Though winter is supposed to be a cold climate, sun rays are extremely powerful during this season, which sweeps the environment off moisture, creating a cold & dry atmosphere. Forget humans, the harsh rays doesn’t spare even the plants & animals, and everything and everyone looks drained of energy. Immunity gets reduced making way for diseases. Antibiotics reduce immunity further.
Winter reduces Pitta, promotes Vata, and accumulates Kapha. On account of drop in temperature, skin pores get closed and the body heat gets driven toward the core of body. This strengthens Agni. As a result, our digestive capacity improves; and so do our strength and stamina. Good Agni leads to good nourishment and healthy metabolism of the tissues. And those who don’t make any efforts to maintain Vata and Kapha balance suffer from poor health, weight gain, depression and other physical diseases.
Respiratory diseases like cold, cough, influenza are most common during winter months. Joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, dry skin, chapped lips, cracked heels, dry hair, aggravated psoriasis are some other health concerns that worry people during winters.
Ayurveda recommends winter diet & lifestyles that preserves your strength and builds immunity. However, what exactly you should eat this winter depends on your state of your digestion.
We should consume easy to digest nutrients & combinations to help our body to function smoothly. Nutrition helps to maintain body’s temperature, improves immunity, restores damaged tissue, and prevents skin from drying. Go for Amla the rich source of Vitamin C, milk, wheat, fresh corn, black & green gram, seasonal veggies & fruits etc.
Hot soups between meals; include oil and ghee in the diet as it reduces dryness of tissues and settles dosha imbalance. Drink warm water to maintain body temperature, ease digestion; and reduce tissue inflammation. Massage body with hot herbal oil, exercise, wear woollen and silk clothes; make sure your head, ear, palm and feet remain covered.
Since cold weather makes the environment generally dull, in some people extended period of cold can also lead to depression. For benefit of those it is advised that homes are kept well lit & made to look bright & fresh with bright lights, colourful flowers, lush green potted plants etc.