Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Best Veggies To Eat In Winter & Why In Ayurveda

Yes, all vegetables are healthy to eat, and yes, it is good to eat them all year long.  However, in Ayurveda certain foods are better suited to certain body types based on a food's taste (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent) and how it interacts with your body or illness type.  Additionally, Ayurveda recommends eating according to season.  Each season corresponds to one of the body types and the food favored for the body type is ideally incorporated into each person's diet in a way that honors their body type.  This type of seasonal eating makes for healthy digestion.  Food that is in rhythm with the season is easier to digest, and thus, assimilate into the body for optimal nutrition. 

Season changing is a natural cycle and is a vehicle for growth and renewal for vegetation, animals and people.  Food that is eaten in the season that it is grown has more vitamins and minerals than it does at other times.  Ayurveda recognizes this cycle because living in harmony with nature is being in sync with how the earth and its systems were created.  It is the fast track to feeling and being healthy.

These seven vegetables taste best and sweetest (sweet is a taste that pacifies vata and its corresponding season of winter) in winter.  When the temperature drops, the following vegetables break down their stores of energy into sugar which affects the cellular structure of the plant and allows it to protect itself from the cold. 

The seven vegetables which are the natural winter harvest are:

  1. kale
  2. brussels sprouts
  3. kohlrabi
  4. cabbage
  5. mustard greens
  6. parsnips
  7. collard greens
All of these vegetables can be eaten both raw and cooked.  A simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper are fabulous.  You can make the dressing a little fancier with dijon mustard and a small amount of agave syrup.  Throw in some pomegranate seeds, nuts, and chopped scallions and it is delicious.  You can even use all of the vegetables sliced very thin to make a beautiful combination.

Stay healthy & well,

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