• Elise Rousse

Autumn Diet in Ayurveda for Balance & Harmony

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

Summer is over and autumn has officially started - which means that Vata season is upon us!

Autumn is a beautiful season of transition, from hot, sticky summer to the cold, dark winter. During such transition, it’s important to develop a diet and routine that help us keep our bodies and minds in tune with the environment, and maintain a sense of harmony and balance.

What does Ayurveda say about Autumn?

Ayurveda - the sister science of Yoga - teaches us how to live within the laws and rhythms of nature. What we see happening in our environment is also happening inside our minds and bodies, have you noticed that?

To make it short, within Ayurveda there are three doshas : VataPitta and Kapha. They each have their own makeup and are connected to different seasons. Ayurveda divides the year into three seasons, according to which dosha is most prevalent in each season.

- Vata is strongest in fall through early winter.

- Kapha season runs from late winter through spring

- Pitta rules the summer months

Vata represents the elements of air and space, and is characterised by irregularity, motion, and restlessness. During the Vata season, it’s therefore important to slow down. You must allow yourself to rest more often and you need to be gentle with yourself to get ready for the darker winter months ahead after the high energy of the warm summer we’ve had.

How to create balance and harmony during autumn?

In Autumn, the first and most important thing is to keep yourself grounded and keep a regular routine and schedule. Your diet is also a powerful way to soothe vata this autumn and it's not complicated at all, it simply requires a few tweaks here and there.

Here are the key qualities for your diet to pacify Vata:

  • warm

  • heavy

  • moistening

  • nourishing

  • grounding

In other words, you want to opt for substantive, oily, nourishing foods that are high in protein, high in healhty fat, brought to life with warming, stimulating spices, and served hot. These foods will help you maintain your internal reserves of moisture and keep you grounded through the vata season.

What to eat ?

1. Healthy fats

Yes, absolutely, more fat means body insulation!

  • olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts)

  • seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)

  • avocado

  • ghee (ghee is purified butter. It’s sort of an Ayurvedic superfood )

  • olive oil, sesame oil

2. Warm, cooked and grounding foods

  • cooked root vegetables (all the squashes, beets, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes)

  • stews & soups

  • basmati or brown or wild rice

  • dahl & kitchari

  • cooked apples (with cinnamon & ginger for example)

3. Spices & herbs

Ayurvedic spices give lots of flavour to your dishes, and they are also energetically warming and grounding. And for the record, they help with digestion, which Vata may struggle with.

  • turmeric - and always combined with black pepper

  • cumin

  • coriander

  • ginger

  • cinnamon

  • black pepper

  • cardamom

  • cloves

  • saffron

  • parsley

  • thyme

4. Hot, nourishing beverages

  • spiced teas such as ginger, liquorice, and cinnamon

  • turmeric milk: 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder + 1/2 teaspoon of cardamon powder in 250ml of warm milk.

What to avoid?

1. Raw foods and salads

They’re way to light and too difficult to digest in Vata season .

2. Cold and frozen foods

Remember, you want to warm up.

3. Bitter, astringent and pungent foods

You want to go for sweet, salty and sour tastes, which will are Vata-pacifying tastes.

4. Dry snack foods

Avoid potato crisps, popcorn, crackers, and dry, cold cereal.

Remember, a seasonal routine is an investment in your own health and vitality.

I wish you well, happy and healhty.

Much love.