Ayurvedic Winter Guide: Staying Fit in the Season of Cold
As the chill of winter descends, it’s time to embrace the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda to navigate this season of change and maintain optimal health. Ayurveda, the holistic Indian system of medicine, offers a wealth of insights into how to harmonize your body and mind with the changing rhythms of nature.
- Favour sweet, sour and salty tastes.
- Include plenty of fresh vegetables and grains in your diet. Cook them well, with oil and be sure they are warm.
- Add spices such as black pepper, ginger, cloves, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon and cumin to your diet.
- Balance your vata and counter the dryness of winter by including a bit of ghee in your diet.
- Some recommended diets are meat and soups with fat, fruit wines, cow milk and its products, sugarcane and its products and sesame oil.
- Eat the largest main meal of the day at lunchtime when the sun is highest in the sky and therefore the internal digestive fire is the strongest.
- Avoid pungent, bitter and astringent food.
- Avoid cold and aerated drinks.
- Avoid light food.
- Combat the dryness of your skin by having a warm sesame oil massage followed by a hot water bath.
- Drinking hot water is recommended.
- Avoid direct exposure to wind.
- Practice heating yoga poses such as sun salutations to charge up the day.
Aparna K. BAMS, MD, PhD
Aparna is one of the few specialists worldwide with a PhD in Ayurveda. Born into an Ayurvedic family which operates a traditional Ayurvedic Panchakarma hospital in Kerala, India, she grew up observing her father, the renowned Dr Padmanabhan.