Vata is light, dry, cold, and mobile, so it can easily get aggravated in fall and winter, which are generally, cold, windy, dry, dark seasons. Aggravated Vata can be prone to imbalances that are light and subtle in nature including restlessness, influenza, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, SAD, gas, and constipation. Warming and grounding foods and lifestyle practices help to restore balance by introducing qualities opposite to vata. During the fall and winter, Ayurveda advises us to favour warm, moist, oily, heavy foods, and sweet, sour, and salty tastes. It is recommended to reduce cold, dry, and light foods, as well as too much bitter, pungent, and astringent taste.
The chart below contains dietary information about what foods are best for keeping your vata in balance this fall and winter. If you are wondering why certain foods are listed as ‘favor’ or ‘reduce’ consider the qualities of the foods and the qualities of vata. Vata is cold, dry, rough, and mobile as well as bitter, pungent and astringent so it will be pacified by heavy, sticky, moist, warming foods and spices that are sweet, sour, and salty in taste. There should be no need to completely cut out any foods listed as 'reduce' unless you have a strong aversion to them. All food is medicine, but too much of anything can be poison so it is important to eat everything in moderation. This list is meant simply to help you in deciding what foods to eat more of, and what to eat less of.
Curries, dahls, soups, stir-fries and stews are great options for vata season. As vata is dry and prone to constipation, make sure you are getting enough fibre, water, and good quality oils. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email. Eat well and try to relax while you eat by removing all distractions and focusing instead on the colours, textures and flavors of your food. Take a deep breath before eating to notice how you feel, then take a moment after your meal to see if you feel any different.