In Ayurveda, the autumn season is marked by vata dosha, the element of air and ether. After a hot summer characterized by the predominance of pitta (fire and water), comes a season that promotes in us all that is cool, light, dry and mobile.
To balance these tendencies, it is advisable to eat a warmer, more nutritious, fatty diet rich in protein and fat, use stimulating spices and indulge in sweet, sour and salty flavours. Dairy products (ideally organic) and most nuts and seeds are also suitable. Avoid eating raw vegetables, cold and frozen foods and bitter, hot and astringent tastes. Light and cool vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, sprouts, leaf salads and dried fruit are not recommended. From fruits: cooked apples, plums, bananas, grapes, dates, figs are suitable. From vegetables: carrots, beets, onions, pumpkin, sweet potatoes. Olive, almond, sesame and ghee oils are suitable. From spices: prefer cardamom, cinnamon, mustard seed, basil, black pepper, ginger, turmeric and nutmeg.
For immunity and energy support, Ayurveda recommends taking Chyawanprash, a traditional herbal elixir, and the Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha to support the nervous system, calm the mind and improve sleep.
At the same time, each person is born with a unique combination of these three basic doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) which is why for everyone is good something different. To find out which dosha predominates in you, you can take an indicative dosha test and follow more detailed recommendations according to the resulting individual dosha ratio:
If you have a predominant VATA dosha, then especially in autumn the dry and cool principle of Vata needs to be balanced. Therefore, keep your body warm, oil the body thoroughly, eat an oily diet and use warming spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper and others. You will also benefit from ripe bananas, oranges, grapefruit, plums, carrots, pumpkin, asparagus, brown rice, quinoa, beans, nut butters, almonds, cashews, walnuts, sesame and sunflower seeds, and grounding dairy foods like butter, cheese, yogurt, cream, cottage cheese and ghee.
If you're predominantly a PITTA type, then the cooler weather of autumn will be a relief and an opportunity to ease the element of fire in your system. Pears and apples, avocados, coconut, dates, figs, cucumbers, zucchini, mung beans, tofu, soft cheeses, milk or yogurt are all helpful for this. Spices include fennel, cumin, coriander, turmeric or cardamom.
- With the predominance of KAPHA dosha, which is primarily earthy and moist, you will be able to take advantage of the dry, light and moving aspect of autumn to balance the kapha. It is therefore good to be cautious about consuming a fattier, earthier diet, which is recommended for vata or pitta types, as it has an undesirable grounding effect on kapha. Suitable foods are apricots, peaches, asparagus, beetroot, cooked carrots, pulses, basmati rice, corn, green beans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. You can also still allow yourself some raw vegetables and indulge in plenty of stimulating spices, which can be hot.