Cold weather is nearing. As fall and winter approach your door, thoughts of cold, cough, flu and sniffles may worry you. Is the cold weather dangerous to your overall health? Not at all.
Especially when you protect yourself with a proper cold weather diet and lifestyle. The cold weather is a period when you have a strong digestion and anything you eat will be digested well. Once you have a proper diet and regimen during these cooler days, your natural immunity will increase and you won’t be susceptible to cold, cough and flu.
Ayurvedic Cold Weather Diet + Lifestyle
Is there an ideal diet for the cold weather? Yes!
- Eat vegetables of the season. Include greens like kale, broccoli, spinach, and amaranth greens.
- Avoid foods that are cold in temperature, especially those direct from the refrigerator.
- Use heating spices like cloves, fenugreek, turmeric, basil, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, saffron and thyme.
- Lunch should be the main meal of the day since digestive fire is strongest at that time. It should be hot and freshly cooked.
- Avoid canned and tinned foods.
- Keep on drinking warm water throughout the day.
- Avoid cooling fruits like melons.
- Favor ghee and oil in cooking.
- Foods that are sweet, salty and sour are recommended. But have sour and salty foods in moderation. An excess of these should be avoided. The pungent taste also needs to be avoided during winter and fall.
10. Because there is scarcity of vitamin D, due to lack of sunlight, foods rich in vitamin D are recommended – salmon, tuna, cod liver oil, fish, fortified cereals, oysters, fortified soy products, ham, dairy products, egg, mushroom, yogurt, cheese, orange juice, zucchini and tomato.
Ayurvedic Cold Weather Lifestyle
What is the ideal regimen for the cold weather?
- Oil massage is highly recommend. It improves blood circulation and prevents dry skin.
- Hot water bath is beneficial.
3. Before going to sleep, apply a bit of ghee or coconut oil to the dry parts of your body.
- Don’t stay awake at night, as it causes an increase in Vata dosha and can increase the dryness of the body.
Ayurvedic Cold Weather Remedies
Are there any home remedies for improving immunity during this period?
1. Golden Milk (Turmeric Milk)
1 cup of whole organic milk
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
A sprinkle of black pepper powder
A dab of ghee
Boil the milk. Add turmeric powder and pepper. Simmer the heat and stir for two minutes. Serve warm. This can be taken daily in fall and winter at bedtime.
2. Carom Water (Ajwain Water)
Carom seed water is used in cooking to flavor dishes and increase its medicinal properties. Its powerful flavor makes it a favorite spice in the kitchen during winter.
3. Cold Weather Skin Care
How can skin be taken care of during this season?
As odd as it may seem, winter is the best time to nourish the skin, Because of the rooksha (dry) property of Vata, skin is more receptive during this season.
Common skin issues in winter include dryness, cracking, dullness and roughness. Vata imbalance on skin becomes even stronger if the person is Vata prakriti, above 60 years of age or has a vata aggravating diet and regimen.
Ayurvedic Face Wash
1 Tbsp oats
1 Tbsp yogurt
pinch of turmeric powder
Soak the oats in the yogurt for at least two hours before using. Add a pinch of turmeric and gently wash the face with this paste. It can do wonders.
Pamper Your Skin In Winter
Avoid long hot showers and baths. Totally avoid bathing the head in hot water, for it is detrimental to the eyes and hair. Ayurveda stresses massaging the body with oil in cold weather. Sesame oil is ideal for body massage. Do massage on a daily basis at least 15 minutes before your bath. Mix olive oil into a little water and rub it all over your body after your bath. This gives the effect of a natural moisturizer.