If you find your mind and attention span wandering after the carefree days of summer, looking to grounding foods can help bring balance back into your life. The idea of ‘grounding foods’ is an Ayurvedic belief that all foods offer a unique energy and in turn affect our bodies in different ways. These five types of foods may help you feel more grounded this fall so you can thrive as we approach the busy holiday season ahead.
Why You Should Get Grounded
In the past, our ancestors shifted their diets with the changing of the seasons because of what foods were available to them and we should follow their example by doing the same. Ayurvedic practices believe that fall foods are great for their grounding properties and say they can help you plant your feet firmly on the ground for the fall season ahead. Mother Nature does a marvelous job at providing foods each season that best support our bodies during that particular time of year.
#1 Root Vegetables
During the fall season, root vegetables may help us feel more connected to ourselves as well as Mother Nature. As the name suggests, root vegetables have roots that reach deep within the earth. These roots anchor the plant in place and provide a strong foundation for growth. According to Ayurveda practices, some fall foods that may help you feel more focused and grounded for the fall season ahead include:
“Both garlic and beets have been shown to help improve blood pressure and many of these root veggies are actually good sources of vitamin C (pumpkin, radishes, turnips, beets, and carrots). While vitamin C intake won’t necessarily prevent the onset of a seasonal cold, some research suggests that regular vitamin C intake may help to reduce the duration of a cold. With the changing of seasons, it may be the perfect time to boost your intake of vitamin C rich foods. Just 1 medium sized turnip has 42% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C!” says registered dietitian nutritionist, Jenna Gorham.
#2 Home Cooked Meals
According to Ayurvedic practices, as the seasons change from summer to fall, Vata Dosha. The fall season can best be described as dry and light, similar to Vata. Think about it. One day it’s sunny, cool, and crisp then the next day it’s cold, windy, and rainy. The foliage of the trees even change from a lush green to rich hues of bright yellow, orange, and red. Since the fall season is naturally abundant in Vata energy already, Ayurvedic practices suggest avoiding Vata foods that are light, dry, and cold, like:
Instead, stick to warm, cooked meals like casseroles, soups, and slow cooker dishes as these types of foods are warm and soothing to the body.
#3 Foods that are Naturally Red and Orange
In Ayurveda, the season of fall (and winter) are all about root and sacral chakras. The root chakra is ruled by the color red, while the sacral chakra is ruled by the color orange, so keeping your diet rich in these two colors will aid in shaking that spacey feeling and getting your feet planted firmly on the ground. Think foods like bell peppers, butternut squash, and yams. Gorham says, “These foods are also a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for a strong immune system and good eyesight. Combining it with a source of fat will help your body better absorb and use the nutrient.”
#4 Fermented Foods
Fall is the perfect time to keep your digestive system fired up and running optimally. Fermented foods like beet kvass, coconut kefir, kimchi, and raw sauerkraut help feed your digestive enzymes, ultimately keeping your gut populated with good gut flora. When consuming fermented foods, look for foods that are raw and chilled, these conditions allow the good gut bugs to live and thrive, whereas high temperatures can kill these bacteria-rich enzymes, so avoid cooking any of these foods.
“Fermented foods are a good source of probiotics, which have been shown to impact a person’s overall health - including everything from digestion to skin health and even mental health."
#5 Warming Spices
The cooler fall months beckon our taste buds to enjoy warmer flavors, so add some warming spices to your favorite fall beverages and meals such as:
“Many people are surprised that spices actually have health benefits. Many spices have antioxidant properties, some may aid in digestion, and others may even help to lower your blood sugar.” If you prefer to stick to basic seasonings like salt and pepper, choose a salt that contains minerals from the Earth like Pink Himalayan Salt and Celtic Sea Salt. Gorham notes, “These salts typically avoid additives and anticaking agents. Their natural mineral content aids in their flavor profile and coloring. However, the mineral content is negligible and is unlikely to provide any health benefit.”
When the seasons change, we may not be able to change our external environments, but we can balance our internal environment through our daily routines and diets. Incorporate these grounding foods and find your balance this fall.
Tag us @SimpleMills so we can see how you get grounded during the fall season.