Do you have the instinct to change your diet as the seasons shift?
Figuring out what you should eat each season is a multifaceted and often complex issue that can change from person to person.However, ayurveda offers a key piece of wisdom that can steer anyone towards the best food for his or her body in any environment:
Like increases like and opposites balance.
For example, drink a cold drink on a cold day and your body gets REALLY cold. On the other hand, if you opt for a warm drink on a cold day, your body tends to warm up. (Opposites balance.)
Now that we’re just entering the fall season, the weather is getting cooler and you’ll notice that life has more airy, dry, and mobile qualities to it. According to basic ayurvedic wisdom, to feel balanced, we’ll need to provide ourselves with opposite qualities such as grounding, nourishment and warmth.
One way to do this is by adding spices to your meal. Here are nine healing spices that are perfect for fall, plus a few recipes to help you get started.
1. Fresh Ginger
Ginger breaks up congestion, improves circulation and burns toxins. Add fresh ginger to juices, teas, and pretty much any vegetable dish.
Cumin supports healthy blood sugar levels and is an antioxidant. It has a relaxing effect. Use it in chutneys, salad dressings, herbals teas, curry dishes and sprinkled over foods.
Cinnamon is an antioxidant that supports healthy blood sugar levels. Add cinnamon to flavor desserts, teas and savory Indian curry dishes. It can also be used for pickling.
Turmeric invigorates the blood and stimulates blood formation. A small dose will clean the liver and blood. Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce arthritis and inflammation, alleviate pain, and strengthen joints and tendons. Use turmeric in broths, teas, curry dishes and to spice up vegetables.
Rosemary is an antioxidant and has anti-cancer properties. Rosemary has a warming and relaxing effect. It can help cure headaches and improve memory. Add it to teas, soups and tomato-based dishes.
Nutmeg helps reduce pain and inflammation. It also help clears the respiratory passage and normalizes the digestive system. Sprinkle it over soups and warm drinks or mix it into teas and stews.
Cardamom clears food cravings and refreshes the palate. It destroys mucous in the stomach and upper GI tract. Use in after-dinner teas, soups and curries.
Garlic helps lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, control triglycerides, and thin the blood, reducing clotting in high-risk heart patients. It also supports general immune function, has a natural antibacterial and antifungal action, acts as an antiseptic, fights infection and contains chemicals that help to prevent cancer. It’s great in pretty much anything you cook!
Saffron is a nourishing purifier that invigorates and moves the blood while cooling it. Saffron breaks up blood clots and clears liver stagnation. It is said to improve eyesight and enhance digestion. Use it in desserts, curries, and paella.
Some recipes to get you started….
(original recipe from Eat-Taste-Heal)
2 apples, peeled, cored, sliced
4 dried apricots soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
4 dates, preferably Medjool, pitted and cut in half
2 cups filtered water
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
With a ladle, transfer about a third of the contents, including the liquid, to a blender or a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Blend or process until pureed.
Stir the puree back into the pan. Serve warm.
Have fun incorporating spices!
It’s incredible to witness the healing powers of food on your body and mind.
by Funmilola Osinowo