As we know, ayurveda works with the five elements. Once we become more aware, we can see how earth, water, fire, air & ether manifest in everything. An overt example of this is the seasons. Each season is associated with a dosha (which is really just a combination of elements). While we think of having four seasons, for simplification purposes we will break it down into three.
Let’s consider which eating patterns & specific foods will be most balancing for each season, as it is associated with a dosha.
Fall/Winter\\VATA: Heavy & warm foods; high protein; high fat;
FAVOR: Sour & salty tastes; Ghee
ENJOY: Soups, sweets, squash, nuts & seeds, raw honey, warm spiced milk, oatmeal
AVOID: Raw food
Spring\\KAPHA: Detoxifying & rejuvenating foods;
FAVOR: Hot spices – ginger, black pepper, cayenne
ENJOY: Leafy greens, sprouts, radish spinach, okra, garlic, light fruits & berries, yellow split peas, red lentils, garbanzos, barley
AVOID: Dairy, cold beverages, excessive use of oil; heavy, sweet & sour foods
Summer\\PITTA: Cooling & energizing foods; high carbohydrate;
FAVOR: Sweet & juicy foods
ENJOY: Raw or lightly cooked vegetables, melons, plums, prunes, lime, coconut, mint, cilantro, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumber, basmati
AVOID: Sour fruits, beets, carrots, garlic, onion, chili, tomato, sour cream
These are general guidelines, the challenge is to take this wisdom and apply it to your individual experience. When considering a more seasonal diet, it is also important to maintain awareness of your dominant dosha – balancing foods that suit both your natural constitution and the present season. If this list isn’t quite appropriate for your geographical climate, go to you local farmer’s market and see what is available!
The Ayurveda Encyclopedia (pg. 330)
by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies (pg.64)
By Dr. Vasant Lad
Dr. John Douillard’s Life Spa: http://lifespa.com/3seasondietchallenge/