Seasonal Nutrition & Seasonal Products

Seasonal Nutrition according to Ayurveda. Ritucharya – Ayurvedic recommendations regarding seasonal changes.

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Seasonal Nutrition

Just as the natural seasons change, so do the capabilities and functions of the body. Adapting to seasonal changes, we improve the condition of the whole body. When we build our diet not in harmony with nature, even “healthy” food can actually harm you. Effects can include a weakened immune system, unhealthy weight gain or loss, poor skin and hair quality or feeling unwell in general.

Ayurveda teaches us that we are not an exception to the natural world. Instead, we are part of it, and our health and well-being depend on its changes. However, in the modern era, we live in such a disconnected state from nature that we have forgotten about natural and instinctual options for nutrition. According to Ayurveda, there is the concept of “Ritucharya” – a seasonal regimen, in which most of the attention is paid to seasonal nutrition. Seasonal Ayurvedic nutrition not only makes you feel better in the moment but is also an effective preventative health measure.

Ayurveda teaches us that each person is endowed with one of three constitutions (doshas) or a combination of them. There are three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha – these are substances that appear from various combinations of the First Elements. There are 5 First Elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. And although each of the 5 primary elements is present in each of the Doshas, ​​the Doshas are characterized by the quantitative predominance of any two of them: Vata-Dosha is a combination of Ether and Air (it contains all 5 primary elements, but with the largest portions of Ether and Air), Pitta- Dosha – a combination of Fire and Water, and Kapha Dosha – a combination of Water and Earth. Each season calms or increases these energies within us, meaning our systems can become out of balance if we don’t take steps to adapt our bodies to the weather.

Doshas and Seasons

According to Ritucharya, the year is divided into two periods, each containing three seasons: Uttarayana, the cold months, and Dakshinayana, the warm months. In western countries we mostly have 4 seasons, but the principles remain the same. The change of seasons has a certain influence on the predominance of doshas.

Sharat Ritu (Autumn season)

Sharat Ritu begins in mid-September and lasts until mid-November. This is the period of the last flush of heat and dryness, when agni – the fire of digestion – regains its strength. Water and fire are the main energies in this transition period, making it an ideal time to start calming these Pitta energies.

Food Recommendations:

The goal of this season is a smooth transition to winter. To cleanse your body and prepare your digestive system for heavy food in the colder months, eat bitter, light, cold and sweet foods that are easy for your stomach and avoid foods high in fat and salt. An ideal Sharat diet includes rice, honey, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, root vegetables, pineapples, berries, plums, ghee and other dairy products.


Detox procedures and cleaning of the digestive tract are very good for this period.

Hemanta Ritu (Early winter season)

Hemanta Ritu begins in mid-November and lasts until mid-January. During this time, the agni (digestive fire) is at its strongest state. The energies of earth and water dominate, which means that Pitta becomes grounded and peaceful.

Food Recommendations:

During this season, it is necessary to keep yourself warm and full. It is the time to eat sweet, sour, salty and oily foods. Keep the digestive fire strong! Eat warming foods and plenty of fermented foods (such as kimchi and sauerkraut) and avoid cold, light and dry foods. Ideal products for this period are pumpkin, cabbage, spinach, corn, rice, carrots, potatoes, onions, beets, apples, dates, and all dairy products.


During this period, all detox procedures are useful to support the digestive system and prepare it for heavier food during the winter. Also, Abhyanga – oil massage will help moisturize the skin for a long time. You can choose a massage option, which is done in a massage cabinet or an Ayurvedic clinic by a practitioner, or you can do oiling yourself. A sauna or Svedana (steam barrel) will help you remove toxins, relieve tension and improve blood circulation. It’s also great for keeping warm!

Shishira Ritu (Late winter season)

From mid-January to mid-March. This wet, cold season brings with it an increase in Kapha energies, which means you need to strengthen your agni (digestive fire) to maintain balance.

Food Recommendations:

It is better to give preference to sweet, sour, salty dishes enriched with oil or ghee and warming spices. Avoid any astringent or cold food. Shishira’s ideal diet includes plenty of dairy products, root vegetables, apples, grapes, rice, wheat, beans, and sweet foods in moderation.


Oil massages such as Abhyanga and herbal pouch massages are recommended. These procedures stimulate blood circulation, reduce inflammation and relieve muscle tension, and also moisturize and nourish the skin throughout the cold period. A steam barrel (Svedana) or a sauna with herbs will come in handy during this period for relaxation, cleansing and improving well-being.

Vasanta Ritu (Spring Season)

As nature begins to come back to life, we enter the Dakshinayana, or warm months. Vasanta Ritu runs from mid-March to mid-May, earth and air energies combine to make this time an active transition period. Kapha energy begins to dissipate, which decreases agni and can cause a lot of discomfort.

Food Recommendations:

This is one of the most sensitive periods for our body, so it is necessary to focus on eating easily digestible bitter and astringent foods, avoid cold, viscous, heavy, sour and sweet foods. Ideal foods for this period are gut-healthy foods like barley and honey, as well as gently stimulating spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric and fennel.


Nasya (washing the nose). During the allergy season, it is important to clean the respiratory system, including the nasal passages. Nasya involves clearing excess mucus and adding therapeutic oil for hydration of the nose.

Greeshma Ritu (Summer season)

Greeshma Ritu lasts from mid-May to mid-July. The energies of fire and air dominate this season, which have drying properties and increase Pitta and Vata energies in the body. Your agni is at its lowest, so lightness is needed.

Food Recommendations:

This is the time of year for sweet, light, cold, mineral-nutrients-rich foods. Eat lots of greens and fruit and avoid acidic, spicy or hot foods. Stay hydrated with plenty of clean water and focus on foods that are rich in antioxidants. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables such as asparagus, cucumber, celery and leafy greens are ideal foods for this period.


Abhyanga or oil massage will also be useful at this time, with the help of this massage you will get rid of dry skin. Also useful must be relaxation practices, meditation, perhaps Shirodhara (warm oil that is slowly poured on the forehead) – a practice of deep relaxation of the mind and body.

Varsha Ritu (Rainy season)

Varsha Ritu prevails from mid-July to mid-September. This is usually the wet rainy season when earth and fire energies rising to the fore. Digestion also slows down during this season, so it’s time to light the fire.

Food Recommendations:

Salty, sour and fatty food is the basis of this season. Avoid heavy or raw food and slowly transition to the cooler season.Prefer warm, freshly prepared meals. Ginger and lemon will improve digestion, also add soups to your diet.


This is the most favorable time for doing Panchakarma, rebooting all body systems.

Seasonal Nutrition & Seasonal Products 3

Of course, it is difficult to follow all these principles and schedules of changing seasons. Nature took care of that too. A clue for which foods to look out for is the seasonal products available in your area. It is these products that are the most useful at this time, have the largest amount of vitamins and minerals, and are always the freshest and tastiest. The body will also tell you which foods to avoid and which to include in your diet when the weather and seasons change. Learn to listen to your body and its needs!

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