Vata-Balancing Diet for Fall & Early Winter

In Ayurveda, fall & early winter are considered Vata seasons, because they are high in the air and space elements.  With this, comes the qualities of air and space: dry, cold, rough, mobile, light and subtle.

Some Vata-imbalance symptoms that may occur during these seasons due to an excess of the air and space elements are:

- Cold hands and feet
- Dry, hard constipation
- Dry skin, lips, hair
- Asthma
- Light-headedness, restless mind, dizziness, "spacey"
- Insomnia, difficulty staying asleep or falling back to sleep after waking in the night
- Fast walking, fast talking, chattering
- Anxiety, fear, depression

Many of these symptoms can be eliminated or avoided by following a Vata-balancing diet and lifestyle.    This includes:

- Foods that taste sweet, sour and salty
- Foods that are moist and heavy
- Foods that are warm (avoid raw foods during Vata season)
- Root vegetables
- Soups and stews
- Whole grains, especially rice, quinoa and oats
- Plenty of good oils, such as olive, coconut, avocado and walnut
- Plenty of protein, including meat, eggs and fish (avoid beans, as they contain an excess of the air and space elements)
- Warm or hot water
- Digestive teas such as fresh ginger, cumin, coriander, and chai teas
- Plenty of warming spices in food

Lifestyle is equally as important as diet in maintaining a health mind and body.  During Vata season, follow a regular routine, stay warm and keep activity and stimulation to a minimum.  Practice yoga and meditation to stay grounded and focused and spend time in a hot bath or sauna.

Not all people have to work hard during this season to stay balanced, but following a seasonal routine that changes throughout the year is beneficial for everyone.  Vata-types tend to have to work harder during this time to stay healthy. 

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