Fall is a season of changes and deficiency, and with it higher stress levels are common when we are not careful and being mindful of this season. As the leaves fall and the temperature drops, we need nourishing and seasonal foods like pumpkin and other winter squashes, and nervines like nutmeg to soothe the nervous system. The body needs an extra boost during this time. Cooked pumpkin is soft and comforting. Pumpkin and nutmeg, both sedative and relaxing, together reduce stress. Wearing yourself ragged keeping up with all your events and activities during this time can result in a compromised or weakened immune system during the following months.
As the outside temperature starts to plummet, your body scrambles to protect itself from heat loss. Fall nourishing foods are needed, helping to fortify deficient tissue, thicken your skin, and insulate from the cold. Pumpkins, ghee (clarified butter), almonds, and healthy sugars all help to build ojas for the coming winter. Ojas is Ayurveda’s word for nourishment, and is crucial for the immune system.
Pumpkin is a fantastic tonifier/strengthener while also nourishing the tissue. Pumpkins are orange because of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Beta-carotene, also in carrots, gives pumpkin an orange color and encourages healing through rejuvenation and regeneration of tissue. Orange foods with beta-carotene are generally liver tonics that help clear residue of heat damage from the summer, and a great thing to help with fall allergies. They also purify the blood and soothe the eyes, which makes sense when they are liver tonics as the eyes are the flowers of the liver in Chinese philosophy. Pumpkin, as well as cardamom, has a cooling effect on the mucosa as well as laxative properties, soothing the GI tract.
Spices make these heavy ingredients lighter and easier for digestion, and pumpkin a bit less gas-forming. While all spices stimulate circulation, cloves specifically move heat to the surface of the body, warming up cold extremities. Both clove and cinnamon are awesome anti-oxidants and are considered fantastic antifungals, antibacterials, antimicrobials, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.
Ingredients for Smoothie: