DR RAJ KUMAR SHARMA shares his Ayurveda mantra to good health: Let food be your medicine and not medicine be your food
HEMANT- RITU CHARYA (mid-Nov to mid-Jan)
Winter season which sets in mid November is at its peak up to mid January. In this season quantity of food can be increased to meet with raised calorie requirement of the body. Staple food for this season is wheat, multigrain and corn. Consumption of rice should be decreased in this season. In this season digestive fire is increased hence can digest heavy foods. Pulses – This is the only season in which Mah-ki-Daal can be taken but in moderate quantity. Other pulses to be consumed are moth, masoor, moong, arhar and lobia. Vegetable – Peas, cauliflower, bathua, spinach, potatoes, aarbi, lady finger, kachalu, bell pepper, carrots and turnips should be consumed in this season. Quantity of garlic and ginger should be increased in winters. Fruits recommended for this season are Apples, oranges, pineapples, dates, figs, bananas, guavas, apricots and chiku. Dry Fruits- All dry fruits like resins, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, pine corn seeds (chilgoza), figs, dry apricots, almonds are good for this season. Spices recommended for this season are cinnamon, cloves, tej patar, nutmeg, black cumin, asafoetida, ginger powder, fenugreek seeds, turmeric.
Lifestyle – In this season also heavy exercise, running, walking should be undertaken. Warm clothes should be worn. To beat chilly winds, caps and gloves should be used. Hot water bottles should be used during sleep and electrical warming of the room should be avoided during sleep.
Ayurvedic system of medicine is based on the axiom – “You are what you eat and how you live”. By following right food habits and compatible food for a particular season as well as following an appropriate lifestyle one can prevent incidence of diseases. While explaining line of treatment for a disease, a principle followed in this system of medicine is “Aaharen Viharen Cha Aushden Chikitsa”, where Aaharmeans food, Vihaar means lifestyle and Aushad means medicine. Let us follow this principle and “Let food be your medicine and not medicine be your food”.
Modern medical science after research has come to the conclusion that there are seasonal variations in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, uric acid, triglycerides, hormonal secretions, blood platelet, body stamina, mood, intelligence levels and endorphins (mood elevators). It supports country’s old Ayurvedic wisdom of balancing changed blood biochemistry by switching over to consumption of only season compatible food to remain disease free.
Dr Raj Kumar Sharma is the Principal of Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar and the Editor of popular health magazine DAV Ayurveda