There is a great emphasis on diet according to seasonal changes in Ayurveda. The year is divided into six seasons depending on the changes in climate. Different diets and lifestyles are mentioned in Ayurveda according to different seasons. This system is called Ritucharya. Ritu means season and charya means regimen.
Winter season is known as Sisira ritu. In this season, the strength and appetite of the individual is at peak and it is considered as the best season for building strength and immunity.
Foods to Keep You Warm in Winter
It is advised to take more sweet and sour foods to supply more energy to the body and at the same time it is also advised to indulge in body exercises as well.
Chyawanprash is an herbal jam that protects us from cold and cough during winter season by building the body tissues. It is a nutritional supplement and rejuvenates the body. It provides rejuvenation to all the seven dhatus (tissues) of the body. It fulfils the nutritional needs of the individual. The main component of Chyawanprash is the most Vitamin – C rich fruit, amla (Indian gooseberry). The other components are 30 Ayurvedic herbs that are beneficial in improving the body’s defence mechanism to fight against external stimuli.
Soups are an easy way to incorporate all the dietary elements which are necessary in winter season. They keep the body warm. Fresh seasonal vegetables, herbs, grains, spices etc. can be used to make healthy and delicious soup. They keep the immune system strong. Soups are rich in fiber, vitamins, magnesium, iron and potassium. Home made fresh soups should be preferred.
3. Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
It is ideal to consume seasonal fruits and vegetables as they contain all the nutrients and vitamins that our body needs in that particular season. They are loaded with nutrients. Oranges and amla that are available in winters are the rich sources of Vitamin C. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek leaves, mustard leaves, carrots, beetroots, spring onions, radish, pumpkin etc. are the rich sources of anti-oxidants and Vitamin A. seasonal fruits and vegetables are affordable as well.
Honey is one of the nature’s best gift to the mankind. It is one of the finest sources of heat and energy. Honey applied externally is considered useful in the treatment of sores and wounds. Sore throat, respiratory tract infections and cough are the common problems in winters. Taking honey is the best way to soothe sore throat as it acts as a demulcent agent. It produces a soothing effect on the inflamed mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract.
There are many kitchen spices that come to aid to keep you warm and healthy in winters. Spices such as black pepper, cloves, black cardamom etc. are warm in nature and loaded with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds that shield us from cold. Black cardamom is known to alleviate cold and cough and other respiratory problems. Another spice known as cinnamon is rich in anti-oxidant polyphenols and proanthocyanidins that boost the immunity naturally. Black pepper is a natural source of Vitamin C, anti-oxidants and flavonoids. It has a healing effect on throat and do wonders in improving immunity.
6. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is a powerful herb popularly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been traditionally used to help with insomnia, to improve overall vitality, as adaptogen etc. It is classified as Rasayana. In winters, ashwagandha acts as a boon as it boosts immunity, useful in joint pain, improves muscle strength etc. The external application of roots of ashwagandha in the form of oil is useful in relieving pain and inflammation.
7. Turmeric Milk
Turmeric milk is commonly known as Golden Milk. It is an energy drink that has been a winter staple since centuries. Turmeric has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-allergic properties. A warm of glass milk with a half teaspoon of turmeric helps in getting rid of seasonal infections and bolster the immune system as well. It also helps in body and joint pains, rheumatoid arthritis, backaches etc.
Most Important Measures to Be Followed During Winter Season
- Adequate exercise, rest and sleep are important.
- Oil massage with sesame oil or almond oil is also recommended.
- Cold beverages, ice-creams etc. should be avoided.
This article is not a substitute to the standard Medical Diagnosis or personalized Ayurvedic Treatment! It is intended only for Information!
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