what should you be eating? Your body will benefit from eating warm cooked food during the cold winter months, and it is more important than ever not to skip meals and stay away from canned or processed foods that contain additives and chemical preservatives. Eat pure, fresh foods and cook with spices, so go for soups made with mung bean, adzuki beans, pumpkin, carrot, ginger and chicken. To keep your skin lovely and untouched by those sharp winds, add soaked and blanched almonds and walnuts to your morning muesli or porridge.

Good energising and digestive herbs and spices to use in autumn are ginger, mustard, cumin seeds, cardamom, black pepper, basil, turmeric and sesame seeds. Sweeten your tea (herbal for preference) with honey and make sure you are getting enough Vitamin C, and a good source of antioxidants as they all boost your immune system.

Autumn treats
Your body will thank you if you put it in the hands of a good massage therapist to help relieve your muscles and joints from tension caused by colder weather. If you are feeling really indulgent then go for a hot stone massage which brings heat in to the muscle tissue and so improves your circulation. In the interests of economy – your own and the global pinch – you can also massage your body with sesame or almond oil before taking a bath and that will keep your body warm and energised.