What’s Hot for the Cool Season?

Winter is here in full swing and we have started tucking into rich food. This is the time when you can eat a lot of rich food comfortably! But winter is also the time when people face health problems such as wheezing and asthma, joint pains and increase in cholesterol levels.

According to Ayurveda, the seasons are divided into vat (windy), pitt (hot like summer) and kaph (cold like winter). Winter is the time of increased kaph – which is heaviness, cold, thickening of the mucus, weight gain, blocked sinuses, exacerbation or swelling in the joints, difficult in breathing or wheezing and slower blood circulation.

Similarly, people are divided into body types: vat (slim and restless), pitt (stocky and aggressive) and kaph (overweight and philosophical). This also matches the genetic classification of ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs.

Food And Body Type
The unique aspect of Ayurveda is that foods are also divided into vat (gas causing foods), pitt (acid and hear producing foods) and kaph (oily and cold or phlegm producing foods). This classification helps to understand the complex correlation between the weather, human bodies and foods. This in fact can answer the question why some people get affected by eating rich foods and many other happily gorge on such foods and never get wheezing.

Depending upon the constitution, if one consumes foods, which are compatible, and then it would greatly improve the health in the cold winter.

Kaph people who already have a tendency towards increasing weight, feeling cold, increasing cholesterol, wheezing, and sinuses getting blocked, should eat pitt (heat) and vat (air) dominates foods. These foods are ginger (heat), which can be consumed in tea, soups, vegetable juice; garlic, which can be consumed as such or in food and soups.

All chilies – green and red – are good for people prone to phlegm. Carrot and beetroot are also heat-generating foods.

Kaph people should cut down or avoid too much of cream, cheese, butter, white rice, cold drinks, ice creams, milk and curd.

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For Meat Lovers
All non-vegetarian food comes under heat generating foods but it also has elements of mucus-increasing quality and therefore should not be combined with rich substances like butter, rice or wheat.

People of pitt constitution already have a warm constitution; therefore they feel most comfortable in winters and do not have to control too much. However, they must avoid an excess of fried foods and too much of red meat, as these increase the cholesterol, which according to Ayurveda, is a kaph-pitt disease. Pitt people should eat sprouts in winters.

Vat people face problems like joint pains, high uric acid, dry skin, dry hair and constipation. In winter, vat people should eat foods, which increase heat in the body and avoid food, which produces a lot of wind.

The recommended foods for them include; mustard oil, flaxseed oil and flaxseeds, brown rice, oat porridge, all vegetable soups, all cereals, warm temperature foods, tea/coffees. They should eat frequent small meals.

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