A farmer changes his crop by season because he is able to understand which crop grows best in which season. This action is proof enough for the ayurvedic principle that diet should change according to seasons. The food that we have in summer can play havoc with our body, if taken in winter. Therefore, in Ritucharya of Ayurveda, ayurvedic dietfor specific seasons are mentioned for the benefit of our health. The six different ritus or seasons ask for appropriate food plan.
Like for instance the Hemantha or early winter, when Kapha dosha is predominant, asks for more energy rich food like dairy products, ghee, carbohydrates as in whole grains. The body's resistance is however high and the calm and cool atmosphere relaxes the body and mind. The aggravated pitta types slows down in this season. Excercises, massages, bathing in lukewarm water and wearing woollen clothes are the added changes in the lifestyle during Hemanth.
Shishir Ritu or the winter season is a time of balance in all doshas. Heat producing food like rice, brinjal, nuts are recommended to prevent the body from constant chill in the atmosphere.The exact opposite is the greeshma ritu when heat is in the air and body needs to be kept cool. Liquid intake in form of water, fresh juice, fruits with greater water content like watermelon, buttermilk needs to be increased. The season asks us to turn on the lighter version of our life- light cotton clothes, light food to satiate hunger and light siesta.