Ayurveda in Winter

First published in Being Magazine Winter 2015

Berries mix on rustic background

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest, traditional mind-body healing systems. It teaches us to harmonise our body and mind with the universal laws of nature through combining yoga, meditation and cleansing.

The importance of food as medicine is a key element of this practice and helps ensure our doshas are kept in balance. It is recommended to eat a colourful, flavourful diet for nourishment. A variety of foods helps guarantee the right quantities of proteins, carbohydrates, good fats, as well as vitamins and minerals.

Crusoeden Body advocates eating according to the seasons and your dosha. To boost immunity this winter eat a diet of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Nuts, seeds, grains, legumes/beans, dairy products and eggs can be eaten in moderation. By eating a good supply and variety of these foods, all vitamins and minerals will be provided, ensuring healthy immunity.

There are many benefits of a plant-based diet. For those who aren’t vegetarian, try to cut down on red meat and chicken and introduce more fish, as it is easier to digest. Always eat slowly and mindfully and eat in moderation – think about the stomach being satisfied when it is two thirds full.

To help you on your Ayurveda journey we have listed the foods you should and shouldn’t be eating regularly to help balance your dosha and pave the way for good health and immunity:

SATTVIC FOOD

These should be eaten the most and are usually easily digestible. These foods nourish the body, purify the mind and heal imbalance in the body by generating good health, energy, vitality, mental alertness, peace and strength. Foods include: vegetables, fruits, herbs; whole and unrefined grains; protein rich foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, some dairy; and natural sweeteners such as honey.

RAJASIC FOOD

These foods should be eaten occasionally and are foods that are not as easily digestible. They include refined sugar; very spicy, hot, salty, bitter, sour, pungent or sweet foods; hot spices such as red chili powder and black pepper; stimulants such as onion, garlic, tea, coffee, chocolate and wine.

TAMASIC FOOD

These foods should be eaten the least and are difficult to digest. They require more energy to digest and are known to be the least helpful to the mind and the body. These foods include those that are stale, overripe, deteriorated or processed such as tinned, frozen or preserved food products.

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