October - An Ayurvedic Perspective
Food Is Medicine
Ayurveda's dietary guidelines for October are nurturing both physically and emotionally. Warm, oily, heavy comfort foods build immunity (ojas) and prepare the body's reserves for winter while calming anxieties and soothing loneliness. Sweet taste is nourishing, grounding and helps you build strength. The salty taste will keep you moisturized and hydrated.
Add a squeeze of lemon or a splash of vinegar on top of your meals to bring in the juiciness of the sour taste. A dash of sour taste keeps the palate moist and digestion strong.
Eat your food warm - this means trading your salad in for a cozy soup, your apples for warm applesauce. Butternut squash, eggs, ghee (clarified butter), warm dairy, winter squash, root vegetables, nuts, seeds, bone broth and beef provide the nourishment your body needs to build a layer of protective, insulating fat before winter. Add generous amounts of good quality oils like ghee and coconut oil to your dishes.
Spicy foods may feel warm as you eat them, but they will dilate blood vessels in the skin, which could leave you vulnerable to catching a cold. Keep your heat in by avoiding especially spicy foods in fall, especially cayenne pepper and chilis. Otherwise, spices are okay as long as they don't make you sweat. Moderate use of spices like salt, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, garlic, onion and thyme are actually helpful to digest the heavier foods of fall, as long as you are wearing warm clothing to protect your skin.
Are you curious about the science of Ayurveda? Consider a consultation and learn more.