Ayurvedic Foods for Autumn (Vata)


Balance is a principle concept in Ayurveda, an alternative medicine with roots in India dating back to around 6,000 BC. The practice has spread throughout the world and is popular throughout wellness communities. In Ayurveda there is the belief of three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). Each dosha has different characteristics that need to be in a state of balance. While most people are dominant in either one or sometimes two doshas, all three are part of one’s “prakrti” (nature).

The vata dosha is linked to our energy and digestion. Similar to autumn, vata is characterized by coolness, dryness, and sensitivity. Imbalances can cause unwanted reactions both mentally and physically. Some signs of vata imbalance can be anxiety, dry skin, irritability, insomnia, spaciness, and worry.

As the warm heady days of summer (pitta season) taper off into fall, it is important to cultivate a nourishing practice to gently ease into the season. To help balance vata, incorporate an environment of grounding and support. It is a great time to start a new yoga or mindfulness practice. 

Since vata is brittle and cool, foods that are warm are ideal in helping equalize the dosha-- think creamy, rich, and soothing. You’d want to avoid anything dry such as crackers, beans, and bitter/astringent foods.  

Below is a list of some foods and recipes that are ideal for soothing the vata dosha, whether you’re looking to cultivate some balance or transition into a new season, the key is to check-in once a week to evaluate any areas that seem out of sync.

Foods for Balancing Vata







Sesame oil

Foods to Avoid

Crackers, pretzels


Carbonated, fizzy drinks

Deep fried foods


Cold foods



Okra Masala

Moong Dal with Basmati Rice

Roasted Beets