Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Food recommendations in Winter

Winter occurs when the Earth’s Northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun. It is the perfect season to spend time with your close ones. One can enjoy the serenity of nature, the beauty of snowfall, and the comfort of coziness by building a fireplace when it’s cold outside. In winter, Kapha Dosha is dominant and it gets aggravated easily. The Vata Dosha is also at its peak in the body because of the accumulation of Vata in the Autumn.

Prishek (Medicated hot water bath) and Abhyanga (massage with warm oils) should be performed in winter to eliminate aggravated Vata Dosha. Oils having Ushna Veerya (Hot potency) such as Almond Oil, Sesame Oil, or Avocado Oil should be used for Abhyanga in this season. Performing Abhyanga regularly in winters will alleviate exhaustion and will make you feel more active.

Hair fall, dry hairs, and sinusitis are common problems in winter due to aggravation of Vata. Shiroabhyanga (Oil massage in head) is recommended in winters to avoid such problems. Head should be washed with warm water after massage.

During winters, there is a decrease in the strength of individuals. Therefore, intense physical exertion should be avoided. Tikta rasa (bitter taste) is dominant in the surroundings. Cold and light foods should be strongly avoided. In this season, foods having predominant Amla Rasa (sour taste) are preferred.

Vata-Kapha pacifying fruits and vegetables such as Apples, Pears, Cabbages, Mushrooms, Celery, Parsnips, Spring Onions (steamed), and Broccoli should be consumed. All root vegetables such as Black Salsify, Carrots, Onions, Beetroots, Leeks, are hot in potency and can be consumed in winter. Oats are also helpful in balancing Vata-Kapha Dosha. Fatty milk products such as butter and cheese are to be avoided in this season, but one can consume the Ghee (clarified butter). Scrambled eggs and chickens can be consumed; however, fried eggs should be avoided.

One may also take a sip of lukewarm water from time to time to keep themselves warm and cozy when it’s freezing cold outside.

Thus, one must consume Vata-Kapha pacifying foods and perform Vata pacifying massages (Abhyanga) to combat the aggravated Vata dosha and to prevent the aggravation of Kapha dosha. Winter can be the most fruitful season for the rejuvenation and nourishment of body tissues, if proper seasonal regimen is followed.

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