Spring Health: Ayurvedic Tips on Eating with the Seasons
by Riley Webster We’ve all heard the importance of eating according to the seasons, but did you know it can make a huge impact on how you feel and your overall health?
It can be confusing trying to understand which foods lead to optimal health, never mind trying to wrap your head around eating with the seasons or understanding your Ayurvedic dosha. By understanding a few Ayurveda basics, you can learn how to make the right food choices for your body at different times of the year.
Ayurveda originated in India and is the oldest known method of medicinal healing in existence. The philosophy of Ayurveda sees all life as related; it is humanity’s original intuitive relationship with the phenomena of the material universe. Ayurveda says that the five elements (earth, water, fire, wind and space) are the basic principles upon which the entire universe, including the human body, is built upon. Each and every one of us has these five elements within us, and when they are in balance we can achieve perfect health - both physically and mentally.
According to Ayurveda, there are three distinct seasons per year and each season has a prominence of certain elements:
- VATA SEASON: Late fall into early winter, with a prominence of wind and space
- KAPHA SEASON: Middle of winter into until early spring, with a prominence of earth and water.
- PITTA SEASON: Late spring into early fall with a prominence of fire and water.
Not only do seasons have a prominence of the elements, but so do our bodies. Like the seasons of the year, we see Vata, Pitta and Kapha at play in our bodies. The combinations of elements are called ‘doshas.’ Most of us have a predominance of one or two doshas in our body, and in the doshas’ normal, balanced state, they support a strong, healthy body, even-keeled emotions, a calm mind and abundant energy. Do you know your dosha? Take this quiz to find out.
We have just transitioned from Vata season to Kapha season, when the cold, dry winter days become longer and warmer. This is a season of growth; flowers begin to bloom, sap rises, snow melts and rain and mud cover the ground and nourish the soil. As a result, Kapha season has heavy, wet, dense and cool qualities. With these qualities in mind, we can begin to make subtle shifts in our diet to remain in a state of balance.
Here’s a few tips to keep you feeling your best this spring:
Eat more light, dry and raw foods.
Incorporate sprouted foods such as berries and spring greens since kapha season is a time for natural cleansing and renewal, and we can support the body’s natural cycle of detoxification.
Incorporate warming herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, licorice, ginger and garlic to balance the cooling qualities of spring.
Avoid heavy, oily foods will allow the body to adapt to the new season and will help flush out the denser foods eaten during Vata season.
By becoming familiar with the Ayurvedic seasons, and discovering our prominent dosha in the body, we can make diet shifts to reach our most natural state of being and feel our best.
Recommended Juices for Kapha Season:
- Supa Greens
- Detox Greens
- Crave U
- Classic Greens
Recommended Juices for Vata season:
- Creamy Cashew
- All U Need
- Mylk Chocolate
- Roots Remedy
- Ooh La Latte
Recommended Juices for Pitta season:
- Charcoal Lemonade
- Master Cleanse
- Lady Luxe
- Sweet Life
- Fight Club
Since Kapha season is when the body naturally rids itself of toxins, cleansing is an intuitive way to aligning yourself with the changing seasons. As the weather begins to get warmer, the body naturally wants to shed any stored weight to lighten up for the longer, hotter days. Cleansing allows your body to flush out excess Vata, Pitta and Kapha, as well as allow the digestive system to rest and reset. If you continue to eat heavy foods in Kapha season, it results in a sense of heaviness, internal clogging, sluggishness and water retention. Feel your best this season by eating light, dry, raw, warming and bitter foods to support your body’s natural renewal and detoxification cycle!